AREVA has developed a cutting-edge technology for nuclear reactor vessel inspections that optimizes both the safety and reliability of operations. The automated tool, known as Lower Girth Weld Inspection Tool (LGWIT), allows plant personnel to remotely perform inspections through narrow gaps of the reactor vessel internals.
The tool’s remote operation replaces the need for direct human intervention. This is both more efficient and contributes to significant cost savings for each inspection performed. The inspection of reactor vessel internals is essential to ensure the safe, long-term operation of nuclear power plants. This is also a key requirement in the licence renewal process.
AREVA designed this tool to meet the criteria of the Electric Power Research Institute’s (EPRI) Materials Reliability Program and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s NUREG 1766 regulation. The tool has already been used successfully to perform several inspections for U.S. utility customers.
“Building on AREVA’s expertise in nuclear reactor outages and maintenance, our teams have developed an inspection technology which can be used in all types of pressurized water reactors. By providing safer and more efficient inspections, this tool can support utilities around the world in optimising the long term reliability of their operations,” said Philippe Samama, AREVA’s Installed Base Business Division executive vice president.