Dismantling of Marcoule reprocessing cell approaching

23 December 2021

The French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) and Onet Technologies expect early next year to begin dismantling the C419 cell of the APM pilot used fuel reprocessing plant facility at CEA's Marcoule site. A robot developed for the task is currently dismantling the front wall of the cell in order to gain access.

The robot in action (Image: Onet)

In 2016, CEA awarded a contract to Onet Technologies for the design, manufacture and commissioning of the MR419 robot for dismantling the process equipment housed within the C419 cell.

The remotely-operated, rail-mounted MR419 robot is composed of a telescopic platform fitted with two articulated arms. This complex system is designed to reach the 6-metre height of the cell. The first robotic arm is a BROKK arm coupled with handling tongs. It is intended for grabbing the pipework within the cell. The second robotic arm is a MAESTRO arm that can be coupled with a variety of tools for cutting and bending the pipework.

Onet Technologies said the commissioning phase of the MR419 robot is reaching completion as the robot is opening the C419 cell by removing one brick at a time the barite front wall. The next phase will be the start of dismantling of the cell in early 2022.

"The current milestone is relevant because this is the first step of MR419 robot in a nuclear environment," said Benjamin Krausz, Product Line Manager of EPC Solutions at Onet Technologies. "This is a great achievement taking into account that the first drawing [of the robot] was issued ten years ago. Now, we are ready to move forward in the project and start to decommission the pipework to enable the robot to progress within the cell."

Onet Technologies is a French engineering and services company that supports nuclear industry players in the development of projects, operation and maintenance in safe conditions and in the dismantling of nuclear facilities.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News