Watch video: Rough cleaning of Hot Cells in progress

After years of planning and preparatory work, the highly radioactively contaminated Hot Cells are now being cleaned.

H The Hot Cell plant consists of six connected concrete cells, which from 1964 to 1989 were used to handle radioactive materials. Due to the high level of radiation, it is currently not possible to enter the cells for long periods of time, so the initial purification of radioactivity occurs by remotely operated sandblasting.

The work of the cells is carried out through a series of holes in the 1.7 meter thick concrete walls. As the gaps become smaller, the closer to the cell's interior you will get, it has not been possible to use the existing robotic arms on the market. Instead, the DD 's employees even developed the primary parts of the rough cleaning equipment.

One mechanical arm handles the sand blasting with steel particles and then a few laser beams to aim for. Another arm carries the camera, which the people outside the cell orient themselves to. In the ceiling, a so-called light lance casts both lighting and an extra eye at work. A third arm is used for the subsequent vacuuming of used steel particles and the flakes of contaminated paint from the cell walls and floor. A custom-built ventilation system ensures that a constant pressure is created in the cells, while a separate system of pipes, hoses and a large cyclone funnel leads the vacuum cleaner's flow of steel particles and paint into drums.

All equipment and work processes, before it went loose in earnest, have been thoroughly tested in a so-called mock-up cell, a 1:1 copy of the actual cells.

Note: The video is without sound.