Framatome U.S., a designer and supplier of nuclear steam supply systems and nuclear equipment headquartered in France, has deployed a new solution for ultrasonic testing baffle bolts found inside of reactor vessels.
The tool, known as the Falcon, creates a stable environment to analyze the integrity of baffle bolts, addressing existing challenges with fluid movement in a creator during these inspections, says Catherine Cornand, Senior Executive VP of the Installed Base Business Unit at Framatome. With Falcon, Framatome can inspect baffle bolts precisely, consistently, and quickly, saving operators valuable time during outages.
Baffle bolts, which hold reactor vessels together and are typically made of stainless steel, often pose various inspection challenges due to their differences in location and age, therefore affecting their size, and level of degradation.
With four encoded motors, the Falcon has the to move a radiation-tolerant camera and an ultrasonic transducer along a neutrally buoyant pole, which is clamped to the top of a baffle plate.
Image courtesy of Westinghouse