Tecnatom and Enusa have completed the delivery of a new irradiated fuel inspection system for SNPI (Suzhou Nuclear Power Institute), which will operate at the Chinese nuclear power plants. The supply of this equipment is included within the framework of collaboration in which the two companies have been cooperating since the 1990’s, which has included the development of a complete suite of inspection equipment for the characterisation of PWR and BWR fuel, both as rods and complete fuel assemblies.
In this specific case, the equipment delivered is a SICOM-COR for the measurement of corrosion on peripheral fuel assembly rods, as well as their visual inspection. This equipment allows the layer of oxide to be determined to an accuracy of a few microns, using eddy current techniques. This is a lightweight inspection system that is easily installed on the fuel pool racks.
This project has included a new development that allows for the metrology of different fuel parameters by means of visual techniques to an accuracy of microns. This artificial vision-based development implies a technology leap that places the SICOM-COR equipment in the vanguard of technology.
All the SICOM family fuel inspection equipment has been designed and manufactured using the in-house technology of the two companies and has been validated by nuclear power plants around the world. The inspection and characterisation of irradiated fuel makes it possible to guarantee the safe operation of the fuel, optimise the economy of the cycle, locate and characterise faults in the fuel, determine the root cause of fuel faults and evaluate fuel behaviour models. Likewise, this equipment is ideal for the characterisation of the fuel with a view to subsequent management in ITS or CTS facilities.
Tecnatom and Enusa continue to consolidate their collaboration in the development of fresh and irradiated fuel inspection technologies, this having allowed them to render services and provide inspection equipment in Spain, Belgium, China, Brazil, Finland, Sweden and France.