Tampere University of Technology

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Development of Remote Handling Technologies Tolerant to Operation Ready Fusion Reactor Conditions

Research output: Book/ReportDoctoral thesisMonograph


Original languageEnglish
PublisherTampere University of Technology
Number of pages106
ISBN (Electronic)978-952-15-3106-4
ISBN (Print)978-952-15-3079-1
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jun 2013
Publication typeG4 Doctoral dissertation (monograph)

Publication series

NameTampere University of Technology. Publication
PublisherTampere University of Technology
ISSN (Print)1459-2045


The International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) will be the next step towards fusion power plants, featuring deuterium-tritium plasma to generate 500 MW of fusion power. Using tritium will result in the activation of the vacuum vessel materials, requiring robotic manipulators to carry out the maintenance of the machine. One of these robots must perform inspection tasks, such as carrying the ITER In-Vessel Viewing System (IVVS), and will need to be deployed in conditions as close as possible to the operating machine; the vacuum inside the vessel should be kept clean, the wall temperature and radiation level will be high, and the toroidal magnetic field should still be on. The robot should be able to place the probe within view of a good percentage of the plasma-facing wall covering the whole vacuum vessel. This study aims to provide technical solutions for every system of a robotic manipulator in this environment. The effects of the magnetic field on the different systems of a robot will be investigated, from the fundamentals of theory to practical experimentation, using a specially designed magnetic field generator. Solutions for actuation, sensing, logic system, and command that are tolerant of the magnetic field or actively use it to enhance the performance of the robotic manipulator are provided. A preliminary design of a robot using the technical solutions developed in this thesis as per the specifications of the IVVS is presented. The design is meant to demonstrate the feasibility of a robotic manipulator featuring multiple degrees of freedom within the constraints considered. Guidelines for geometry, actuation, sensing and logic systems design are provided that should allow the robotic manipulator to place its probe for it to view more than 99% of the first wall. Finally, a summary of the major contributions of the thesis is given in conclusion. The major effects of a magnetic field on robot components are listed with guidelines on how to cope with them in the design. This chapter also sums up the different technologies, their advantages, and their limitations.

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