A British company is enabling nuclear plant manufacturers to make more efficient, cost-efficient components, without compromising on safety -precisely what the nuclear industry requires to fuel its resurgence.
Bristol-based VEQTER’s Deep Hole Drilling (DHD) Technique refines component manufacture by determining the exact residual stress acting on a component throughout its entire thickness. In doing so, integrity may be verified and the need to rely on conservative standards now decades old is removed.
According to VEQTER's Dr Ed Kingston, using the DHD technique means components no longer have to be over-engineered and oversized, reducing the amount of raw material needed, therefore minimising its cost and weight.
The result is that less infrastructure is needed to support the component (typically reactor pipelines and particularly the welds connecting the pipes), leading to a significant overall reduction in plant construction costs.
Originally developed to test component structural integrity, the
While the technology is helping to assess and maintain the safe operation of the 63 reactors currently online or under construction in
South East Asia, particularly
Given the global scale of nuclear plant build and maintenance, there's a growing market that can benefit from VEQTER's DHD technology. By working with organisations such as JNES, alongside big names such as Airbus and Rolls Royce,
"They are beginning to appreciate that by working out what the actual stresses are and where they lie we also enable them to go through fewer processes to improve stress levels within the components," he says. "So for new plant, component designs can be more accurate and therefore the whole plant design less expensive. In existing plant our technology facilitates a reduction in the frequency and duration of downtime while verifying how long plant is safe to use."