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Core Vessel Insert Handling Robot for the Spallation Neutron Source...

by Van B Graves, Michael J Dayton
Publication Type
Conference Paper
Publication Date
Conference Name
ANS Topical Meeting on Emergency Management and Robotics for Hazardous Environments
Conference Location
Knoxville, Tennessee, United States of America
Conference Sponsor
American Nuclear Society
Conference Date

The Spallation Neutron Source provides the world's most intense pulsed neutron beams for scientific research and industrial development. Its eighteen neutron beam lines will eventually support up to twenty-four simultaneous experiments. Each beam line consists of various optical components which guide the neutrons to a particular instrument. The optical components nearest the neutron moderators are the core vessel inserts. Located approximately 9 m below the high bay floor, these inserts are bolted to the core vessel chamber and are part of the vacuum boundary. They are in a highly radioactive environment and must periodically be replaced. During initial SNS construction, four of the beam lines received Core Vessel Insert plugs rather than functional inserts. Remote replacement of the first Core Vessel Insert plug was recently completed using several pieces of custom-designed tooling, including a highly complicated Core Vessel Insert Robot. The design of this tool are discussed.