SEATTLE WASHINGTON and SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS – As a portion of their fully booked fall schedule, Newton Labs and IHI Southwest have completed another nuclear CST underwater tank inspection last week at a Mid-Atlantic Nuclear Power Plant using Newton's underwater Inspector Robot. This inspection was the first Newton/IHI performed off outage allowing the plant to fully understand the condition of the tank and prepare for possible repairs prior to the next outage.
The tank examination captured full UT and visual data from over 90 percent of the tank floor while the tank remained in-service and the plant online. Operating on a single shift, the Newton/IHI team acquired and analyzed data over a five-day period before delivering the final report. Prior to the insertion of the robot, pre-engineering calculations were performed to ensure no degradation of the plant operating parameters and that the flows in the tank would not interfere with the inspection. The Inspector Robot was inserted through a 20” manway and measured the floor thickness and defects of each of the 45’ diameter tank’s twenty floor plates. Plant engineers can use the data from the complete tank floor for trending analysis over multiple inspections. With the Inspector Robot's precise machine vision navigation system, the ability to return to re-inspect previously discovered defects is unsurpassed compared to spot UT checks captured by divers.
“The ability to perform in-service CST tank examinations off-outage was valuable to our customer and we’re happy this work can be performed at a time that saves the plant time and money,” said Newton Labs President John Bramblet, “The Inspector Robot can be utilized year round to support plants’ tank inspection and maintenance programs – on or off outage.”
Newton Labs developed the Inspector Robot to assist nuclear plants in license renewal obligations and to fully satisfy the requirements of NEI 09-14. The semi-autonomous Inspector Robot is able to survey over 90 percent of a tank floor with a specialized NDE sensor package consisting of phased array ultra-sound, laser scanning, and high resolution cameras. The position of revealed indications are precisely mapped and recorded, enabling the robot to return to the location of every mapped defect to within +/- 1/8th inch accuracy, whether during the initial inspection or years later.
The Newton/IHI inspection team is only partially booked for the spring and fall of 2017 and is interested in discussion with utilities where we may be of service.
About IHI Southwest Technologies, Inc.
San Antonio based IHI Southwest Technologies, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of IHI Corporation of Japan. IHI was formed in June 1999 as a spin-off from the NDE Services Department of Southwest Research Institute (SwRI). IHI’s staff consists of qualified and experienced engineering and examination personnel. All of IHI’s examiners are trained, qualified, and certified in the appropriate methods and on the applicable equipment in accordance with IHI procedures and client specific guidelines. IHI maintains a full-time staff of NDE examiners, which allows us to maintain the level of quality and productivity vital to the success and cost-effectiveness of our programs at plants around the world.
About Newton Labs
Seattle based Newton Labs is a privately held manufacturer of machine vision, robotics, laser scanning and optical automation with significant nuclear experience. Newton's products are designed to allow the quality, efficiency and cost effectiveness of computer technology to replace the human element in virtually every industry. Over its more than 20 year history, Newton Labs has deployed more than 30,000 machine vision, robotic, laser scanning and automation systems worldwide.