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Title:
SYSTEMS, DEVICES AND METHODS OF CUTTING AND CLEANING FEEDER TUBES
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2023/060356
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Systems, devices, and methods of cutting and cleaning feeder tubes are described herein. The systems include a cutting station configured to cut the calandria tube to produce a cut calandria tube, a honing station configured to clean the cut calandria tube to produce a cut and cleaned calandria tube, at least one robotic arm coupled to a tool assembly for gripping the calandria tube and a computing unit in communication with the cutting station, the honing system and the robotic arm.

Inventors:
JOHANNESSON MARK (CA)
Application Number:
PCT/CA2022/051513
Publication Date:
April 20, 2023
Filing Date:
October 14, 2022
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
ATS AUTOMATION TOOLING SYSTEMS INC (CA)
International Classes:
G21C19/20; G21C19/32
Domestic Patent References:
WO2018232526A12018-12-27
Foreign References:
CA3113627A12021-06-17
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BERESKIN & PARR LLP/S.E.N.C.R.L.,S.R.L. (CA)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims

What is claimed is:

1 . A system for processing a calandria tube, the system comprising: a cutting station configured to cut the calandria tube to produce a cut calandria tube; a honing station configured to clean the cut calandria tube to produce a cut and cleaned calandria tube; at least one robotic arm coupled to a tool assembly for gripping the calandria tube; and a computing unit in communication with the cutting station, the honing system and the robotic arm, the computing unit being configured to: transmit a control signal to cause the robotic arm to collect the calandria tube from a first receptacle; determine a length of the calandria tube; provide the length of the calandria tube and the calandria tube to the cutting station; collect a cut calandria tube from the cutting station; determine a length of the cut calandria tube; provide the length of the cut calandria tube and the calandria tube to the honing station; and collect a cut and cleaned calandria tube from the cutting station.

2. The system of claim 1 , wherein the robotic arm includes one or more sensors configured to determine a length of the calandria tube.

3. The system of claim 2, wherein the computing unit is configured to, based on the length of the calandria tube, provide the cutting station with a position on the calandria tube to cut the calandria tube.

4. The system of any one of claims 1-3, wherein the robotic arm includes one or more sensors configured to determine a length of the cut calandria tube.

5. The system of claim 4, wherein the computing unit is configured to provide a processor of the honing station with the length of the cut calandria tube.

6. The system of any one of claims 1-5, wherein the robotic arm includes one or more sensors to measure a quantity of radiation in the cut and cleaned calandria tube.

7. The system of claim 6, wherein the computing unit is configured to, based on the quantity of radiation in the cut and cleaned calandria tube, determine with the cut and cleaned calandria tube is appropriate for post-processing.

8. The system of claim 7, wherein the computing unit is configured to determine with the cut and cleaned calandria tube is appropriate for post-processing by comparing the quantity of radiation in the cut and cleaned calandria tube to a threshold level of radiation that is acceptable for post-processing.

9. The system of any one of claims 1-8, wherein the cutting station includes a platform to support the calandria tube and a cutting element positioned above the platform.

10. The system of any one of claims 1-9, wherein the cutting station includes a cutting station computing unit configured to: receive the length of the calandria tube from the computing unit and; based on the length of the calandria tube, direct the cutting element on where to cut the calandria tube.

11. The system of any one of claims 1-10, wherein the honing station includes a clamping system configured to receive and retain a cut calandria tube, a honing mechanism configured to mechanically remove radioactive material from an inner surface of the cut calandria tube, and a vacuum system configured to draw away radioactive material from an inner cavity of the cut calandria tube.

Description:
SYSTEMS, DEVICES AND METHODS OF CUTTING AND CLEANING FEEDER TUBES

Cross-Reference to Related Patent Applications

[0001] This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 63/255,695, filed on October 14, 2021. The entire contents of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 63/255,695 are incorporated herein by reference for all purposes.

