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Autonomous Robot for an Automatic Inspection of Nozzle Welds in Nuclear Environment (NozzleInspect)
Start date: 01 Jul 2009, End date: 30 Sep 2011 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Regular in-service inspection is important to verify the integrity of welded nozzle sections in nuclear and other safety critical facilities. Nozzle sections made from austenitic steel can be susceptible to rapid crack growth due to thermal fatigue and stress corrosion. Early detection of cracks is therefore essential to ensure the continued safe operation of the facility in question. In order to reduce the time and cost of such inspections there is an urgent need to develop a system capable of performing a full inspection of nozzles without the need to change probes. The aim of NozzleInspect project is to design an autonomous robot system that able to: reduce the inspection times, Improve defect delectability and sizing, Reduce human intervention which will reduce workforce radiation uptake and Reduce requirement for robotic manipulation and consequently reduce size and cost of robotic deployment system. The goal of NozzleInspect project is to improve the reliability of the inspection of the welded nozzle sections in nuclear and other safety critical facilities. The robot will carry out a new and novel flexible phased array probe to allow a full inspection of nozzle weld areas and an advanced navigation system that follow the weld in nozzle. The presence of defects in these parts could lead to catastrophic component failure.
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