A remote welding machine for a DUPIC (Direct Use of spent PWR fuel In CANDU reactors) bundle fabrication was designed to establish the optimum welding processes in a hot cell environment. An initial investigation for hands-on fabrication outside the hot cell was performed in the consideration of the constraints of welding machine in the hot cell conditions. Gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW), laser beam welding (LBW), friction welding (FW), and resistance welding (RW) process were assessed as candidates for this application. A preliminary welding investigation to improve the RW process was also performed. The RW process was determined to be the most suitable process in a hot cell environment for joining an endplate to an endcap. An advantage of RW would be a qualified process for overlapped plates welding for which there is extensive production experience were available. A preliminary investigation for a hands-on fuel fabrication outside the hot cell was conducted in the consideration of the constraints caused by a welding in a hot cell. The optimum resistance welding parameters for the endplate welding process were obtained in terms of the current, electrode pressure and welding cycle. This paper presents an outline of the developed RW machine for a DUPIC bundle fabrication and reviews the conceptual design of a remote RW welder by using a master-slave manipulator. The design of RW machine by using the 3D modeling method was also designed. Furthermore the integrity of the welds by the resistance welding was confirmed by the results of the torque test, an examination of the microstructure and the fracture surfaces of the welds.

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