Product development of a device for installing backfill material

Challenge:

There was a need to develop a device for the spent nuclear fuel repository that would enable installing compressed clay blocks in the deposition tunnels deep underground safely and at the required speed. In addition to installation precision, quality control and safety, the design had to consider the repository’s location approx. 400 metres below ground, the environmental conditions and limited space in the tunnel as well as the possibility of changes, for example, in the blocks’ backfill patterns. 

Solution:

Enmac developed a processing method and a related device concept that takes into consideration the criteria affecting product development, i.e. the planned size of the backfill blocks, the speed of the filling process and the dimensions and structure of the tunnel. The device created as a result of product development is almost entirely electromechanical. In addition to the design, Enmac will supervise the manufacturing of the prototype and take part in the testing of the prototype.

Outcome:

A prototype of a mobile controlled and almost entirely electromechanical device. The device, which will be built on the basis of the prototype, will be introduced in the future when the spent nuclear fuel from nuclear power plants is placed inside the bedrock in final disposal canisters. 

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