Technical Field

[0002] This disclosure relates generally to systems, devices and methods of cutting and cleaning tubes, and more specifically, to systems, devices and methods of cutting and cleaning feeder tubes of a calandria nuclear reactor.

Background

[0003] Known methods for processing feeder tubes, also referred to as calandria tubes, of a calandria of a nuclear reactor core involve deploying skilled workers to manually place feeder tubes on a honing station. The honing station applies a vacuum to one end of the tubes while a brush enters the opposing end to clean a radioactive material from the inside (e.g. magnetite). Feeder tubes are generally about six feet long and can contain and emit high amounts of radiation. Accordingly, the workers can be subjected to high levels of radiation when performing the calandria tube cutting and cleaning. Further, because of the complexity and scale of the nuclear reactors, workers may be required to be in close proximity to radioactive tubes for long periods of time.

[0004] There is a need for improved systems, devices and methods of cutting and cleaning feeder tubes of a calandria nuclear reactor.

Summary

[0005] In accordance with a broad aspect, a system for processing a calandria tube is described herein. The system includes a cutting station configured to cut the calandria tube to produce a cut calandria tube; a honing station configured to clean the cut calandria tube to produce a cut and cleaned calandria tube; at least one robotic arm coupled to a tool assembly for gripping the calandria tube; and a computing unit in communication with the cutting station, the honing system, and the robotic arm. The computing unit is configured to: transmit a control signal to cause the robotic arm to collect the calandria tube from a first receptacle; determine a length of the calandria tube; provide the length of the calandria tube and the calandria tube to the cutting station; collect a cut calandria tube from the cutting station; determine a length of the cut calandria tube; provide the length of the cut calandria tube and the calandria tube to the honing station; and collect a cut and cleaned calandria tube from the cutting station.

[0006] In at least one embodiment, the robotic arm includes one or more sensors configured to determine a length of the calandria tube.

[0007] In at least one embodiment, the computing unit is configured to, based on the length of the calandria tube, provide the cutting station with a position on the calandria tube to cut the calandria tube.

[0008] In at least one embodiment, the robotic arm includes one or more sensors configured to determine a length of the cut calandria tube.

[0009] In at least one embodiment, the computing unit is configured to provide a processor of the honing station with the length of the cut calandria tube.

[0010] In at least one embodiment, the robotic arm includes one or more sensors to measure a quantity of radiation in the cut and cleaned calandria tube.

[0011] In at least one embodiment, the computing unit is configured to, based on the quantity of radiation in the cut and cleaned calandria tube, determine with the cut and cleaned calandria tube is appropriate for post-processing.

[0012] In at least one embodiment, the computing unit is configured to determine with the cut and cleaned calandria tube is appropriate for post-processing by comparing the quantity of radiation in the cut and cleaned calandria tube to a threshold level of radiation that is acceptable for post-processing.

[0013] In at least one embodiment, the cutting station includes a platform to support the calandria tube and a cutting element positioned above the platform. [0014] In at least one embodiment, the cutting station includes a cutting station computing unit configured to: receive the length of the calandria tube from the computing unit and; based on the length of the calandria tube, direct the cutting element on where to cut the calandria tube.

[0015] In at least one embodiment, the honing station includes a clamping system configured to receive and retain a cut calandria tube, a honing mechanism configured to mechanically remove radioactive material from an inner surface of the cut calandria tube, and a vacuum system configured to draw away radioactive material from an inner cavity of the cut calandria tube.

[0016] In accordance with another broad aspect, a method of processing a calandria tube is described herein.

[0017] In accordance with another broad aspect, devices for processing a calandria tube are described herein.

[0018] These and other features and advantages of the present application will become apparent from the following detailed description taken together with the accompanying drawings. It should be understood, however, that the detailed description and the specific examples, while indicating preferred embodiments of the application, are given by way of illustration only, since various changes and modifications within the spirit and scope of the application will become apparent to those skilled in the art from this detailed description.

