The reliability of the vehicle is key for the health of operators,” says Phil Toomey, Technical Manager at Sellafield Ltd, “as they must wash down the Tigers during service checks and launch and recovery.”
Exposure to radiation for operators is carefully limited, and unplanned downtime will quickly exhaust their safe working period in any one year.
The nuclear-enabled version of the Tiger, called Tiger-N, gathers and sorts metre-long, 15kg radioactive fuel bars for removal to long-term storage. This work can involve removing buried radioactive material from 30cm of sludge.
For these difficult tasks, Sellafield’s fleet of Saab Seaeye Tiger-N electric robotic vehicles has a selection of tooling skids.
The skid options include an under-slung manipulator, a four-function forward-facing manipulator, a scoop, a clam shell grabber, a water-jet cleaner and a cutter skid.
“We wanted a robotic vehicle with proven performance,” says Toomey, “and we liked that the Tiger’s skid technology makes it easy to swap skids for different tasks.”
The Tiger has a 20-year record of working in challenging environments around the world, and along with its reliable and robust design, has the thruster power and ability to maneuver in tight spaces with agility and precision.