Hand-held laser for nuclear decommissioning. GIF and videos below.
Here's a longer video of this same tool, with a different head, being used for concrete scabbling. Apparently nuclear contamination of concrete is generally limited to a depth of just a few millimeters, and the laser zaps off the top 10 millimeters or so. If you've ever ground a concrete floor you can appreciate this technology.
Anyone know more about why lasers are so advantageous for this kind of job, as opposed to just mechanical means of demolition? Reduction of contaminated dust or vapor? Speed?
Decommissioning Using Lasers
Nuclear decommissioning on Wikipedia
Since laser is a non-contact tool there's no need to deal with the expense and disposal of mechanical tools that would contact the contaminated material. OTOH, I can't explain why the grinder dust-like residue produced by the laser is somehow better than the slag produced by a torch.
If the laser is faster than other methods then the exposure time of the operator is reduced.
Improved standoff distance while operating makes operator safer?
Predictability of disassembly and accountability. Are there requirements to disassemble into a precise collection of pieces that precludes gorilla-like sledge hammering methods?
Ease of finding demolition workers? There are literally thousands of Star Wars fans who would kill for this job.
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Something like that would be nice to have but I am seeing prices from 100,000 to 1,000,000 GBP. Probably won't be seeing one under this years tree or next.
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Yep people working in the industry tend to die as well. A company i worked for repaired the robot/manipulator arms at Sellafield here in Cumbria. The arm was taken out the pot and decontaminated to work on, whilst one of our guys was working on it a drip of grease landed on him off one of the arm joints. Sadly he is is no longer with us. He got irradiated by the grease and was gone in 24 months.There are literally thousands of Star Wars fans who would kill for this job.
We also have the site of Windscale where Britain had its first nuclear disaster https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windscale_fire.
I cant see a laser being used much to cut up reactor parts, the risk of causing a fire and the knock of effect of discharge into the environment/atmosphere would outweigh the benefits. Probably why the clip is the companies promo video.
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