SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – Newton Labs, the leading developer and manufacturer of non-contact underwater measurement tools for the nuclear industry is proud to announce another rapid, accurate and routine mapping of reactor core fuel assemblies at the Braidwood Nuclear Generating Station using the new industry standard NM200E Core Verification system. All 193 fuel assemblies of the Unit 1 reactor were confirmed by the NM200E system to be correctly aligned following the 53-minute mapping session during the recent refueling outage.
The NM200E tool, which has been adopted by Exelon as their primary method for determining nozzle position in PWRs, consists of a radiation-resistant camera head and a control console running sophisticated, Newton-developed software. The Newton algorithms compensate for the visually distorting thermal turbulence and use the core baffles as positional references. The software enables the precise and consistent global mapping of fuel assembly S-hole positions, including any degree of misalignment or nozzle rotation. This is in contrast to the less accurate nozzle gap measurements by video micrometer.
Close teamwork between engineers and technicians from Exelon and Newton Labs enabled completion of the full cycle of deployment, mapping and recovery in only two and a half hours. In the past three years the same Exelon and Newton outage team has deployed the NM200E system during three previous outages at the Braidwood plant and twice at the Byron Nuclear Generating Station. The core mapping segment of the Byron outage in April 2013 was completed in only 38 minutes.
The Exelon outage team travels with a containerized pair of NM200E systems that are shared among three of the Exelon generating stations, Braidwood, Byron and Three Mile Island. The systems' camera heads, manufactured by Newton Labs in 2010, have each been deployed multiple times in high radiation environments and have not required adjustment or refurbishment.
About Newton Labs
Seattle, Washington based Newton Labs is a privately held manufacturer of machine vision, robotics and optical automation. A spin-off of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the company has for more than 18 years developed and marketed high-performance, computer-driven automation for industrial processes. Newton Labs has deployed more than 20,000 machine vision, robotic and automation systems worldwide. Newton markets NM200E systems worldwide, along with its companion product, the NM200UW Nuclear Underwater Laser Scanner.
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