Robots roaming Robinson

05 April 2012

Operation and maintenance work at the Robinson nuclear power plant will be supported by three new robots, recently purchased by plant owner Progress Energy.

 710 Warrior robot (iRobot) 250x298
The 710 Warrior is a heavyweight model
with an arm able to carry 250 lbs (113 kg)
 

Robots and remotely operated vehicles can make a big difference to some complex maintenance tasks at nuclear facilities, as well as decommissioning. Being able to travel into areas that are inaccessible or hostile to people, they allow workers to survey a location or carry out simple physical tasks from a safe location.

Progress has taken delivery of a large 710 Warrior and two smaller 510 PackBot units both supplied by iRobot, a company formed by scientists and engineers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology's robot programs. The same model robots are in regular use at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, helping workers to plan the management of the severely damaged and contaminated facility as well as its clean-up.

The Robinson power plant features a 174MWe coal-fired power unit and a 15 MWe gas turbine in addition to a 683 MWe pressurized water reactor built in the late 1960s. In 2004 plant managers received a renewal of their licence to operate Robinson 2 allowing it to generate into 2030.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News

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