Making the Nuclear Power Plants Safer

How do we inspect nuclear fuel?

Tecnatom develops technology and renders services for the inspection and characterisation of both fresh and spent nuclear fuel. In order to do this, we have been working in close collaboration with the Spanish nuclear fuel manufacturer ENUSA since the 90s and together we have developed a family of sophisticated automatic nuclear fuel inspection and characterisation systems. These systems are aimed at providing information on the behaviour of fuel components at their different stages of burning, as part of a material manufacturer research and optimisation programme.

Among the other systems developed are inspection equipment for the measurement of oxide layers and the diameter of fuel cladding with micron precision, fuel component deformation measurement equipment for torsion, warping or tilting, detection and location systems for components with leaks and devices for the radiological characterisation of burnup fuel.

We have also developed automatic systems for the quality control of nuclear fuel during its manufacture stage. These systems permit the monitoring and control of a variety of critical fuel parameters such as enrichment, the composition of fuel pellets, rod enrichment areas, gadolinium content, spring position, rod surface defects, and others.

How do we add value to nuclear fuel?

The execution of nuclear fuel inspection and characterisation services is carried out collectively by Tecnatom technicians who are experts in Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) and robotic equipment operation, and ENUSA technicians, who analyse and interpret the results of the inspection.

Our perfect symbiosis between an expert inspection technology company and a fuel manufacturing company allows us to develop high added-value automatic systems which are able to determine the critical parameters of nuclear fuel. The collective capacity of both companies delivers the optimum combination for the optimising of inspection system designs so as to obtain maximum nuclear fuel services, ensuring their operation with the utmost guarantee of reliability and safety.

This cooperation between Tecnatom and ENUSA goes back almost 30 years and we have provided inspection services and supplied automatic equipment to numerous customers all over the world.

Nuclear fuel inspection equipment

The SICOM family of spent nuclear fuel inspection and characterisation equipment:

  • SICOM-COR: Fuel component corrosion measurement, the diameter of fuel rods and visual inspection.
  • SICOM-DIM: The measurement of multiple dimensional aspects of nuclear fuel.
  • SICOM-LIM: The cleaning of nuclear fuel rod crud.
  • SICOM-ROD: Corrosion and profilometer measurement and defect detection on nuclear fuel rods.
  • SICOM-LEN: : Length measurement of nuclear fuel rods.
  • SICOM-UT: Determining the integrity of nuclear fuel rods.
  • SICOM-GAMMA-FR: Gamma characterization and nuclear fuel rod neutrons.
  • SICOM-GAMMA-FA: Gamma characterisation of fuel components and the determination of rod internal pressure.
  • SICOM SIPPING IN-CAN: Determination of the nuclear fuel integrity stored in the fuel pool.
  • SICOM SIPPING ON-LINE: Determination of the nuclear fuel integrity at the moment of core discharge.

Quality control equipment for nuclear fuel production

  • TESCAN passive scanner: automatic scaling systems to determine multiple fresh fuel parameters (enrichment, enrichment areas, gadolinium areas, length of areas, length of springs, fuel pellet defects, metallic impurities, etc.)
  • Nuclear fuel surface defects: automatic system capable of detecting nuclear fuel rod surface defects.

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Tel. 916 598 600
Avda. de Montes de Oca, 1. 28703
San Sebastián de los Reyes (MADRID)

Digital technologies and monitoring

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