The NozzleInspect project is partly funded by the European Seventh Framework Program (FP7) over two years and will develop new techniques to non destructive assessment and monitoring of nozzles used in nuclear power plants and mainly in nuclear reactors.
Critical crack-like defects can cause catastrophic failure of the nozzle in nuclear plants, leading to severe environmental and financial consequences. The goal of the NozzleInspect project is therefore to design an automated robotic scanning system that will be able to improve the reliability of speed of the inspection of welded nozzle sections in nuclear and other safety critical facilities. This system will deploy a new and novel phased array probe to perform a complete inspection of the nozzle weld, using an advanced navigation system to follow the complex weld profile.
The objective of this project is therefore to develop a system that will use an autonomous robot for an automated inspection of nozzle welds. The robot will carry a novel matrix phased array probe which, combined with the 3D beam steering capability, will enable the entire volume of the weld to be inspected in a single operation.