Remote in-bore laser cutting and welding tools for use in future nuclear fusion reactors

Remote in-bore laser cutting and welding tools for use in future nuclear fusion reactors

Remote in-bore laser cutting and welding tools for use in future nuclear fusion reactors 150 150 UKAEA Opendata
UKAEA-CCFE-CP(19)01

Remote in-bore laser cutting and welding tools for use in future nuclear fusion reactors

The maintenance, replacement and decommissioning of future nuclear fusion reactors will require quick and reliable cutting and joining of in-vessel pipework. Initial design studies for nuclear fusion reactors for power generation have estimated cutting and welding could account for up to 60% of the maintenance duration using conventional in-situ processing techniques (dry-mechanical cutting and arc welding) and that new methods are required to expedite the process. Additionally, the expected radioactivity and limited access at the cutting and welding sites mean these processes cannot be done manually and robotic tools are required. To this end, remote in-bore laser cutting and welding tools have been developed for use in 90 mm internal diameter steel pipes. Here, we will present the designs of the remote in-bore laser cutting and welding tools, and how the tools fit within the overall remote maintenance strategy of a nuclear fusion reactor. Initial high-power laser trials were performed with prototype tools and successfully demonstrated their laser processing, thermal management and dust protection functionality. The tools described herein have been developed specifically for use within the fusion reactor environment, however the tool design and technology demonstrated here is readily transferable to many remote applications in challenging environments such as fission reactor maintenance, nuclear decommissioning and other in-accessible pipework.

Collection:
Conference
Journal:
Publisher:
Conference:
Waste Management Symposia (WMS), Phoenix, USA, 18-22 March 2018
Published date:
23/09/2021