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Diamond Wire Cutter

The Diamond Wire Cutter was developed by Eadon Consulting in response to Sellafield Ltd’s LINC 19 challenge. Sellafield needed a method of remotely cutting and removing an underwater obstruction that was discovered in front of a bay entrance in a storage pond in the B30 building at Sellafield. The metal object was preventing ROV access required for spent fuel removal and other decommissioning activities.

Key facts

Location


Sellafield, England

Client


Sellafield Ltd

Eadon were selected by Sellafield after proposing an initial concept for a small-scale, long-reach diamond wire cutter as being the most appropriate method of remotely cutting the metal.

Our experience of developing innovative solutions for the nuclear sector meant that we were able to quickly develop a concept and adapt it for the nuclear sector. While the diamond wire cutting technique is typically used on large-scale demolition projects, we found the same technique also being used on a smaller-scale for precision cutting of virtually any material, in particular objects comprising multiple materials or composites. The low reaction force and low disturbance make Diamond Wire Cutting well suited to long reach tooling in areas with contaminated sludge which must not be disturbed.

We built a test rig to demonstrate the feasibility of diamond wire cutting, and used it to optimise the cutting parameters. A design for the overall operation was developed, including the cutting head, a means of deployment, and an ability for operators to replace the diamond wire without having to come into contact with any contaminated parts. A prototype cutting head was assembled and subject to further cutting trials, to further investigate the cutting parameters and test the various mechanical systems in the machine.

Successful factory acceptance tests were carried out and the tool received positive feedback from Sellafield. Further demonstration and training of the operators was carried out at the Jacobs facility at Beckermet, with deployment to site anticipated in the next few weeks.

 This project further demonstrate Eadon’s ability to develop innovative solutions for the nuclear sector and builds on our current R&D program which now covers topics as diverse as waste containers, access and deployment systems as well as size reduction capabilities.

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