Brief Description of the Drawings

[0019] For a better understanding of the various embodiments described herein, and to show more clearly how these various embodiments may be carried into effect, reference will be made, by way of example, to the accompanying drawings which show at least one example embodiment, and which are now described. The drawings are not intended to limit the scope of the teachings described herein.

[0020] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a nuclear reactor core.

[0021] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a fuel channel assembly. [0022] FIG. 3 is a front view of a system for cutting and cleaning feeder tubes, according to at least one embodiment described herein.

[0023] FIG. 4 is a top view of the system of FIG. 3.

[0024] FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a honing system of the system of FIG. 3, according to at least one embodiment described herein.

[0025] Further aspects and features of the example embodiments described herein will appear from the following description taken together with the accompanying drawings.

Detailed Description

[0026] Various apparatuses, methods and compositions are described below to provide an example of at least one embodiment of the claimed subject matter. No embodiment described below limits any claimed subject matter and any claimed subject matter may cover apparatuses and methods that differ from those described below. The claimed subject matter is not limited to apparatuses, methods and compositions having all of the features of any one apparatus, method or composition described below or to features common to multiple or all of the apparatuses, methods or compositions described below. It is possible that an apparatus, method or composition described below is not an embodiment of any claimed subject matter. Any subject matter that is disclosed in an apparatus, method or composition described herein that is not claimed in this document may be the subject matter of another protective instrument, for example, a continuing patent application, and the applicant(s), inventor(s) and/or owner(s) do not intend to abandon, disclaim, or dedicate to the public any such invention by its disclosure in this document.

[0027] Furthermore, it will be appreciated that for simplicity and clarity of illustration, where considered appropriate, reference numerals may be repeated among the figures to indicate corresponding or analogous elements. In addition, numerous specific details are set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of the example embodiments described herein. However, it will be understood by those of ordinary skill in the art that the example embodiments described herein may be practiced without these specific details. In other instances, well-known methods, procedures, and objects have not been described in detail so as not to obscure the example embodiments described herein. Also, the description is not to be considered as limiting the scope of the example embodiments described herein.

[0028] It should be noted that terms of degree such as "substantially", "about" and "approximately" as used herein mean a reasonable amount of deviation of the modified term such that the end result is not significantly changed. These terms of degree should be construed as including a deviation of the modified term, such as 1 %, 2%, 5%, or 10%, for example, if this deviation does not negate the meaning of the term it modifies.

[0029] Furthermore, the recitation of any numerical ranges by endpoints herein includes all numbers and fractions subsumed within that range (e.g. 1 to 5 includes 1 , 1.5, 2, 2.75, 3, 3.90, 4, and 5). It is also to be understood that all numbers and fractions thereof are presumed to be modified by the term "about" which means a variation up to a certain amount of the number to which reference is being made, such as 1 %, 2%, 5%, or 10%, for example, if the end result is not significantly changed.

[0030] It should also be noted that, as used herein, the wording “and/or” is intended to represent an inclusive - or. That is, “X and/or Y” is intended to mean X, Y or X and Y, for example. As a further example, “X, Y, and/or Z” is intended to mean X or Y or Z or any combination thereof. Also, the expression of A, B and C means various combinations including A; B; C; A and B; A and C; B and C; or A, B and C.

