Some commercial nuclear power plants have been permanently shut down to date and decommissioned using dismantling methods. Other operating plants have decided to undergo an upgrade process that includes replacement of reactor internals. In both cases, there is a need to perform a segmentation of the reactor vessel internals with proven methods for long term waste disposal. Westinghouse has developed several concepts to dismantle reactor internals based on safe and reliable techniques, including plasma arc cutting (PAC), abrasive waterjet cutting (AWJC), metal disintegration machining (MDM), or mechanical cutting. Mechanical cutting has been used by Westinghouse since 1999 for both Pressurized Water Reactors (PWR’s) and Boiling Water Reactors (BWR’s) and its process has been continuously improved over the years. The complexity of the work requires well designed and reliable tools. Different band saws, disc saws, tube cutters and shearing tools have been developed to cut the reactor internals. All of those equipments are hydraulically driven which is very suitable for submerged applications. Westinghouse experience in mechanical cutting has demonstrated that it is an excellent technique for segmentation of internals. In summary, the purpose of this paper will be to provide an overview of the Westinghouse mechanical segmentation process, based on actual experience from the work that has been completed to date.

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