Product Details Supplier Info More products

A EUR1.4m (GBP1.3m) research and development project aims to develop a lightweight robot for the automated inspection of nozzle welds in nuclear reactors.

The project, which is backed by EC funding, brings together Phoenix Inspection Systems, Peak NDT and The Welding Institute (TWI) in the UK with partners in France, Spain, Bulgaria, Lithuania and Greece.

The partners aim to provide existing and new-build nuclear power plants, with a versatile inspection machine hoped to revolutionalise the pre-service and in-service inspection of plant components.

Nozzle sections in nuclear-reactor pressure vessels are classed as critical components, requiring thorough inspection to prove their integrity.

Early detection of cracks is essential but there is a need for new systems that can reduce the time and cost of inspections.

Nozzleinspect aims to design an autonomous robot system that is able to reduce inspection times, improve defect detectability and sizing and reduce the need for human intervention, which will in turn reduce the risk of radiation exposure by the workforce.

The project aims to develop a novel flexible phased-array probe to allow a full inspection of nozzle weld areas with the same probe and an advanced navigation system that follows the weld in the nozzle.

The use of one phased-array probe reduces the amount of manipulation required, which consequently reduces the size and cost of the robot and helps ensure faster setup and inspection times.

Phoenix is the lead SME on the project, while PeakNDT and Vermon of France are sponsoring the development of the ultrasonic system, software and probes.

KTU of Lithuania will be helping to develop the navigation system, while Cereteth of Greece will be developing the robotic systems and TWI will be responsible for the phased-array technology.

Hydraulic Elements and Systems of Bulgaria will be providing industrial nozzle-weld specimens, while Nexus will carry out field validation trials.

Phoenix Inspection Systems

View full profile