Ansaldo provides a robot for Caorso decommissioning

06 May 2020

Ansaldo Nuclear has designed and supplied a robot for the removal of 2000 drums of radioactive waste stored in hard-to-access areas within two temporary storage buildings at Italy's shut down Caorso nuclear power plant. 

The plant's decommissioning license includes the treatment and conditioning of around 860 tonnes of radioactive ion exchange resins and sludges, still contained in two on-site temporary storage buildings. This waste represents more than 90% of the contamination inventory at Caorso. The aim of the project is to transform this waste into final packages, whilst emptying the two storage buildings to refurbish them.

To enable the retrieval project, Ansaldo Nuclear conceptualized, designed, manufactured, installed, and operated a bespoke Machine Retrieval System (MRS) robot to safely retrieve 2000 drums of radioactive waste which were stored in a variety of niches within the temporary storage facilities at Caorso. The MRS robot - which is being used to retrieve, verify, seal and pack the radioactive drums - took six months to build and install. Controlled remotely, with a double operating system in place, it is capable of self-recovery in the event of earthquakes or other external safety issues.