[0031] The following description is not intended to limit or define any claimed or as yet unclaimed subject matter. Subject matter that may be claimed may reside in any combination or sub-combination of the elements or process steps disclosed in any part of this document including its claims and figures. Accordingly, it will be appreciated by a person skilled in the art that an apparatus, system or method disclosed in accordance with the teachings herein may embody any one or more of the features contained herein and that the features may be used in any particular combination or sub-combination that is physically feasible and realizable for its intended purpose. General Description of a Nuclear Reactor Core

[0032] Referring first to FIG. 1 , shown therein is a perspective view of a nuclear reactor core 100. In the example illustrated, the nuclear reactor core 100 is a CANDU- type reactor. As illustrated, the nuclear reactor core 100 may include a calandria 102 which is a generally cylindrical vessel that, when in use, contains a heavy-water moderator. The calandria 102 may include a shell 104 which extends longitudinally between a first tube sheet 106a and a second tube sheet 106b. In the example illustrated, the nuclear reactor core 100 also includes a first end shield 108a and a second end shield 108b. As shown, the first end shield 108a may be spaced longitudinally outward of the first tube sheet 106a at a first end 110a of the nuclear reactor core 100. As shown, the second end shield 108b may be spaced longitudinally outward of the second tube sheet 106b at a second end 110b of the nuclear reactor core 100.

[0033] Still referring to FIG. 1 , each of the first tube sheet 106a, the second tube sheet 106b, the first end shield 108a, and the second end shield 108b may include a plurality of lattice sites 112. Each lattice site of the plurality of lattice sites 112 is for supporting a fuel channel assembly 114 that extends from a lattice site 112a2 in the first end shield 108a, through an aligned lattice site 112a1 in the first tube sheet 106a, through an aligned lattice site 112b1 in the second tube sheet 106b, and to an aligned lattice site 112b2 in the second end shield 108b (see, for example, FIG. 2).

[0034] FIG. 2 illustrates an example of a fuel channel assembly 114. As shown, a fuel channel assembly 114 may include a calandria tube 116. The calandria tube 116 extends longitudinally between a first calandria tube end 118a and a second calandria tube end 118b. In the example illustrated, the first calandria tube end 118a is sealedly joined to the first tube sheet 106a and the second calandria tube end 118b is sealedly joined to the second tube sheet 106b. Specifically, in the example illustrated, the first calandria tube end 118a is sealedly joined to the first tube sheet 106a by a rolled joint and the second calandria tube end 118b is sealedly joined to the second tube sheet 106b by a rolled joint. When in use, the calandria tube 116 forms a barrier between the heavy water moderator within the calandria 102 and a pressure tube 120 and fuel bundles 122 that may be held within the calandria tube 116. [0035] In the example illustrated, the fuel channel assembly 114 also includes plurality of lattice tubes 124. As shown in FIG. 1 , a first subset of the plurality of lattice tubes 124 may extend between the first tube sheet 106a and the first end shield 108a. A second subset of the plurality of lattice tubes 124 may extend between the second tube sheet 106b and the second end shield 108b (see, for example, FIG. 2). In the example illustrated, each lattice tube of the plurality of lattice tubes 124 is welded to one of the first tube sheet 106a and the second tube sheet 106b at a first lattice tube end 126a and is welded to one of the first end shield 108a and the second end shield 108b at a second lattice tube end 126b.

[0036] Due to the extreme conditions within the calandria 102 during operation of the nuclear reactor core 100, the calandria tubes 116 may degrade over time. Accordingly, to avoid failure of the calandria tubes 116 within the calandria 102, the calandria tubes 116 may be replaced after a predetermined time. For example, the calandria tubes 116 may be replaced during a complete refurbishment of the nuclear reactor core 100. Alternatively, a calandria tube 116 may be replaced following the detection of a fault within that calandria tube 116.

[0037] The following description outlines systems, devices and methods for processing calandria tubes 116 after they have been removed from a nuclear reactor core 100. Although the discussion that follows is in respect of a nuclear reactor core refurbishment, it is to be understood that the systems and methods described below may be implemented when operating a nuclear reactor core 100.

[0038] Further, although the discussion that follows is in respect of a CANDll type nuclear reactor, it is to be understood that the systems and methods described below may be implemented on other types of nuclear reactors.

General Description of Calandria Tube Cutting and Cleaning

[0039] Turning now to the figures, FIG. 3, illustrated therein is a cell 300 for processing calandria tubes.

