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The HACO DRILLFLEX CNC drilling and milling machine helps to build Chernobyl’s new sarcophagus

Chernobyl's reactor No. 4, which was partly destroyed during the disastrous explosion in 1986, is getting a new protective ' sarcophagus '. Officially it is called NSC or New Safe Confinement. The HACO DRILLFLEX CNC drilling and milling machine will be used to machine the structural steel elements of the new sarcophagus dome.

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Tsjernobyl
Radioactive contamination threat

The Chernobyl nuclear disaster is etched in the collective memory. And although the unprecedented catastrophe occurred almost 30 years ago, nuclear safety remains even today a much discussed topic. Not only because of the recent problems in Fukushima. Chernobyl as well remains a real radioactive contamination threat.

The new confinement
Urgent need of replacement

The current protective dome in concrete around the exploded reactor is in urgent need of replacement. A new dome or NSC (New Safe Confinement) is being built from structural steel elements. 

The dome is being assembled next to the reactor. Once the dome is finished, it will be shifted over the damaged reactor to prevent any future spread of radioactive material into the environment. It will also allow the engineers to dismantle the damaged nuclear reactor in the safest possible way and conditions with minimal human interaction.

For such an important and delicate work Novarka, the French consortium responsible for the construction, will only use the best materials and equipment.

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A unique machine, built in the UK

That’s why subcontractor AT "UTEM" from the Ukraine bought the DRILLFLEX type DF1100. This unique machine was built by HACO Kingsland (The Kingsland Engineering . Co. Ltd) in the UK. It will be the only machine used for the machining of the structural steel pillars used in the sarcophagus.

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The DRILLFLEX drills, mills and threads holes in metal profiles up to 1100 x 1100 mm with the greatest precision. The hole pattern can easily be programmed using a special user interface and CNC control. The unique part of the Drillflex is that next to drilling, milling is possible too. Multiple types of holes can be milled, what makes the Drillflex a unique price/quality machine.

But what makes this machine so special?

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1. The robust construction makes routing possible.
The DRILLFLEX has a solid, robust construction. This makes the machine ideal not only for drilling but also for milling. The machine was designed to mill without vibration.
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2. The CNC axis allows drilling with carbide drills and ordinary inexpensive threading tools.

Many of our competitors use hydraulic cylinders on their machines. This requires ordinary drills which result in a much slower process with much more ware and tare of the tools. Threading requires an expensive special unit.

None of this on the HACO KINGSLAND DRILLFLEX as we us a CNC axis . This allows the use of carbide drilling and milling tools. In addition, the DRILLFLEX allows also hard threading, which doesn’t require an additional expensive threading unit.

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3. We do not use cable chains.

On older machine designs you will always find a cable chain which contains and guides the moving cables. Because the cables are moving back and forth, there is greater wear, and breakdowns become much more likely.

For the DRILLFLEX machine we opted for an electric supply with copper sliding contacts. All electric boxes, hydraulic and pneumatic groups are built into the cabin. Therefore cables do not need to be dragged along anymore.

All this makes the DRILLFLEX a very reliable and fast machine for the most accurate machining. The highest precision is found in the HACO machinery.

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Would you like to know more about the DRILLFLEX? Do not hesitate to contact us!

 


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