This latest robotic arm scanner is manufactured for the automatic inspection of nozzle welds in applications such as nuclear reactors. The device has completed demonstration trials after two years in development, while the aim is to provide nuclear power plant operators with a versatile inspection machine that can revolutionize the pre-service and in-service inspections. Note that the nozzle sections in the nuclear reactor pressure vessels are classed as critical components, requiring regular inspection and the verification of their integrity.
The ability to detect cracks early and easily is an essential requirement for these products, while the inspection costs are high, on the other hand. The plant shutdown costs operators estimate a cost of around $800,000 in a day, with a typical outage lasting about 20 days to complete. These robotic arms can be set up in high radiation areas where test engineers could easily receive deadly doses of radiation in the time it takes to set up conventional scanning systems.