[0040] Cell 300 includes a cutting station 302 for cutting the calandria tubes 116 and a honing station 304 for cleaning the calandria tubes 116. For example, the honing station 304 may be configured to clean an inner surface of the calandria tubes 116 to remove substantially all the radioactive material therein.

[0041] Cell 300 also includes one or more computing units 307 communicatively coupled to the cutting station 302, the honing station 304 and/or the robotic arm 306. Computing unit 307 is configured to provide information to and receive information from each of the cutting station 302, the honing station 304 and/or the robotic arm 306. Computing unit 307 generally includes a display for showing a user interface to a user.

[0042] Cell 300 also includes a first robotic arm 306 configured to retrieve the calandria tubes 116 from a carrier 308, such as but not limited to a pallet or a bin. In the embodiments shown in the figures, first robotic arm 306 is configured to retrieve the calandria tubes 116 from a carrier 308 and place the calandria tubes 116 on the cutting station 302. First robotic arm 306 is also configured to remove the cut calandria tubes 316 from the cutting station 302 and place the cut calandria tubes 316 on the honing station 304. First robotic arm 306 is also configured to remove the cut and cleaned calandria tubes 318 from the honing station 304 and place the cut and cleaned calandria tubes 318 into a second vessel 320. Second vessel 320 may include, for example a pallet or a bin. In at least one embodiment, the first robotic arm 306 may be configured to sort the cut and cleaned calandria tubes 318 based on an amount of radioactive material present in the cut and cleaned calandria tubes 318 after being cleaned. For example, the first robotic arm 306 may be configured to sort the cut and cleaned calandria tubes 318 into a pass bin and fail bin. Sorting of the cut and cleaned calandria tubes 318 can be based on a preselected threshold level of radioactive material that may be present within the cut and cleaned calandria tubes 318 after cleaning.

[0043] In at least one embodiment, cell 300 may include more than one robotic arm to conduct the task outlined above when referring to the first robotic arm 306. For example, cell 300 may include a first robotic arm 306 configured to configured to retrieve the calandria tubes 116 from a carrier 308, place the calandria tubes 116 on the cutting station 302 and retrieve cut calandria tubes 316 from the cutting station. A second robotic arm (not shown) may then be configured to retrieve the cut calandria tubes 316, place the cut calandria tubes 316 on the honing station 304, measure the radiation of the cut and cleaned calandria tubes 318, determine where to place the cut and cleaned calandria tubes 318 and place the cut and cleaned calandria tubes 318 in a receptacle.

[0044] Generally, in the embodiments described herein, the calandria tubes 116 removed from the nuclear reactor core have a length of about six (6) feet and a diameter in a range of about two to five inches. Calandria tubes 116 are typically straight, however, may be curved and include one or more bends.

Calandria Tube Cutting Station

[0045] FIG. 4 shows a top down view of cell 300 including a cutting station 302, a honing station 304 and a robotic arm 306.

[0046] Generally, robotic arm 306 is configured to select a calandria tube 116 from a plurality of calandria tubes and place the calandria tube 116 on a platform of the cutting station 302 to be cut.

[0047] Calandria tubes 116 may be straight or may be curved. In at least one embodiment, calandria tubes 116 may have a curve.

[0048] Calandria tubes 116 are typically about six feet longer when they are received at cell 300. Cutting station 302 is typically configured to cut the calandria tubes 116 into cut calandria tubes that are about two feet long. In at least one embodiment, the calandria tubes 116 are processed prior to being cleaned, for example, to reduce a size of the honing station 304 required for cleaning the calandria tubes. Cut calandria tubes 316 being about two feet long may be easier to clean than longer calandria tubes, for example because they require a shorter brush for cleaning.

[0049] In at least one embodiment, robot(s) 306 are configured to place the calandria tubes 116 on a platform 322 for cutting by cutting station 302. Cutting station 302 generally includes a cutting mechanism 324 that includes a cutting element (not shown for cutting the calandria tubes 116.

