Westinghouse Electric Company said Wednesday that the newly developed Zephyr eddy current testing system deployed at the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station in Wintersburg, Arizona “surpassed all expectations,” in reaching two separate milestones for the nuclear industry.
The company said its Zephyr Advanced Acquisition System on Wednesday was “successfully used … to examine 100 tubes in a steam generator from a single plenum,” which constitutes an industry milestone. Secondly, it also marked the first time that an eddy current data acquisition speed of 120 inches per second was performed on essentially all of the steam generator's tubes.
The system also aided the plant by using the fewest number of probes ever.
Eddy current testing is a non-destructive evaluation tool that can meet a plant's inspection requirements. The system, says Westinghouse, is an innovative approach that can reduce outage time, lower radioactive waste and outage costs.
The system was deployed using Westinghouse personnel. Their team “surpassed all expectations, including scheduling, ALARA and data quality,” said Palo Verde Senior Consulting Engineer Dough Hansen.
“Both primary and secondary analysis teams noted that they have never seen better and more consistent data quality,” Hansen said in a statement.
Palo Verde has twice won the Nuclear Energy Institute’s Top Industry Practice Award – in 2015 and 2016 – for implementation of Westinghouse steam generator primary acquisition and analysis technologies, Westinghouse noted.
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Inspecting Model 80 steam geberators above 24 ips destroyed the eddy current signal at the tangent at the square bend. It was no longer a smooth signal, it was and an abrupt transition in the signal that 60 ips looked like steps. At 90 ips the signal is gone, it snaps. I no longer analyze data at Palo Verde but I have analized at Palo Verde since 1990 or since 24 ips. It is a sad day when the "Emperor wears no clothes". Analysts are either fooling themselves or do not know bad data from good. Palo Verde has a history of misunderstanding the Eddy Current data. The old time production analyst from the late 80's will tell you that, as does the plant "leaker" history. We made the calls and are ignored.