Redefining Nuclear Waste Management With Automation

Every day firms are using automation to redefine nuclear waste management. But how are they using these technologies? That’s exactly what we’re exploring today. Before we can jump into that, let’s take a look back at where it started.

A Brief History of Automated Nuclear Waste Management

For almost as long as humans have dealt with radioactive waste, we’ve been trying to find ways to keep our distance from it. The first known example of people using robots to remove nuclear waste dates back to 1979 at the Three Mile Island site. During this minor nuclear meltdown in the US, a Bechtel engineering team worked with William “Red” Whittaker, a robotics professor from CMU, to create a robot that could remove the nuclear waste.

It took many attempts over the course of four years, but they eventually assembled a robot that completed the job successfully. The ideas from this first endeavour were later used in much larger nuclear disasters, like Chernobyl and Fukushima, seeing many changes and improvements with each attempt.

How This Translates to Modern Nuclear Waste Management

The key thing to note is that the nuclear waste management process rarely focuses on disaster efforts. Most of the time, the goal is to remove radioactive waste from a facility in a way that avoids mishaps and human exposure. We need automation to remove humans from the equation. Automation also reduces the number of mishaps that occur because computer-based systems are less error prone than humans.

The Further Advancement of Nuclear Waste Management

Although it’s impressive how far nuclear waste management has come, there is always room for improvement. When an industry’s goal is to constantly innovate, people will eventually find new ways to utilize automation to redefine nuclear waste management.

This brings us to current times, when Eclipse Automation designs and builds revolutionary systems that safely remove waste from nuclear facilities. Thanks to technological advancements, we’ve come up with new ideas for waste handling and removal that involve the retrieval, sorting, and packaging of all kinds of radioactive waste. With these kinds of nuclear automation solutions, you’ll be able to ensure your nuclear facility safely removes waste from its premises for many years to come.