The legacy ponds of Sellafield had an increasing demand to lift heavier loads using the work class ROV. The conventional method using thrusters led to disturbed sediment, thus resulting in nearly two days of impaired visibility. This challenge posed a significant hindrance to efficient operations. Recognizing the problem, Rovtech Solutions envisioned a solution inspired by a diver's lift bag principle . Instead of using surface - fed air, which was not permitted, they designed a system with the ability to vary the air volume inside a bladder, allowing for controlled buoyancy .
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Collimators play an integral role in the nuclear sector, narrowing beams of particles or waves. These devices are especially vital for housing radiation detectors, permitting users to observe specific parts of highly radiated areas. They are instrumental in categorizing various radiation sources in active cells. Cavendish Nuclear recognized a need for a manually adjusted version and collaborated with RSL to bring this idea to fruition.
Rovtech Solutions Ltd.’s background is in the design and manufacture of ROVs (remote operated vehicle) and submersible lights and cameras for marine and oil & gas applications. In 2009 we were approached by Sellafield Ltd to adapt a standard ROV for use in their spent fuel storage ponds. The decommissioning of a number of very large storage ponds containing a variety of fuel wastes and contaminated machinery and equipment and sludge residue is a priority on the nuclear site. A solution was required to manipulate the contents of the ponds and consolidate many tons of spent fuel.
Faced with the challenge of deploying a mechanical arm through a narrow penetration into a cell at Sellafield's MSSS facility, Rovtech devised a solution built on a preliminary design by Sellafield’s Innovation team. Their design utilized carbon fibre tubes, combined with mechanical tilt and rotate functions, ensuring precise movements in all directions. This collaboration between Rovtech and Sellafield Ltd has resulted in a tool that not only meets the client's specifications but is also robust enough for rigorous nuclear environments.