UKEA boom boon for DML

The UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) has awarded nuclear submarine maintenance company DML a contract to design, build, and commission a remote manipulator for the civil nuclear industry.

The articulating arm, or boom, is destined the JET (Joint European Torus) facility in Oxfordshire, the world’s largest nuclear fusion facility. Designed for remote operation within the torus vessel, the boom will be used to assist installation and maintenance operations.

The nine metre, 3,000kg boom will interface with end-effectors, which provide a method of supplying replacement tiles and other components to the existing Mascot servo-manipulator. The new boom will be operated in conjunction with the existing one, to increase productivity and allow the maintenance tasks to be performed within a shorter outage period.

The boom will feature five yaw joints along its length, giving each joint a lateral movement of +/- 120 degrees. Once interfaced with the client’s control system, it will offer a high degree of articulation and precise manoeuvrability. Weight and rigidity have been optimised to reduce deflection under load. DML Group will also provide ancillary equipment to aid assembly and commissioning of the systems at the site.