CCO Automation

Catherine Mancuso - Savannah River National Laboratory
William Stafford - Savannah River National Laboratory
In the coming years, the Surplus Plutonium Disposition (SPD) Project will be receiving approximately 200,000 Criticality Control Overpacks (CCO) at the Savannah River Site (SRS). Without the implementation of industrial automation, the SPD project will require extensive manpower and space to handle the labor-intensive process of receiving, inspecting, and storing the CCOs. Industrial robotics and automated equipment are readily available for commercial use. Companies across the world have been using this equipment in repetitive material handling applications for years. By adding this equipment to a workspace, the operation personnel are safer, and materials can be handled more efficiently. Implementing this into the CCO receipt process will directly increase operator health and safety, while improving the efficiency of processing these large quantities. In August 2020, the Savannah River National Lab physically demonstrated the use of a robotic arm with automated tooling to fully inspect and receive a CCO.