BlueRad camera system detects possibly harmful wire during visual examination of plant’s fuel assembly.The Challenge
As part of the preventative initiative to improve fuel surveillance, a U.S. utility came to Westinghouse for an advanced technology solution to mitigate potential debris leakers. The technology was utilized to inspect all fuel assemblies during a spring 2021 refueling outage while minimizing schedule impact.
In support of this industry initiative, Westinghouse developed a shielded BlueRad™ 5-Sided Fuel Inspection System. Designed and assembled specifically for the nuclear industry, the BlueRad camera provides the best possible visual examination of each fuel assembly during or after core offload.
The BlueRad system features five high definition cameras to view each side of the fuel assembly and the bottom nozzle simultaneously. The cameras are mounted to a common, custom-made frame and manipulated by a simplified controller for easy operation. The inspection can be viewed live and/or recorded for future viewing. The system can be provided and operated by our team of technical experts during regularly scheduled refueling, or purchased and owned by a plant for their teams to self-perform these inspections.
Westinghouse supplied the BlueRad system to the utility site to be used by their own outage teams. While performing its inspection the camera identified a small wire lodged in the bottom nozzle of the fuel assembly. Thanks to the high definition video captured by the camera system, the team was able to easily locate and remove the wire from the core, preventing a costly redesign. Had the wire not been identified and left in-place, it may have resulted in a debris-induced leaker.