December 3, 2015
Robotic Technologies of Tennessee Receives Third Contract From EPRI to Develop Remote Operated Inspection Systems
Robotic Technologies of Tennessee (RTT) reached an Agreement with the Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. (EPRI) of Palo Alto, California for calendar year 2016 to continue development of RTT’s mobile robotic platform (“MRP”) for use on stainless steel storage canisters containing used nuclear fuel (also known as dry cask storage systems or “DCSS”). The Agreement notes the successful completion of the 2015 Agreement and calls for RTT to continue refining its MRP system for use in DCSSs. The Agreement calls for RTT to design its systems to meet nuclear industry expectations in the area of Foreign Material Exclusion (FME); incorporate additional RTT suspension technologies; add position tracking technologies and conduct industry demonstrations at various test sites.
RTT Inspection Systems Access Hard To Reach Areas
“Last year our primary challenge was to demonstrate to the nuclear industry that miniature robotic inspection systems were capable of navigating complex ventilation ducts and then access nuclear storage fuel canisters while carrying non-destructive examination equipment,” says Steve Glovsky, RTT’s Executive Vice President. “I think everyone was a bit surprised when we demonstrated this capability at an unloaded DCSS at the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station after less than nine months of development. This was impressive work and a testimony to the capabilities of our engineering team.”
“This year RTT will work with EPRI to test the accuracy and reliability of actual NDE results on test samples, test RTT’s MRP in more realistic in-situ environments and enhance RTT’s MRP by adding RTT suspension technologies,” says Mr. Glovsky.
RTT Offers Its Remote Operated Inspection Systems To Companies in the Nuclear Fuels and Waste Management Industry
RTT anticipates conducting multiple demonstrations during the year and demonstrating RTT’s miniature robotic inspection systems on a number of differently configured DCSSs. In addition, RTT hopes to enter into working relationships with companies in the nuclear fuels and waste management industry. “The Nuclear Regulatory Commission requires regular licensing and relicensing of both the sites where nuclear waste is stored and the actual containment systems in which that waste is stored,” says Mr. Glovsky. “It will be absolutely critical that industry players, including the utilities and the canister manufacturers, demonstrate that there is a process to inspect these storage systems as part of the licensing and relicensing process. RTT’s ambition is to provide the nuclear industry with accurate and low cost nondestructive examination options for dry cask storage systems.”
RTT designs, builds and sells mobile inspecting and manufacturing platforms. When mounted with manufacturing or inspecting tools, these systems deliver the benefits of factory automation to non-factory environments. RTT systems operate in a variety of environments including nuclear power plants, shipyards, tank terminals and wind farms. Applications include welding, inspection, cutting and grinding. Field fabricators and inspectors can save up to 80% when compared to manual alternatives. RTT systems are operating throughout the United States and around the world meeting challenging weather, operator and fabrication conditions. RTT patented and patent pending technologies are novel solutions for bringing automated and robotic systems to the $10 billion plus welding and inspection industry.
The Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. (EPRI, www.epri.com) conducts research and development relating to the generation, delivery and use of electricity for the benefit of the public. An independent, nonprofit organization, EPRI brings together its scientists and engineers as well as experts from academia and industry to help address challenges in electricity, including reliability, efficiency, affordability, health, safety and the environment. EPRI’s members represent approximately 90 percent of the electricity generated and delivered in the United States, and international participation extends to more than 30 countries. EPRI’s principal offices and laboratories are located in Palo Alto, Calif.; Charlotte, NC; Knoxville, Tenn.; and Lenox, Mass.