ENUSA and Tecnatom have concluded the delivery of a new spent fuel inspection system for the Suzhou Nuclear Power Research Institute (SNPI), an affiliated company of the China General Nuclear Group (CGN), which will operate at the Chinese nuclear power plants.

The supply of this equipment takes place within the collaboration framework within which both companies have been cooperating since the 1990s, and as a result of which a whole range of inspection equipment for the characterization of PWR and BWR fuel items and rods has been developed.

In this specific case, the equipment delivered is a SICOM‐COR for measuring the corrosion of the peripheral rods of the fuel items, as well as for carrying out a visual inspection of them. This equipment allows to determine with a high level of precision the layer of rust over the fuel rod making use of induced currents. It is a light inspection system, which can be easily installed in the racks of the spent fuel pool.

Furthermore, the equipment supplied includes a new development which allows to measure a number of fuel parameters through high precision visual techniques. This development, which is based on artificial vision, entails a technological leap which makes the SICOM-COR equipment the state of the art technology.

All the products from the SICOM range for fuel inspection have been designed and manufactured with technology developed by both companies, and have been validated at nuclear plants all over the world.

The inspection and characterization of the spent fuel makes possible to guarantee the safe handling of the fuel, optimize the cycle, localize and define defects in the fuel, determine the root cause of a failed fuel, and evaluate the fuel behavior models. In the same way, this equipment allows to carry out the characterization of the fuel for its later handling at the ATIs or the ATC.

Tecnatom and ENUSA keep consolidating their collaboration in the development of fuel inspection technologies, both for fresh and spent fuels. As a result of this collaboration, both companies are providing services and supplying nuclear fuel inspection systems in Spain, Belgium, China, Brazil, Argentina, Finland, Sweden, or France.