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igus® Ltd.

Caswell Road

Northampton, NN4 7PW

01604 677240

Nuclear waste

In March 2011, the atom reactors in the Japanese Fukushima were severely damaged– it came to a catastrophic meltdown in three reactors. The Problem: The distance of the melted combustibles from the contaminated area. Primarily, the precise position of the singular wreckage inside needed to be clarified, as well as its condition. The high radiation values within the reactor buildings make the use of optical camera systems impossible. Acoustic picture sonar systems offer a promising method for visualization and characterization of the fuel waste: They are very tolerant against radiation, do not only display the form of the waste but also screen its inner structure. This shall be accomplished with the help of a scan system: With the help of sonar probe, uranium fuel debris and nuclear reactor components become visible. Parts of the requirements of this innovative device are aspects such as being modularly expandable, having freedom from maintenance, being easy to handle, having proper cable management and having the feature that the material shall not absorb radiation. It must be also absolutely silent!  The drylin® E space portal from igus® is used, inside of which different motor driven drylin® axes, as well as a robolink® joint are installed, in addition to e-chains from igus® that safely guide all cables. It became clear after a three-month test and other optimizations, for example of the Z-axes, with which the new system operates perfectly.

Imaging sonar system

University of Bristol, Robert Malkin, Bristol, Great Britain

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