An eddy current probe for the inspection of steam generator tubes that promises significant savings on inspection time and cost, consumables and radiation exposure dose has been qualified to Appendix H in the USA. It has been developed by R/D Tech of Canada in conjunction with Atomic Energy of Canada (AECL), Nuclear Engineering of Japan, EPRI and EDF.
In recent trials over 1,000 tubes, some with 6” bend radius U-bends, were inspected over their full length, at speeds of up to 20”/s. the trials were held in Canada, Belgium, the US and in Asia. At Doël 2 in Belgium, about 5,600 tubes were inspected over the first 43” of tube. R/D Tech says that this is five times faster than it would have been with rotating probes and that it only required two probes.