Waste Management

Industry type: Nuclear
Market/environment: The market for hazardous duty remote handled nuclear connectors is generally confined to Laboratories and Processing facilities with hot cells. Each application is project specific.


APPLICATION

Description:
Staubli Corporation has worked on this project for almost 4 years beginning in 2005. The scope of this particular project is the remote electrical connections for electrical pump motors in a Pre-Treatment facility at the Hanford Vitrification Facility being constructed in Richland, Washington, USA. In addition to the remote handled electrical connections there are also remote handled fluid connections for servicing the pump bearings with grease. This will all take place in an area of relatively high radioactivity necessitating the requirement for remote handling of the connections.

Problem analysis:
Because of the radioactive environment, remote handling of all machinery and components inside the hot cell is accomplished by Master–Slave mechanical manipulators (MSM’s) and also Tele-robotic manipulators. Also the potential of accidental cross connection, while extremely low, was present. The customer also wanted a single source for the cable assembly. It was decided that Staubli Corporation would manufacture and test the electrical cable assemblies in Duncan according to the designer and customer’s specifications.


SOLUTION PROVIDED BY STÄUBLI

Description:
The electrical connections are handled by the RVX25 remote nuclear connector. This electrical quick connector was developed for use in applications requiring robust design, operator friendly operation, and keys to prevent cross connections. The RVX25 can be configured in the field with 126 discreet keys. The fluid connections are handled using the RBE19/CM connector which is a specialized version of the RBE19 remote connector but with external keys. There are 35 discreet key combinations for this connector.

Features and Benefits:
The RVX25 and the RBE19/CM both are constructed of 316L stainless steel with keying options which can be completed in the field by the installers. Both contain seals which are radiation resistant to a TID of 1 X 10e7. The RVX25 uses insulation inserts made of Polyetheretherkeytone (PEEK) which is highly radiation resistant. The inserts and gold electrical pins are produced by the Staubli Group Division Multi-Contact. Both connectors were designed specifically for remote handling. The RVX25 and the RBE19/CM connectors are operator friendly. The connections and disconnections are quick and easy compared to other manufacturers. This saves not only time but also money for the users.


OTHER POSSIBLE APPLICATIONS

Description:
Decontamination areas, Vitrification Melters, Radioactive waste stream classification.

Potential:
There are global applicationsl for both the RVX25 and the RBE19/CM in the nuclear processing, re-processing, and laboratory industries.


FOR MORE INFORMATION

Chris Eason
Nuclear Applications Specialist
E-mail address: c.eason@staubli.com