skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Final Scientific/Technical Report, Multi-Sensor Inspection and Robotic Systems for Dry Storage Casks

Abstract

Once removed from service, fuel rod assemblies are cooled in a pool and then placed in dry storage until they can be transported to a repository for disposal. The extended duration that used nuclear fuel spends in dry storage makes it prudent to be able to nondestructively inspect the dry storage casks. The degradation mechanisms of most concern are chloride-induced stress corrosion cracking of the stainless steel canister that confines the spent fuel and distributed cracking of the concrete in the overpack structure. Multi-sensor inspection and robotic systems were researched, developed, built, and tested. One system operates completely outside the cask to inspect the concrete. The other system, known as the PRINSE system, for Proactive Robotic Inspection of Nuclear Storage Enclosures, enters the cask through an outlet vent and navigates around the outer surface of the stainless steel canister. The PRINSE system delivers sensors for: (i) real-time characterization of the canister surface in order to assess whether chlorides are present, (ii) detecting the presence of cracks using shear-horizontal ultrasonic guided waves, (iii) measuring the temperature of the canister surface, and (iv) a gamma radiation counter. The four sensing modalities are applicable to any cask containing a stainless steel canister, howevermore » the robotic delivery system is designed specifically for Holtec’s HI-STORM family of casks. Horizontal axis casks have exposed concrete surfaces. A fully contactless air-coupled scanning ultrasonic test platform and a frequency-wavenumber domain data analysis method are used for these concrete structures. Analysis, numerical simulation and experimental results demonstrate that distributed cracks in concrete can be detected and cracked regions localized within a scanned region of concrete. Vertical axis casks (like the HI-STORM family) have steel-clad concrete overpacks. In a separate effort, a semi-coupled test platform and a guided wave attenuation-based data analysis method are used for disbond detection. Analysis, numerical simulation and experimental results show that the bonding conditions of steel-concrete interfaces can be quantitatively characterized using the guided wave signal analysis scheme. The PRINSE system is designed for vertical axis dry storage casks, specifically the HI-STORM family. The double pulse laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) system takes advantage of an optical fiber to deliver intense light to the canister surface that enables surface composition characterization in-situ in real time. Chlorine concentrations as low as 10 mg/m2 were detected on stainless steel. Additionally, a simpler laser setup was created to detect sodium as a surrogate for chlorine, and sodium was detectable when the chlorine concentration was as low as 0.5 mg/m2. The electromagnetic acoustic transducers (EMATs) enable detection of stress corrosion cracks. The EMATs generate shear-horizontal waves that propagate around the canister and are reflected by cracks enabling 100% of the canister weld lines to be inspected. The EMAT-based crack detection system was tested at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory on a canister containing blind defects and was shown to detect the crack sizes it was designed to detect. The PRINSE system is a novel marsupial robot. The command center and winch outside the cask control the delivery arm and train of cars that traverse the outside of the canister from the cask ventilation system. The sensors are housed in the cargo bays of three cars that comprise the train, which is lowered to the bottom of the canister by the winch. