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Technology Factsheet

Dounreay Shaft Crane

Category: Robotics > Dismantling and Retrieval > Bespoke System
Reference # : Model No :

A robotic crane and grabber, which will be lowered inside to collect waste to cope with a challenging environment.

Size:Very Large (>100kg/200lb, >120cm/48in)
TRL:Development (4-6)
TRL2:Development (4-6)
Tether: *
Waterproof: *
Payload: *
Reach: *
Manipulator: *




A robotic crane will be used to remove radioactive waste from a 65.4m (214.5ft) pit at the Dounreay nuclear complex in Caithness.

SCX have been commissioned to supply two 20-tonne cranes featuring automatically interchangeable grab units. One crane will remove solid and liquid waste from the plant’s 65 m shaft, while the other will first remove the ‘wet’ silo roof slabs and then both liquid and solid waste from the 9 m deep wet silo. Both cranes will feature independent recovery systems on all motions, capable of moving the cranes to the dedicated maintenance zones in the unlikely event of failure. Hoist recovery will be facilitated by the Motosuiveur system.

Operational Experience: SCX Special Projects has recently been awarded a £3.3m contract for the provision of two process cranes and two waste retrieval cranes to be used in the decommissioning of Dounreay – one of the largest and most complex nuclear decommissioning challenges in Europe. (Mar 2013).



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