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.

Copyright © 2017 by ASME
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.


Song, H., and Popovics, J. S., 2016, “ Hidden Disbond Detection in Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage Systems Using Air-Coupled Ultrasonics,” SPIE Proceedings, 9803, p. 980331.
Tani, J. , Mayazumi, M. , and Hara, N. , 2008, “ Stress Corrosion Cracking of Stainless-Steel Canister for Concrete Cask Storage of Spent Fuel,” J. Nucl. Mater., 379(1–3), pp. 42–47. [CrossRef]
He, X. , Mintz, T. S. , Pabalan, R. , Miller, L. , and Oberson, G. , 2014, “ Assessment of Stress Corrosion Cracking Susceptibility for Austenitic Stainless Steels Exposed to Atmospheric Chloride and Non-Chloride Salts,” United States Nuclear Regulatory Commision, Washington, DC, Report No. NUREG/CR-7170.
Chu, S. , 2013, “ Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) of Welded Stainless Steel Canisters for Dry Cask Storage Systems,” Electric Power Research Institute, Palo Alto, CA, Report No. 3002000815.
Hertzberg, R. W. , 1996, Deformation and Fracture Mechanics of Engineering Materials, Wiley, New York.
Enos, D. G. , Bryan, C. R. , and Norman, K. M. , 2013, “ Data Report on Corrosion Testing of Stainless Steel SNF Storage Canisters,” Sandia National Laboratories, Report No. SAND2013-8314P.
Caseres, L. , Mintz, T. S. , and Bayssie, M. M. , 2010, “ Atmospheric Stress Corrosion Cracking Susceptibility of Welded and Unwelded 304, 304L, and 316L Austenitic Stainless Steels Commonly Used for Dry Cask Storage Containers Exposed to Marine Environments,” United States Nuclear Regulatory Commision, Washington, DC, Report No. NUREG/CR-7030.
Eto, S. , Tani, J. , Shirai, K. , and Fujii, T. , 2013, “ Measurement of Concentration of Chlorine Attached to a Stainless-Steel Canister Material Using Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy,” Spectrochim. Acta B, 87, pp. 74–80. [CrossRef]
Eto, S. , and Fujii, T. , 2015, “ Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy System for Remote Measurement of Salt in a Narrow Gap,” Spectrochim. Acta B, 116, pp. 51–57. [CrossRef]
Radziemski, L. J. , and Cremers, D. A. , 2006, Handbook of Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy, Wiley, New York.
Hartig, K. , Colgan, J. , Kilcrease, D. , Barefield, J., II , and Jovanovic, I. , 2015, “ Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy Using Mid-Infrared Femtosecond Pulses,” J. Appl. Phys., 118(4), p. 043107. [CrossRef]
Sugiyama, K. , Fujii, T. , Matsumura, T. , Shiogama, Y. , Yamaguchi, M. , and Nemoto, K. , 2010, “ Detection of Chlorine With Concentration of 0.18 kg/m3 in Concrete by Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy,” Appl. Opt., 49(13), pp. C181–C190. [CrossRef]
Culkin, F. , and Cox, R. , “ Sodium, Potassium, Magnesium, Calcium and Strontium in Sea Water,” Deep Sea Research and Oceanographic Abstracts, Vol. 13, Elsevier, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, pp. 789–804.
Tan, M. M. , Cui, S. , Yoo, J. , Han, S. H. , Ham, K. S. , Nam, S. H. , and Lee, Y. , 2012, “ Feasibility of Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) for Classification of Sea Salts,” Appl. Spectrosc., 66(350), pp. 262–271. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Rose, J. L. , 2014, Ultrasonic Guided Waves in Solid Media, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.
Ratassepp, M. , Lowe, M. J. S. , Cawley, P. , and Klauson, A. , 2008, “ Scattering of the Fundamental Shear Horizontal Mode in a Plate When Incident at a Through Crack Aligned in the Propagation Direction of the Mode,” J. Acoust. Soc. Am., 124(5), pp. 2873–2882. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Choi, S. , Cho, H. , Lindsey, M. S. , and Lissenden, C. J. , 2016, “ Surface Crack Detection in Welded Stainless Steel Canisters Using Shear Horizontal Waves,” ASME Paper No. PVP2016-63311.
Zeitvogel, D. T. , Matlack, K. H. , Kim, J. Y. , Jacobs, L. J. , Singh, P. M. , and Qu, J. , 2014, “ Characterization of Stress Corrosion Cracking in Carbon Steel Using Nonlinear Rayleigh Surface Waves,” NDT&E Int., 62, pp. 144–152. [CrossRef]
Morlock, F. , 2014, “ Evaluation of Stress Corrosion Cracking in Sensitized 304 Stainless Steel Using Nonlinear Rayleigh Waves,” M.S. thesis, Georgia Tech, Atlanta, GA.
Matlack, K. H. , Kim, J. Y. , Jacobs, L. J. , and Qu, J. , 2015, “ Review of Second Harmonic Generation Measurement Techniques for Material State Determination in Metals,” J. Nondestruct. Eval. 34(1), pp. 1–23. [CrossRef]
Le Bas, P. , Anderson, B. E. , Remillieux, M. , Pieczonka, L. , and Ulrich, T. J. , 2015, “ Elasticity Nonlinear Diagnostic Method for Crack Detection and Depth Estimation,” J. Acoust. Soc. Am., 138(3), p. 1836. [CrossRef]
Chillara, V. K. , and Lissenden, C. J. , 2016, “ Review of Nonlinear Ultrasonic Guided Wave Nondestructive Evaluation: Theory, Numerics and Experiments,” Opt. Eng., 55(1), p. 011002. [CrossRef]
McNelly, B. , Leary, R. , Brennan, S. , and Reichard, K. , 2016, “ Characterizing Successful Robotic Insertion and Removal From a Dry Storage Cask Using Peg-Like Jamming and Wedging Analysis,” ASME Paper No. PVP2016-63634.
Levinson, J. S. , and Thrun, S. , 2010, “ Robust Vehicle Localization in Urban Environments Using Probabilistic Maps,” IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Anchorage, AK, May 3–7, pp. 4372–4378.


Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Unloaded HI-STORM dry storage cask

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Three-dimensional rendering of HI-STORM dry storage cask

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Experimental setup for LIBS measurements

Grahic Jump Location
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)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

LIBS laser photos (images taken using SEM X200)

Grahic Jump Location
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

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

Dependence of the NA I emission intensity on calculated chlorine concentration

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 8

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

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 9

SH wave dispersion curves for 15.9 mm thick stainless steel plate

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 10

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

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 11

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

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 12

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

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 13

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

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 14

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



Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In