We celebrate the successful deployment of our portable robotic welder, named HI-BRIAN, designed to drastically reduce the dose to the loading crew during multi-purpose canister (MPC) shell-to-lid welding evolutions. To date, three of Holtec’s MPC-89s have been welded using the HI-BRIAN welder at a client site.

HI-BRIAN in action

A major benefit of HI-BRIAN includes hardening the closure weld against vulnerabilities such as stress corrosion cracking, by precisely controlling critical parameters like heat input and travel speed and providing flexibility to deal with groove geometry variations. HI-BRIAN makes machine-precision repeatable welds of high integrity while greatly reducing the radiation dose sustained by the loading crew. Holtec’s Director of International Site Services, Mike Williams, led the robot deployment at the client site. 

HI-BRIAN is the first industrial robot to emerge from our robotics program, which was launched in 2019 to develop special-purpose robots that will minimize human factors from high risk tasks in our manufacturing and site services undertakings. This program is especially important to our dry storage and decommissioning projects where minimizing radiation dose, reducing heavy load handling operations, safety of the workers, and protection of public health and safety and the environment are our primary objectives. The innovative features of the novel portable robot are subject to patent protection (USPTO #62887984).