[0050] In at least one embodiment, cutting mechanism 324 is configured to determine a length of the calandria tubes 116 to be cut (e.g., placed on platform 322) and, based on the determined length, determine where to cut the calandria tubes 116 to provide cut calandria tubes 316 having a length of about two feet.

[0051] Generally, cutting element is positioned above platform 322 and is actuated vertically (e.g., by a motor (not shown)) to cut each of the calandria tubes 116. The cutting element may include any cutting element known in the art that is suitable for cutting steel calandria tubes 116. For example, the cutting element may be a 14 inch cold cut saw.

[0052] Once the cutting mechanism 324 has cut the calandria tubes 116 to produce the calandria tubes 316, robot(s) 306 removes the cut calandria tubes 316 and, optionally, provides the cut calandria tubes 316 to honing station 304 for cleaning.

Calandria Tube Honing Station

[0053] FIG. 5 shows a perspective view of a honing station 304 of the cell 300, according to at least one embodiment.

[0054] Honing station 304 generally includes a clamping system 340 configured to receive and retain a cut calandria tube 316 in the honing station 304, a honing mechanism 342 configured to mechanically remove radioactive material from an inside (e.g. an inner surface) of the cut calandria tube 316 and a vacuum system 344 configured to draw away radioactive material, such as but not limited to magnetite, from the inner surface of the cut calandria tube 316 after the honing mechanism 342 has been activated.

[0055] Clamping system 340 typically includes a lower clamp 348 and an upper clamp 349. Lower clamp 348 may be configured to receive a first end of a cut calandria tube and retain the first end adjacent to at least a portion of the vacuum system 344. For example, lower clamp 348 may be configured to have a diameter similar to the diameter of cut calandria tube 316 to engage and/or retain the first end of the cut calandria tube 316 by friction. Upper clamp 349 may include a first portion 350 configured to engage and/or retain a second end of the cut calandria tube 316 by friction and a second portion 351 configured to receive a brush 352 of the honing mechanism 342 and direct the brush 352 into an inner cavity of the cut calandria tube 316. In at least one embodiment, cut calandria tube 316 generally have a length of about two feet. Accordingly, in at least one embodiment, lower clamp 348 and upper clamp 349 are generally spaced apart by about two feet. In at least one embodiment, upper clamp 349 may be coupled to a vertical stroke servomotor 353 that is configured to move the upper clamp 349 vertically relative to the cut calandria tube 316 to provide for cut calandria tubes 316 of various lengths. In at least one embodiment, honing station 304 may include one or more processors configured to determine a length of cut calandria tube 316 and control a position of upper clamp 349 via vertical stroke servomotor 353 based on the determined length of cut calandria tube 316. In at least one embodiment, robot(s) 306 may be configured to determine a length of cut calandria tube 316 and communicate the length of cut calandria tube 316 to one or more processors of honing station 304, the one or more processors of honing station 304 being configured to position of upper clamp 349 via vertical stroke servomotor 353 based on the input from the robot(s) 306.

[0056] Honing mechanism 342 generally includes brush 352 configured to mechanically agitate an inner surface of the cut calandria tube 316 to remove radioactive material therefrom, a spindle 356 coupled to the brush 352 and configured to carry the brush 352 vertically within the cut calandria tube 316, and a motor 358 configured to move the spindle 356 vertically relative to the cut calandria tube 316. In at least one embodiment, the motor 358 may be configured to receive a length of the cut calandria tube 316 from one or more of the robot(s) 306 and/or processor of the honing station 304 and may control a travel (i.e., a vertical distance between an initial position outside of the cut calandria tube 316 and a final position of the brush 352 adjacent to a second (e.g. lower) end of cut calandria tube 316. In at least one embodiment, motor 358 may ensure that brush 352 engage the entire inner surface of cut calandria tube 316.

