Pittsburgh, PA & Seattle, WA - March 20, 2012 - Westinghouse Electric Company and Newton Labs, a world leader in precision, machine vision inspection and non-contact measurement systems, have announced that Newton will provide Westinghouse with revolutionary underwater laser scanners designed for precise, non-contact in-vessel dimensioning and surveys, worldwide.
The NM200UW Nuclear Underwater Laser Scanner, a landmark technology developed and manufactured by Newton, enables Westinghouse engineers to capture underwater as-built measurements and external conditions of reactor vessel components and to convert the data into high-precision 3D geometric models. The laser scanning technology combines rugged, nuclear-grade hardware and electronics with sophisticated, Newton-developed software that compensates for the radioactivity, heat and turbulence inherent to the in-vessel environment.
Westinghouse has already demonstrated this technology successfully during two refueling outages. The initial deployment, in the fall of 2010, was at the Duane Arnold Energy Center near Cedar Rapids, Iowa (USA), when the NM200UW laser scanner was used to scan critical areas of the steam dryer and separator and to document the as-left condition of a steam dryer modification.
With a demonstrated accuracy of 0.005 inches or better, the scanners also will eliminate, in many cases, the need for measurement techniques such as video scaling systems, which are less accurate and whose output cannot be converted into 3D models. Using this technology, Westinghouse will be able to accurately and consistently capture precise measurements that are critical to the successful design of modification and replacement hardware for reactor internals, without the need for custom measurement tooling.
"This is an exciting new technology that provides real value to our customers - it allows us to be more precise in evaluating and designing reactor internals modifications," said Jim Brennan, vice president of Westinghouse's Engineering Services business segment.
During the second outage demonstration in May 2011, this time at the Quad Cities Generating Station near Cordova, Illinois (USA), Westinghouse engineers successfully captured precision measurements in the "beltline region" of the reactor annulus. This is an area that has very high dose rates and is historically difficult to reach and survey.
"With its proven non-contact precision and speed of deployment, the NM200UW is a win-win for nuclear power operators who can be faced with having to adjust a critical path to accommodate for as-built survey requirements, or to obtain accurate dimensioning of an emerging issue. Additionally, we are very pleased to be teaming with a forward looking company such as Westinghouse for this revolutionary technology," said John W. Bramblet, President and CEO of Newton Labs.
Westinghouse Electric Company, a group company of Toshiba Corporation (TKY:6502), is the world's pioneering nuclear energy company and is a leading supplier of nuclear plant products and technologies to utilities throughout the world. Westinghouse supplied the world's first commercial PWR in 1957 in Shippingport, Pa. Today, Westinghouse technology is the basis for approximately one-half of the world's operating nuclear plants, including 60 percent of those in the United States.
Newton Research Labs, Inc. is a privately held manufacturer of machine vision, laser scanning, robotics and optical automation with considerable expertise in the Nuclear Industry. An original spin-off of M.I.T., the company has for more than 20 years developed and marketed high-performance, computer-driven automation for industrial processes and has considerable experience in the nuclear industry. 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. Newton Labs has deployed more that 30,000 machine vision, laser scanning, robotic and automation systems world-wide. Additional information about other nuclear industry products by Newton Labs may be found at http://www.newtonlabs.com/power.htm.