Cookeville, TN October 18, 2014
RTT Receives Contract To Develop Remote Operate Vehicle For Use In Dry Canister Storage Systems
Robotic Technologies of Tennessee (RTT) reached an Agreement with the Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. (EPRI) of Palo Alto, California to scale RTT’s existing 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 calls for RTT to develop a proof of concept MRP that could be used to carry a non-destructive examination (NDE) device to take readings of the stainless steel canister containing spent nuclear fuel.
DCSS are made by a number of manufacturers and come in a variety of configurations. Although the canisters containing the spent nuclear fuel is standardized, how those canisters are stored in a concrete overpack (vertical or horizontal), the methods of positioning the canisters (spacers, support structures, etc.) and access to the canister (i.e., ventilation shafts and locations of these shafts) vary. According to Steve Glovsky, Executive Vice President of RTT. “The goal of this Agreement is to see if RTT’s MRPs can be scaled to address some or all of these challenges.”
“We are trying to reduce the weight of our platform to under 10 lbs in a form factor no larger than 6 inches by 6 inches, and no higher than 3 inches,” reported Dr. Jamie Beard, President of RTT. “We need to accomplish this while maintaining the ability to carry and manipulate an NDE device that may weigh as much as 10 pounds.”
RTT To Build Proof of Concept Inspection ROV For Nuclear Industry
The Agreement is for RTT to quickly design and build a “proof of concept” MRP that shows whether or not a miniature remote operated vehicle can be built to access and ultimately reach locations on the canister where measurements can be taken. The Agreement covers work to be done in the fourth quarter of 2014.
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 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.