Presentation of modular industrial exoskeleton took place at a uranium enrichment workshop held by Russia’s ElectroChemical Plant (ECP – part of Rosatom’s fuel company TVEL) in Zelenogorsk. The idea was suggested by a worker at the plant. ECP produces low-enriched uranium for NPP fuel assemblies, stable and radioactive isotopes of various chemical elements, and a number of other high-tech products.

The exoskeleton demonstrated at the workshop weighs 4.1 kg but with its help it is possible to lift loads up to 50 kg. It can operate at temperatures from minus 40° C to plus 30° C. ECP specialists use exoskeletons when replacing heavy containers in cramped conditions on the condensation collector of the discharge unit, as well as on the milling stand. These are areas where physical labour cannot yet be completely mechanised.

Exoskeletal systems reduce the load on the muscular-skeletal system reducing the risk of injury or occupational disease while labour productivity increases. The model chosen during a market can be used not only for carrying, lifting and lowering goods, but also when working with heavy tools. The list of operations were expanded during experimental operation. The first proposals for improvements have already been sent to the manufacturer. If the pilot project is successful, this will be replicated at other TVEL enterprises.

“The most important asset of the nuclear industry is people. It is necessary to use every opportunity to optimise and facilitate the work of employees. Their safety and health is our unconditional priority,” said Irina Duborezova, Deputy General Director of ECP for Human Resources Management.

Image courtesy of ECP