Faster tube inspections

30 October 2000

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.

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