The Tennessee Valley Authority hosted the 1998 Utility/Manufacturer Robotic Users Group (U/MRUG) conference at its modern training facility at the Sequoyah nuclear station in Soddy Daisy, Tennessee. Twenty nuclear plants were represented.
The exhibition, effectively a trade show, included over thirty-five manufacturers of remote and robotic technologies. A mix of utility and manufacturer representatives presented technical papers which included a number of firsts.
Cullie Miller, ALARA Coordinator from Waterford 3 plant reported on the station’s first real use of robotics to clean up a spill of about 35 ft3 of radioactive resin (see following article).
Ken Ohr, an ALARA Engineer, reviewed the use of remote and robotic equipment used by ComEd’s Quad Cities plant in a recent refuelling outage. The technique proved very effective, producing considerable savings. Many of the applications were firsts for robotics use in a BWR facility.
On the manufacturing side, ROV Technologies unveiled a remotely operated vehicle designed to remove silt, sludge, and other debris from cooling tower basins, intake bays, and other cooling water basins, while the generating units are on line. The first deployment of this crawler- based device is scheduled at ComEd’s Byron station this August. R Brooks Associates’ President, John Gay, along with GPU’s Lou Lanese, provided a combined presentation on the successful deployment of a vertical pipe crawling device, designed by R Brooks, which allowed Lou’s utility to perform a full inspection of reactor coolant pump internals.
The importance in having a good viewing capability for performing remote operations in pressure vessels was highlighted in a paper describing work at the Palo Verde 2 plant by William Ryder (see next page).
U/MRUG 1999 The 1999 meeting of U/MRUG is tentatively scheduled to be held in the spring at Three Mile Island. Lou Lanese is presently making preliminary inquiries from facility management to act as the 1999 conference host.