In 2018, the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of TUKE signed a contract with VUJE a.s. for the development, production and delivery of a complex of equipment for the fragmentation of steam generators of the decommissioned V1 nuclear power plant in Jaslovské Bohunice. Under the leadership of the Prototype and Innovation Centre of SJF TUKE, more than 20 researchers from several fields were involved in the solution of this large-scale project. The steam generators, there are 12 of them, were more than capable opponents. Each one is 160 tonnes, with an outer steel casing 140 mm thick and 5,500 stainless steel tubes inside. All this had to be cut into pieces stowable in standard 800x1200mm drums and fence pallets.
The result of the development was a unique four-element device with patent protection. The fragmentation complex consists of five workstations – a TM200 process manipulator with interchangeable cutting heads, a circular support frame with two cutting modules, a workstation for cutting manifolds with a band saw, a burning workstation and a plant for secondary pipe cutting. In addition, the final customer, JAVYS, stressed the requirement for maximum automation of the equipment in order to limit the impact of radioactive radiation on the operators. This resulted in unique plants with world-class technical and ecological parameters.
As of December 2021, 8 steam generators have been refragmented and a ninth will be on site in January.