NEAR SPRING CITY, TENNESSEE - It did not take long for the refuel crew at the Watts Bar Nuclear Power Plant to get the positive news near the end of the recent April outage. All 193 fuel assemblies were confirmed to be properly aligned following a routine, 48-minute long precision mapping using a NM200E Core Verification System, manufactured by Newton Labs.
This was the second time the Newton mapping system has been deployed in this Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) reactor. The NM200E mapper was also used during two previous outages at the TVA Sequoyah Nuclear Plant near Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee. The NM200E tool has been deployed at a number nuclear plants in the U.S. and France and has been adopted by Exelon Nuclear as their primary method for determining nozzle position in their PWRs.
Prior to deployment, the mapping head is secured within a rugged, protective carrier in the shape of a top nozzle designed to be picked up by the gripper on the refuel mast. The heart of the system is the Newton-developed NM200E software which determines the positions of Westinghouse and AREVA PWR fuel assemblies based, in part, upon S-hole positions. The software is also able to map the more symmetrical Babcock and Wilcox nozzles.
About Newton Labs
Seattle 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 20 years developed and marketed high-performance, computer-driven automation for industrial processes. 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 than 20,000 machine vision, robotic and automation systems worldwide. Additional information about Newton and its products may be found at www.newtonlabs.com.