Maliaño, November 16, 2018 – Equipos Nucleares S.A., S.M.E continues with success the execution of welds of components destined to the ITER project .
The robotic TIG welding system developed in the Advanced Technology Centre by the Automatic Unit with the Welding Development Unit, in collaboration with the personnel of the Production Welding Unit, has made possible to complete the vertical upward welds on both sides of one of the ITER sector components assigned to the Cantabrian company, obtaining magnificent results in the quality and productivity of the process in the 3 welded components.
Maliaño, November 13, 2018 – The European project COROMA, in which Equipos Nucleares S.A., S.M.E participates as an end user, continues and the second anniversary of its beginning is celebrated, two working days were organized in the company’s facilities. The main objective was to expose the most significant advances of this important project whose aim is to develop an autonomous modular robot, easily programmable, safe in its interaction with humans and other machines and able to adapt to changes in its environment.
The first day was of a technical nature and served to share their experiences. In the different presentations details of their developments were shown and the operation of their modules was explained. At the end of the day, all the participants visited Ensa’s workshop and showed their interest in the processes and components it manufactures.
The second day was attended by two experts in charge of evaluating the work carried out. After the presentations of those responsible for each of the work packages and the subsequent analysis, the evaluators showed their good impression of the level reached so far in each of the sections.
In the following months, work will continue on the integration of the different modules, after which, in the last four months of 2019, final tests will begin on the applications proposed by end users.
The COROMA project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 723853.
Maliaño, November 6, 2018 – Equipos Nucleares, S.A., S.M.E participated in the 8th edition of the NDA Estate Supply Chain Event held in Manchester; the most important event in Europe related to nuclear dismantling.
This fair, organised by industry for industry, provided the opportunity to establish contacts with more than 300 exhibiting companies in the nuclear industry. On this occasion, the Cantabrian company was able to share its experience in the dismantling of both Spanish plants and experiences outside Spain .
Maliaño, 19th October 2018.- Equipos Nucleares S.A., S.M.E successfully completed the loading of 2 casks at the Ascó nuclear power plant in Tarragona.
With this work, the Cantabrian company has completed the loading campaign this year for a total of 6 casks; 4 in group I between March and April and 2 in group II between September and October.
In addition to the loads, Ensa received 4 new casks manufactured by the company itself, two of which were used for Group II.
Maliaño, 11th October 2018.- Equipos Nucleares S.A., S.M.E participated in the 44th annual meeting of the Spanish Nuclear Society with two presentations. The first one to present its advances in the ITER project and the second one focused on the automation of the measurement of tube plate hole diameters.
Sofia Corino, in charge of the Special Projects area, presented the latest novelties related to the assembly of the ITER vacuum chamber, as well as the validation of the prototypes developed.
Her, presentation was divided into two blocks to explain, on the one hand, the scope of Ensa within this project of international importance, as well as the challenges and technical difficulties that must be overcome, among which the limitation of space and access stands out. On the other hand, she talked about the prototypes already developed and the advance of their validation on the 1:1 models.
Domingo Lima, head of Ensa’s Advanced Technology Center , spoke about «Automation of the measurement of tube plate diameter holes».
In this sense, he explained that during the manufacture of the steam generators the drilling of the Tube Plate is carried out and that the difficulty in the quality control of these holes has made necessary the development of a new system and the improvement of the methodology to make the inspection in an automated and more efficient way.
Some of the advances of this robotic system are:
– Guarantee of 100% inspection of the holes.
– Calculation of measurements in real time without further processing.
– Registration of the acquired data.
– Automatic generation of reports with all measurements and non-conformities.
– Adaptable to all types of geometries.
– Improved productivity.
– Reliability of the system.
The Cantabrian company was nominated in May 2018 for an R&D project on its ENUN32P cask.
Maliaño, 04 October 2018.- Equipos Nucleares S.A., S.M.E in collaboration with other national and international technologists -Enresa and Enusa, the American laboratories: Sandia National Laboratories and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and several South Korean organizations , has finally won the «Secretary’s Honor Awards – Achievement Award» granted by the Department of Energy of the Government of the United States of America for an R&D project to study the behaviour of spent fuel elements transported in its ENUN 32P dual-purpose, storage and transport cask, and verify the calculations made during the design.
U.S. laboratory Sandia led this international data collection test during an eight-month triathlon to quantify the accelerations and vibrations and deformations experienced by uranium oxide rods from a simulated spent fuel element during transportation by rail, ship and truck. Its analysis revealed that the accelerations and deformations were well below the resistance limit of the irradiated fuel.
The award recognizes the contribution of this equipment to the benefit of U.S. society and represents the highest non-monetary recognition that can be received.
Other entities that have received this prestigious award have been the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and NASA.
The Automatic unit belonging to the Advanced Technology Centre of Equipos Nucleares S.A., S.M.E has developed a robotic welding system for the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor , by means of an industrial robot and control and welding equipment developed by this unit.
The system allows welding with pulsed current on both sides of a piece, alternating beads according to the needs of the process and with it optimum results are obtained in vertical ascending welding.
With this development , Ensa remains at the forefront of mechanised welding, satisfying the most demanding needs of today’s nuclear market.
The robotic welding system developed at the Center for Advanced Technology of Equipos Nucleares S.A., S.M.E concluded the work of the first Splice Plate set of the 1/1 model that represents the Vacum Vessel of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor , which is being developed in the workshops that the company has in Maliaño, as part of the order received from Iter Organization at the end of 2012.
The main objective in this phase of the project is to design and verify that the equipment and developments carried out are suitable for the work that will later be done in the installation phase in Cadarache. One of the key activities is welding, and for this reason the validation of the robotic welding system has begun, welding the first set of splice plates that act as joining pieces between the two sectors of the 1/1 model. The method used is based on an integrated robotic system conceived in the Automatic department of the CTA for the tracking of trajectories generated from 3D scans of the pieces.
In the case of ITER, the 3D model of the splice plates is used together with the data provided by the dimensional control of the robot positions. All this information is previously loaded into the system at the disposal of the welders at the operation station, which allows the joint to be selected by its reference as well as controlling and recording the operation parameters throughout the process.
Another important aspect of the system designed, has to do with the protection gas, since the particular characteristics of the sectors, the backup gas system can only provide protection in a very localized way, so a module was included in the control system that allows to coordinate the movement of the robot with that of the backup system and thus achieve that the area covered by the gas is always below the zone of incidence of the current.
Once the first batch of splice plates has been completed, a second batch will continue which, if necessary, will allow new functions to be added to the system and new improvements to be introduced that could be identified with the aim of continuing to improve the process.
Equipos Nucleares S.A., S.M.E successfully completed the loading of four spent fuel casks in Group I of the Ascó Nuclear Power Plant in Tarragona. The casks were duly positioned in the independent spent fuel storage installation of this plant.
Loading was carried out between February and May in collaboration with Enwesa S.A., S.M.E., a subsidiary of Ensa. The forecast for 2018 for the Ascó plant is to complete the load of 2 additional units in Group II foreseen for the third quarter of the year.
The main functionality of this system is the dry storage of the fuel in the plant. The Cantabrian Company has previously manufactured this type of containers for the same site and expects to participate in future loading campaigns for the Ascó y Vandellós Nuclear Association based on its experience and satisfactory results.