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AREVA opens the doors of the US market for vessel head nozzles

News brief

REACTORS AND SERVICES / NUCLEAR SERVICES

February 14, 2011

Waste assay solutionAREVA NDE Solutions in France and the United States have decided to pool their efforts,  to develop a new ultrasonic probe for inspections of vessel head nozzles to be competitive in this fast-growing market in the United States.

The new probe incorporates the functionalities of the two probes used previously which reduces the overall inspection time. AREVA NDE Solutions France (Intercontrôle), which already manufactures the existing probes, developed the dual probe. Final proof-of-concept testing of the new probe’s design was performed at the Technical Training Center in Lynchburg.

The new probe was successfully used during the inspection performed in early December of the 73 nozzles of the replacement closure head for the Watts Bar power plant in the US. At a rate of 8 nozzles inspected per 12-hour period, the inspection was completed one day ahead of the initial schedule. The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), which oversaw the operation, stated that it was impressed with the technique and with the operators’ skill.

The successful inspection puts AREVA NDE Solutions in a favorable position in the US market for closure head inspections.