[0057] In at least one embodiment, brush 352 may be referred to as a grinder. Brush 352 ay be a wire brush and comprise one or more metal balls, for example on a lower end thereof. [0058] In at least one embodiment, brush 352 travels vertically within the cut calandria tube 316 at a high speed and strokes up and down over the entire length of the cut calandria tubes 316.

[0059] Brush 352 is configured to have a diameter about equal to a diameter of the cut calandria tube 316. In at least one embodiment, brush 352 may be replaced to provide for cleaning cut calandria tubes 316 having varying diameters.

[0060] Vacuum station 344 typically comprises a collection tube 360 and a vacuum generating device (not shown) configured to generate a vacuum to draw radioactive material removed from the inner surface of the cut calandria tubes 316.

[0061] In at least one embodiment, vacuum system 344 may also include one or more shielded filters (e.g., HEPA filter) inside a receptable (each of which is not shown), such as but not limited to a metal box, to receive the radioactive material from the cut calandria tube 316. The vacuum generating device id configured to pull the radioactive material (e.g., magnetite) through the filter and drop the radioactive material into the receptable, which may include one or more shielded flasks.

[0062] Once the cut calandria tubes 316 have been cleaned and the cut and cleaned calandria tubes 318 have been produced, robot(s) 306 removes the cut and cleaned calandria tubes 318 and, optionally, provides the cut and cleaned calandria tubes 318 to a receptacle 320 for shipping.

General Description of a Robotic Arm

[0063] In accordance with one aspect of this disclosure, which may be used by itself or in combination with any other aspect of this disclosure, the cell 300 may include one or more robotic arm 306. The robotic arm(s) 306 may be operable to manipulate one or more calandria tubes 116 within the cell 300. Any robotic arm 306 known in the art may be used to manipulate calandria tubes 116 within the cell 300, including but not limited to manipulating the calandria tubes 116 before cutting, after cutting, before cleaning and after cleaning. [0064] One or more processors may be operable to control the robot(s) 306. In at least one embodiment, the robotic arm(s) 306 of cell 300 may be a six-axis robot. In at least one embodiment, the robotic arm(s) 306 of cell 300 may include haptic feedback.

[0065] In at least one embodiment, robot(s) 306 may include one or more haptic manipulators.

[0066] In at least one embodiment, robotic arm(s) 306 may include a first arm having a gripper to, for example, grip one or more calandria tubes 116.

[0067] at least one embodiment, robotic arm(s) 306 may include a first robotic arm 306 having a first arm having a gripper to, for example, grip one or more calandria tubes 116 and a second robotic arm 306 having a first arm and having a two grippers to, for example, grip one or more calandria tubes 116.

[0068] In the example illustrated, the robotic arm 306 includes a base 370, a first arm 372 extending between a first arm first end 372a and a first arm second end 372b. As shown, the first arm first end 372a may be mounted to the base 370.

[0069] As described above, robotic arm 306 may include a second arm extending between a second arm first end and a second arm second end. The second arm first end may be mounted to the base as well.

[0070] In some examples, the robotic arm 306 may includes one or more sensors to measure a quantity of radiation in the cut and cleaned calandria tube.

[0071] Robotic arm 306 may include a first motor for controlling the position of the first arm 372 relative to the base 370 and, optionally, may include a second motor for controlling the position of the second arm relative to the base.

[0072] In at least one embodiment, robotic arm(s) 306 contain sensors that determine a length of the calandria tube 116 and provide the length of the calandria tube 116 to the computing unit.

[0073] While the applicant's teachings described herein are in conjunction with various embodiments for illustrative purposes, it is not intended that the applicant's teachings be limited to such embodiments as the embodiments described herein are intended to be examples. On the contrary, the applicant's teachings described and illustrated herein encompass various alternatives, modifications, and equivalents, without departing from the embodiments described herein, the general scope of which is defined in the appended claims.