Holtec’s HI-CUT Technology Revolutionizes Segmentation of Nuclear Reactors Undergoing Decommissioning

The innovative HI-CUT segmentation technology debuted at the Indian Point Unit 3 beginning the dismemberment of the reactor’s Upper Reactor Vessel Internals on November.  The HI-CUT device’s performance exceeded expectations, reaching more than double the projected severance rates and upset-free operations for the past seven weeks.  

HI-CUT has been developed in a two-year programme to improve the efficacy of dismantling radiation-hardened and embrittled reactor internals and pressure vessels at retiring nuclear units with minimum personnel dose, assured control of spread of contamination and multi-layered protection to ensure personnel safety.

The HI-CUT system has been tested on materials harder than severely irradiated reactor material under simulated conditions, with the test results informing the design.

 An operator training programme which included underwater testing of the system and a full-scale mockup of reactor vessel internals was completed before the system’s deployment, and was instrumental in ensuring its success, it added. Special attention was paid to the development of a solid rigging and handling plan to handle parts, weighing over 50 tonnes, under water.

According to the World Nuclear News