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Research Papers: Operations, Applications and Components

Toward Robotic Inspection of Dry Storage Casks for Spent Nuclear Fuel

[+] Author and Article Information
C. J. Lissenden, S. Choi, H. Cho

Engineering Science and Mechanics,
Penn State,
University Park, PA 16801

A. Motta, K. Hartig, X. Xiao, S. Le Berre, S. Brennan, R. Leary, B. McNelly

Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering,
Penn State,
University Park, PA 16801

K. Reichard

Applied Research Laboratory,
Penn State,
University Park, PA 16801

I. Jovanovic

Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering,
Penn State,
University Park, PA 16801;
Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences,
University of Michigan,
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Contributed by the Pressure Vessel and Piping Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF PRESSURE VESSEL TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received August 12, 2016; final manuscript received January 11, 2017; published online February 8, 2017. Assoc. Editor: Haofeng Chen.

J. Pressure Vessel Technol 139(3), 031602 (Feb 08, 2017) (8 pages) Paper No: PVT-16-1134; doi: 10.1115/1.4035788 History: Received August 12, 2016; Revised January 11, 2017

Extended dry storage of spent nuclear fuel makes it desirable to assess the structural integrity of the storage canisters. Stress corrosion cracking of the stainless steel canister is a potential degradation mode especially in marine environments. Sensing technologies are being developed with the aim of detecting the presence of chloride-bearing salts on the surface of the canister as well as whether cracks exist. Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) methods for the detection of Chlorine are presented. In addition, ultrasonic-guided wave detection of crack-like notches oriented either parallel or perpendicular to the shear horizontal wave vector is demonstrated using the pulse-echo mode, which greatly simplifies the robotic delivery of the noncontact electromagnetic acoustic transducers (EMATs). Robotic delivery of both EMATs and the LIBS system is necessary due to the high temperature and radiation environment inside the cask where the measurements need to be made. Furthermore, the space to make the measurements is very constrained and maneuverability is confined by the geometry of the storage cask. In fact, a large portion of the canister surface is inaccessible due to the presence of guide channels on the inside of the cask's overpack, which is strong motivation for using guided waves for crack detection. Among the design requirements for the robotic system are to localize and track where sensor measurements are made to enable return to those locations, to avoid wedging or jamming of the robot, and to tolerate high temperatures and radiation levels.

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References

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Unloaded HI-STORM dry storage cask

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Fig. 2

Three-dimensional rendering of HI-STORM dry storage cask

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Fig. 3

Experimental setup for LIBS measurements

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Fig. 4

Scanning electron micrographs of surfaces after salt deposition. Samples with 0.3 g/m2 (left) and 0.8 g/m2 (right) chlorine on stainless steel substrate (images taken using SEM X5000)

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Fig. 5

LIBS laser photos (images taken using SEM X200)

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Fig. 6

NA I accumulated emission spectrum of NACL sample (1.0 g/m2 chlorine) on SS and the Lorentz fit of 589.0 nm emission line

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Fig. 7

Dependence of the NA I emission intensity on calculated chlorine concentration

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Fig. 8

Unwrapped overlay of canister welds on overpack inner liner with sensor car employing the pulse echo method

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Fig. 9

SH wave dispersion curves for 15.9 mm thick stainless steel plate

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Fig. 10

EMAT arranged to detect notches oriented 0 deg (left) and 90 deg (right)

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Fig. 11

A-Scan signals from EMAT arranged to detect notches oriented 0 deg and 90 deg

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Fig. 12

The delivery robot and delivery arm are two methods for inserting the robot into the canister

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Fig. 13

The sensor robot will navigate over a curved platform to aid in insertion

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Fig. 14

Robot navigating around the edge of the MPC to access the guide channel gap

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