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NDT.net Issue - 2006-11 - Articles
NDT.net Issue: 2006-11
Publication: 9th European Conference on NDT - September 2006 - Berlin (Germany) (ECNDT 2006)
Session: Qualification, Validation, Reliability of Systems


M Lutsen1, Marc Algarotti2, Yves Bouveret24, Jean Paul Landez2
1Electricité de France - EDF CEIDRE109, Saint-Denis, France
2AREVA Intercontrole51, Rungis, France

Abstract: The new In-Service Inspection process provided by Intercontrôle has been qualified according to the RSEM standard (the French ENIQ methodology based code). Designed for high-sensitivity inspection, using immersion UT techniques, this process uses a new "MIS" Manipulator, a SAPHIRplus Data Acquisition System, specific focused and focusing UT transducers and dedicated analysis software. High accuracy of cracks sizing is obtained (i.e.: ?2mm for under cladding cracks whatever the surface condition is) providing reliable information to utilities for satisfying regulatory requirements. The "MIS" Manipulator is installed on the Reactor Pressure Vessel (RPV) flange. Each inspection tool is dedicated to the examination of a specific part of the vessel. Scanning speed is now as high as 300mm/s and parallel acquisitions are carried out. Because of its sturdy structure, accurate and repeatable scanning is guaranteed even when many years go by between inspections. The MIS is remotely operated from outside the containment using an optical fiber. Wide use of network links has lowered the number of cables and connections. Most of the cables now run inside the structure of the machine thus avoiding contamination and keeping on with ALARA practice. Room is left available on the machine to add other tools either to address new safety requirements (ET has already been done) or to provide RPV maintenance capability (grinding, EDM?). All analysis activities are carried out on screen using high-end analysis software developed by Intercontrôle: ü CIVACUVE: segmentation processing for a fast and reliable characterization and sizing of defects with partially automatic analysis process and data reporting ü CIVAMIS: on-line processing tools (modeling, crack tip diffraction analysis, phase analysis?) to support defect expert appraisal Intercontrôle performed successfully four full ten-year RSEM RPV In-Service Inspections between May and September 2005 with its new MIS. Each time, the vessel occupation time was lower than expected (from 10 to 20%). This proves the efficiency of the concept as a whole together with the crew commitment to provide best service to our customers. * Intercontrôle, subsidiary of Framatome ANP, an AREVA and Siemens company.

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