Charlotte, N.C. - Exelon Nuclear has claimed the Nuclear Energy Institute's Top Industry Practice (TIP) Award for innovation in the Maintenance Category following introduction of a revolutionary fuel alignment measurement system at three generating stations: Byron, Braidwood and Three Mile Island. The ground-breaking, core mapping technology developed by Newton Labs of Seattle, Washington, enables plant operators to accurately measure the positions of all fuel assemblies in a PWR reactor at the end of an outage.
The TIP award cites the team, led by Exelon Nuclear PWR Reactor Service Manager David B. Kelly, for promoting the successful deployment of the technology at the three plants. This resulted in Exelon approving the measurement technique, named the NM200E Core Verification System, as their primary method for determining nozzle position in PWRs. The NM200E system, which was first developed by Newton Labs in a 2008 partnership with Exelon, delivers measurable advantages over legacy processes, such as binoculars or video micrometers in both accuracy and mapping time. These visual inspection methods are imprecise and can allow misaligned fuel assemblies to be overlooked or misjudged.
The significance of the NM200E system to Exelon plant engineers is that it a produces a precise global map of all S-hole positions of the PWR fuel assemblies within a core, including any degree of misalignment or top nozzle rotation. The sophisticated Newton-developed software automatically recognizes, compares and maps the S-hole locations with those of the ideal positions established by plant engineers. The software compensates for the visually distorting issues of thermal turbulence and light refraction. Also of considerable value is that the system can be deployed, completely map a core and be recovered within two hours or less.
The TIP award was made on May 22 during the Nuclear Energy Assembly (NEA), the annual conference of the nuclear energy industry and attended by more than 500 nuclear executives from around the world.
Exelon Nuclear is a business unit of Exelon Generation Company, a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation. Exelon Nuclear represents approximately 20% of the U.S. nuclear industry's power capacity with 10 power plants and 17 reactors-located in Illinois, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. Exelon Corporation (NYSE:EXC) is the nation's leading competitive energy provider, with approximately $33 billion in annual revenues. Headquartered in Chicago, Exelon has operations and business activities in 47 states, the District of Columbia and Canada. Exelon is the largest competitive U.S. power generator, with approximately 35,000 megawatts of owned capacity comprising one of the nation's cleanest and lowest-cost power generation fleets. The company's Constellation business unit provides energy products and services to approximately 100,000 business and public sector customers and approximately 1 million residential customers. Exelon's utilities deliver electricity and natural gas to more than 6.6 million customers in central Maryland (BGE), northern Illinois (ComEd) and southeastern Pennsylvania (PECO). Learn more at: www.exeloncorp.com
Newton Research Labs, Inc. is a privately held manufacturer of machine vision, robotics and optical automation with considerable expertise in the Nuclear Industry. An original spin-off of M.I.T., the company has for more than 20 years developed and marketed high-performance, computer-driven automation for industrial processes and has considerable experience in the nuclear industry. Newton's products are designed to allow the quality, efficiency and cost effectiveness of computer technology to replace the human element in virtually every industry. Newton Labs has deployed more that 20,000 machine vision, robotic and automation systems world-wide. Additional information about other nuclear industry products by Newton Labs may be found at http://www.newtonlabs.com/power.htm.
Public Relations Contact: Marshall Butler