Nuclear energy is one of the most important clean energy on earth presently. The steam generator secondary side is the key device of a nuclear power station. As an important branch of special robots, nuclear robots are the most convenient and effective means to inspect the steam generator.
This paper describes one robot system which could help users inspect tubes and locate the robot inside the steam generator. The main part of this system is a climbing robot which can move inside the steam generator carrying a PT or telescopic arm.
Four cameras are installed on the robot and PT to send real-time videos back for analysis. Experiments show that this system works stably and the localization is accurate and effective.
The Global Nuclear reactor inspection robot market accounted for $XX Billion in 2022 and is anticipated to reach $XX Billion by 2030, registering a CAGR of XX% from 2023 to 2030.
Toshiba to Commercialize Inspection Robots for Nuclear reactor
Toshiba ESS developed the Nuclear reactor inspection robots and has been preparing for their commercialization. The company has made improvements and now offers a lineup of two types of inspection robots: “ultra-thin robots” that can be used not only for medium-to-big generators but also for small generators, and “multi-functional robots” that can overcome baffles to provide a wide range of inspections for domestic and overseas power plants.
The ultra-thin robots have already been used for inspection services at some overseas nuclear power plants and will now be used on a full-scale basis, while the multi-functional robots will provide inspection services in Japan and overseas.
In the past, specialized inspectors pulled the rotors from the stators every four years to conduct precision inspections of the turbine generators, but in order to improve the operating rates of the power plants, it is necessary to shorten the inspection periods and extend the inspection cycles of the generators, and there is a need to conduct high-precision inspections in a short period of time.
In recent years, inspection techniques have been developed for generators using robots, but for generators with baffles attached to stators, the baffles have been a barrier to robotic inspections. Thus, these multi-functional robots have allowed for robot inspections of generators with baffles by having three arms protruding from the stator-side while running the robot by pushing it against the rotor.
In addition, the development of nondestructive inspection technology that does not use a liquid contact medium has made it possible to inspect cracks in rotors without having to pull the rotors out of the stators.
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