Development of an improved, automated NDE facility for LWR fuel rod testing
For some years a remote in-pool NDE facility has been in use at the HFR in Petten, for the examination of Light Water Reactor fuel rods prior to and after irradiation testing. This paper describes an improved second generation facility. The drive system has been re-designed utilising a 2-axis stepping motor concept incorporating a programmable drive interface, thus allowing near infinite flexibility in scan definition. Software has been developed to allow the test programme to be specified from menu selections on a PC before being down loaded to the interface. This allows the performance of tests by relatively inexperienced operators. During testing the drive interface is continuously interrogated to determine its status. Error conditions can then be utilised to terminate the programmed scan and return the system to manual control. To facilitate the periodic replacement of eddy current, LVDT and capacitive proximity probes, a new sensor housing system or cassette system has been developed, offering a significant reduction in the exposure of personnel to radiation. Data from these sensors are recorded using a NEFF data logger system, capable of operating at speeds in excess of 100Hz. This system utilises a Ping-Pong buffer mode for writing data to file, so that the number of scans in a single test is only limited by the capacity of the mass storage device. With no limitation on the scan resolution, closer examination of the data can be performed during a later software analysis phase. This software analysis of the data also allows for a normalisation of the fuel rod data against the calibration pin scan, so eliminating test to test variability associated with system hardware calibrations prior to testing.
Bibliographic Reference: Paper presented: 10th International Conference on NDE in the Nuclear and PV Industries, Glasgow (GB), June 11-14, 1990
Availability: Available from (1) as Paper EN 35273 ORA
Record Number: 199011020 / Last updated on: 1994-12-01
Original language: en
Available languages: en