AREVA Completes First U.S. Nuclear Plant Baffle Bolt NDE Inspection
December 16, 2010
December 16, 2010
AREVA has successfully completed ultrasonic inspection testing (UT) of 1,088 baffle bolts at Surry Power Station in Virginia as part of its license renewal requirements. The Non-Destructive Examination (NDE) is the first inspection of baffle bolts at a U.S. nuclear power plant under the stringent new protocol of the “Materials Reliability Program: Pressurized Water Reactor Internals Inspection and Evaluation Guidelines (MRP 227/228).”
Baffle bolts number in the thousands in the reactor vessel and hold baffle plates together. The baffle plates allow a cylindrical vessel interior to accommodate the fuel which is in square bundles. They also provide a boundary between incoming cold reactor coolant and the heated reactor coolant flowing on the outside and inside of the cylinder. Before MRP 227/228, the protocol for baffle bolt inspections was visual inspection testing (VT).
The exam was completed 17 hours ahead of schedule, under dose by 40 mrems, and with zero foreign material exclusion (FME) incidents. “We were pleased with the AREVA team’s performance on this first-of-a-kind inspection in the U.S.,” said Jerry Bischof, Site Vice President - Surry Power Station.
The newly formed AREVA NDE Solutions combines technical, human resources and NDE equipment from France, Germany and the United States. The Surry baffle bolt inspections brings to the U.S. nuclear fleet innovative NDE technologies already field proven within the European fleet, including utilization of a state-of-the-art German-designed SUSI (Submarine System for Inspections) that provides an extremely fast, stable and accurate platform for VT and UT data collection.
”The Surry inspection is another example of world-class technology and innovation that AREVA provides to help our customers reduce outage time and improve operations,” said Craig Ranson, AREVA NDE Solutions NA Vice President.