On July the 5th, Westinghouse confirmed it had successfully utilized its Zephyr Advanced Acquisition System to analyze one-hundred percent of the tubes in a steam generator from a plenum. This is the first for the entire nuclear industry. The innovative Zephyr system relies on revolutionary probe delivery to perform more rapid eddy current inspections and is used as a crucial steps in the plant’s conventional maintenance program. The achievement was made at the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station, which is located in Wintersburg, Arizona.
The achievement marked several milestones. For instance, it was the first time an eddy current acquisition system was able to reach speeds of 120 inches per second for nearly all steam generator tubes. Simultaneously, Zephyr made it possible for the plant to use the smallest number of probes ever. Eddy current testing is very important and helps to ensure plants are able to meet industry inspection requirements. Westinghouse’s Zephyr eddy current testing system offers a handful of benefits, including the following.
- Reduces outage time
- Decreases outage costs
- Minimizes radioactive waste
Zephyr is a step in the right direction for Westinghouse’s goal to provide solutions that empower nuclear plant operators to solve operational challenges, while simultaneously saving time and money. In 2015 and 2016, Palo Verde was awarded Nuclear Energy Institute’s Top Industry Practice Award. This was attributed to the innovative Westinghouse steam generator primary acquisition and analysis technologies. Additional details can be found here.