Nondestructive Examination (NDE) of Used Fuel Containers for Increased Probability of Detection

Used Fuel Containers (UFC) are a major engineered component of the proposed concept of a deep geological repository for storage of Canada’s spent nuclear fuel, put forward by the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO). The NWMO designed UFC is a steel/copper vessel, in which the used fuel is packaged before final underground emplacement for several thousand years. As part of the design and development program in collaboration with NWMO, Nucleom Inc. has evaluated different NDE techniques for the examination of the critical characteristics of the UFC such as the partial penetration carbon steel weld joints and the copper coating applied on the exterior. To optimize the probability of detection (PoD), a combination of ultrasonic and eddy current methods have been investigated for the detection and sizing of volumetric, surface and dis-bond defects, verification of coating thickness, as well as for examination of the partial penetration weld. The results from inspection trials and NDE simulations are presented herein.


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