or closing of chopping face was observed. Also, the chopping force per pin was found tobe about 100kg, which is very low compared to the present method of chopping.Effect of nuclear radiation on various optical components and Optical fiber used for beamdelivery inside the hot cell were studied and systematic experiments have been carried outfor various dose rates and exposure times. The change in optical properties like transmission,coloration and refractive index were recorded before and exposure . It is concluded thatlow impurity pure crystalline quartz optics is usable in harsh radiation environment up toone mrad exposure. Likewise low impurity silica fiber like TECS-393M is also usable insideHot cell with proper protection. This data was used for design of laser beam delivery systemfor the machine.
3.Special Features for Radioactive Operation
The special care was taken to find out the suitability of different parts of the machineto be used in the radioactive area before going for the design aspect of the machine. Accordinglyfollowing aspects were considered in designing the machine .
Remote operation of laser with fibre optics beam delivery system. Main parts of themachine are outside the radioactive compartment.
Modular system design to allow easy removal of defective parts.
Easy plug in type electrical connectivity to facilitate easy disconnection/connectionthrough manipulators.
Special quartz lenses to sustain the radioactive environment.
The system consists of a bundle lifting system to lift the fuel bundle to the height of theCNC stage to enable the manual pushing to the gripper stage. The gripper assembly thengrips the bundle in the proper alignment and then the CNC system starts the movement of the proximity sensor to find out the alignment of the centre and the other locations of thetie plate. Accordingly, laser nozzle takes the predetermined path automatically for cutting.After cutting the first tie plate the bundle rotates automatically by 180° and completes thecutting of the tie plate on the other side, after sensing again. The laser system delivered byCAT, Indore was interfaced with the CNC system and a number of dummy subassemblieswere cut using the laser to test the functioning of the machine. Two such systems are beingmade. One of them will be integrated with other mechanical shear system for fuel reprocessingat NRG while the other system shall be used in RLG for post irradiation examination activities.
(a)For Fuel Reprocessing Division
A fully automatic remotely operable system has been designed and fabricated to carryout Nd-YAG laser cutting of the tie-plates followed by mechanical shear of individual pins(15 cuts at a time). The mechanical shear of each pin, carried out in AFD, BARC indicatedthat around 100-150 Kg load is needed to chop the individual pin. Additionally it has a conveyersystem to carry the dismantled pins to the chopping bed and then the single stroke choppingaction is done by the system and then fuels are taken out for dissolution works.
(b)For Post Irradiation Examination Division
The requirement of the post irradiation examination division is only cutting of the tieplates to dismantle the individual fuel pins inside the hot cell for the post irradiation
Laser Dismantling of PHWR Spent Fuel Bundles and Decladding of Fuel Pins...