Failure Mode Analysis for a Hazardous Waste Clean-up Manipulator
Walker, Ian D.
Cavallaro, Joseph R.
This paper describes the application of Fault Tree Analysis to the design phase of a robot manipulator for hazardous waste retrieval. The robot is to be deployed in single-shell under-ground storage tanks at the US Department of Energy (DOE) site in Hanford, Washington. These tanks contain a variety of highly radioactive waste types, necessitating extremely safe and reliable manipulator operation. Based on preliminary design drawings of this long-reach manipulator, fault trees were constructed for several critical failure scenarios. Analysis of the trees revealed a number of ways to improve the safety and reliability of the manipulator design. This paper presents a summary of the fault tree analysis, with a discussion of the applicability of qualitative and quantitative fault tree methods to hazardous waste robotics.