Laser Scanning for Safe Operation
If the pipes for transporting water for operation of reactor vessels at nuclear power plants are not properly monitored and understood before repairs and retrofits, the plants will not be operating safely. Like in all industries, pipe corrosion carries significant risks. Inspections are essential for ensuring safe repair and retrofit operations. Additionally, with spent nuclear fuel rods submerged in pools, underwater laser scanning offers an opportunity to fully model and understand their status.
Nuclear Pipe Inspection
Make Informed Decisions
- Often it is necessary to accurately document ovality and understand build geometry and bend radiuses of pipes.
- The ULS-100 underwater laser scanner can be inserted into a pipe as part of an overall solution for completing detailed inspections.
Ensure Safe Operation
- With underwater laser scanning, highly detailed 3D point cloud models of nuclear power plant pipes can be easily generated.
- These 3D models provide a comprehensive understanding of pipe condition and enable repair plans to be effectively developed and implemented.
- If infrastructure at nuclear power plants is not properly monitored and repaired when required, safe operation will no longer be possible.
- Corrosion and other damage that goes unassessed may cause failures which will impede operations and threaten plant safety.
Assessing the Current State
- Obtaining accurate information of the deterioration and changes to tubes and jackets is essential to enabling effective project commissioning
- Additionally, understanding of the current state of tubes is important for maintaining the integrity of assets and projecting work necessary across their lifespan
Constraints of Caliper Pigging
- A traditional approach for interior tube inspections is caliper pigging and simple video inspection. However, caliper pigs for large diameter pipes are extremely heavy, which increases deployment complexity and project operating costs
- Also, spacing between each of the caliper pigs’ sensors means that the results will be low resolution and that the production of the final models must rely on data interpolation
Laser Scanning for Precise Results
- 2G Robotics’ laser scanners produce submillimeter resolution 3D models, removing the need for data interpolation by capturing detailed geometry and anomalies that traditional methods would not observe or, at best, poorly define
Pipes and Tunnels
- Water tunnels will gradually deteriorate over time, resulting in structural distress. Acquiring comprehensive knowledge of a tunnel’s condition is essential for ensuring reliability and maximizing the service life of the asset
- If tunnel condition assessments are not routinely performed, potential problems that threaten to interrupt power generation or water supply cannot be properly identified
Inspect Without Disrupting Service
- In order to assess the condition and evaluate the reliability of water tunnels, the tunnels often need to be taken out of service. Water tunnels, however, are critical infrastructure and so removing them from service for inspection causes scheduling difficulties, operational inconveniences and unnecessary expenses
- Unlike traditional inspection methods, with underwater laser scanning water tunnels can remain in service during inspection, enabling assessments to be conducted efficiently and effectively at no operational or customer inconvenience
- Obtaining accurate as-built information is critical. As-built surveys of new or retrofited underwater installations provide essential information for project commissioning
- As-builts also provide detailed records of assets at the time of survey, which can be used as a baseline for future inspections
- When compared to traditional methods for generating as-built models, underwater laser scanning enables much greater detail with higher resolution, higher accuracy point clouds
- The resulting models are able to show millimeter level discrepancies between the as-built state and the initial design
As-Builts as an Added Benefit
- When underwater laser scanning is employed for a specific measurement, such as metrology, the entire structure can be scanned without adding any time or cost to the project
- This means that a model is generated, even when that was not the initial purpose of the campaign – ultimately providing useful as-built information in addition to the target measurements