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Ensa participated in the Meeting with the Talent hosted by the ETS of Industrial Engineers and Telecommunication of the UC

Maliaño, March 20th 2019.- Equipos Nucleares S.A., S.M.E participated in the third edition of the Meeting with the Talent hosted by the ETS of Industrial Engineers and Telecommunication of the Cantabrian University .

The aim of this event was brought the student near to the companies, to put them in touch with the labor market. The most important companies in the region participated in it. Ensa was one of them together with its subsidiary, Enwesa. There, the student have the chance to know their products, services and activity and also to provide them the delivery of their resume to possible work practices.

For the state company established at Maliaño this meetings are very productive because improve the approach of companies with the talent of the students and offer the opportunity to find different profiles that fit what it needs.

Ensa finished successfully the test developed with the mockup of its ENUN 32P cask by the German Institute B.A.M

Maliaño, February 7th 2019. – Equipos Nucleares S.A., S.M.E has finished successfully all the activities in the 1/3 mockup of its ENUN 32P cask at the facilities of the German Institute B.A.M with the American laboratories of SANDIA and PNNL.

Two drop tests were performed from 30 cm height, in horizontal position with different orientations of its basket, on non-deformable surface that show the postulated scenarios  according to normal conditions of transport, at the regulation transport of radioactive material.

The cask was instrumented with 51 accelerometers located in the body of the cask, in the basket, at 11 of the fuel elements and also at the contact surface in the floor. SANDIA laboratories are in charge of the post-processing of the results, and PNNL of the modelling of the system through two elements finite codes.

The project is part of a series of tests and simulations that the state company located in Maliaño, SANDIA and PNNL have been carrying out for many years, to study in detail the behavior of spent fuel assemblies during postulated mechanical processes in the transport regulation of radioactive material for standard conditions and hypothetical accident conditions.

Ensa’s new success in ITER robot welding

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.

Ensa develops a new submerged arc welding system

Maliaño, October 17, 2018 – The Automatic unit belonging to the Advanced Technology Centre of Equipos Nucleares S.A., S.M.E , in collaboration with the Welding Development unit and the Production Welding Unit, has designed a new submerged arc welding system that is being used in the union of parts that make up the Lower-Port of the PS4 of ITER .

This new advance allows welding inside the component whose complex geometry makes the joining process difficult, thus achieving significant improvements in the quality of the welds in compliance with the standards required by ITER.

Ensa participated in the Nuclear South West Conference in Bristol

Maliaño, October 8, 2018 – Equipos Nucleares S.A., S.M.E participated in the Annual South West Nuclear Conference held in Bristol where the state of the construction works of the Hinkley Point C power plant was explained and a description of the nuclear supply chain in the United Kingdom was given, as well as several platforms and organizations and success stories of companies that are collaborating in the Hinkley Point project.

For the Cantabrian company, attending this event was a “great opportunity to establish contacts with potential partners and obtain more information about possible business opportunities in the British market”.

Ensa, within a group of technologists, winner of the “Secretary’s Honor Awards – Achievement Award”

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 robotic welding system developed at Ensa completes the work on the first Splice Plates set of the Vacuum Vessel model for ITER

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.

Ensa successfully loads 4 casks in the ATI of the Ascó NPP

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.

Water tanks to quench ITER’s thirst

Four more water detritiation tanks have been delivered to ITER as part of its fuel cycle system. The components were the result of a contract signed between F4E and Equipos Nucleares S.A., S.M.E to design, manufacture and deliver them to Cadarche. The works for their manufacture lasted approximately two years.

Two tanks known as “storage tanks”, with capacity of 7 m3, will be used to store water. Two additional tanks known as “feed tanks”, with capacity of 12 m3, will be used to feed the fuel cycle system with tritiated water. The four tanks will be installed next to the six water detritiation tanks, also manufactured by Ensa in 2015, being the first components in Europe delivered to ITER. The largest fusion device will have ten of these tanks in total to meet the needs of its fuel cycle.

Why do we need a water detritiation system at the ITER Tritium plant? This system is needed to recover the fuel to use it again in order to trigger a new fusion reaction. It works as follows: first, the two isotopes of hydrogen are supplied to the machine through the Tritium plant; second, when the two isotopes reach the core of the machine, they are heated to extremely high temperatures to fuse and release energy; finally, the remaining fuel from the fusion reaction, along with other gases, is pumped back to the ITER Tritium plant to recover the tritium and use it in a future reaction.

For Sofia Corino, Special Projects Manager for Ensa in the Business Development Division: “Ensa, in cooperation with its subsidiary, ENWESA, has been responsible for the design and manufacture of the four additional water detritiation tanks that will form part of ITER’s fuel cycle system. Ensa’s experience and commitment to innovation have been decisive in consolidating it as one of the leading European component manufacturers for the largest fusion energy project”.

F4E highlights Ensa as a pillar in the scheme of companies for the manufacture of Vacuum Vessel

Ensa has participated in a video made by Fusion for Energy , the European Union organization set up to manage Europe’s contribution to the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor , which shows the capabilities and contribution of the different European companies currently in different fields in of the design and manufacture of the largest international project for the development of fusion energy.

As the video explains, Ensa’s activity is mainly focused on two work packages: the manufacture of segments for the vacuum vessel sectors and the development of technology for the assembly, as well as the final welding of the reactor sectors in on site.

The sector segments that Ensa is manufacturing for the first order are called PS1 and PS4. The Cantabrian company is responsible for developing the technology, manufacturing, welding and supply of the components for sectors 3, 2 and 9 of the vacuum vessel.

For work related to PS1, there is an external company for electron beam welding of some of the sub-assemblies in Inner Shells such as T-Ribs, Intermodular Keys and Flexible Housings to Inner Shells; key and very precise welds. However, in the PS4 the Cantabrian Company is responsible for the entire cycle of preparation of work related to engineering, technology development, manufacture of parts and delivery.

For the second order, which Ensa has been awarded by the French agency IO , it has produced three 1:1 scale models on which all the processes developed by its engineering during the last 4 years are being validated, including robotic welding and non-destructive tests that will be performed when welding the sectors and ports to build the complete vacuum chamber.

The ITER project is a great opportunity for the nuclear industry. In fact, it is a “first of a kind” project, which means it has its own challenges. That is why Ensa has had to develop its own processes and robotic solutions to be able to face these challenges, among which there are very strict dimensional requirements, very demanding quality standards, the segregation of hardware and materials and special sequences that it has to think about, develop and implement to make sure that they adjust to the high levels that they have to have when they are carried out on the hardware and components.

But in order to be able to face all these challenges, Ensa has its Advanced Technology Center where all the necessary technology is developed, ranging from the hardware, software and methodology to have the precise technique for its successful implementation first in its Maliaño facilities and then in Cadarache when its final assembly is carried out.