Drones Used To Inspect Fuel Processing Plant

Comprehensive drone contracting company Texo Drone Survey said in late May that it had carried out an “internal UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) inspection of a live nuclear asset – a first for the nuclear industry.

Texo droneThe company, which is based in Witham, Essex, in Britain, was commissioned by enrichment company Urenco UK to carry out an internal inspection of one of its processing plants for fire compartmentation checks, the company said.

The Remotely Piloted Aircraft System was deployed into the wall and ceiling voids to inspect the facility's structure. The drone was outfitted with high definition visual and thermal cameras with 0.2 per pixel resolution, which allowed detailed examination of the structural fabric of the building.

The company said it believed the project was a first internal inspection of a uranium enrichment plant with drone assets, which “saved Urenco UK substantial costs over traditional access methods by not having to build manual access systems across the entire building.”

Urenco UK Managing Director Martin Pearson called the drone use “ground breaking.”

“Not only has it saved on traditional access costs, it also reduced the obvious working at heights risks that come with that.”

He added that it took nine months “to get to this place from a risk point of view so those of us involved in this project can see the value going forward.”

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