Design and Fabrication of Remote Welding System for the Fuel Bundle Assembly
International Conference on the Future of Heavy Water Reactors - 2011 October 02-05

Presented at:
International Conference on the Future of Heavy Water Reactors
2011 October 02-05
Ottawa, Canada
Session Title:
Fuel and Fuel Safety

Soo-Sung Kim (Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute)
Jung-Won Lee (Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute)
Geun-Il Park (Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute)


Remote fuel bundle welding equipment in a hot-cell was designed and fabricated. To achieve this, a preliminary investigation of hands-on fuel fabrication outside a hot-cell was conducted with a consideration of the constraints caused by welding in a hot-cell. Some basic experiments were also carried out to improve the end-plate welding process for fuel bundle fabrication. The resistance welding equipment using end-plate welding was also improved. It was found that resistance welding was more suitable for joining an end-plate to end caps in a hot-cell. The optimum conditions for end- plate welding for remote operation were also obtained. Preliminary performances to improve the resistance welding process were also examined, and the resistance welding process was determined to be the best in the hot-cell environment for fuel bundle fabrication. The greatest advantage of fuel bundle welding equipment would be a commercialized welding process in which there is extensive production experience. This paper presents an outline of the developed welding equipment for a fuel bundle fabrication and reviews the conceptual design of remote welding equipment using a master- slave manipulator. The design of the remote welding equipment using the Pro-Engineer method was also reviewed. Furthermore the mechanical considerations and a mock-up simulation test were described. Finally, its performance test results were presented for a mock-up of remote fuel bundle welding equipment.

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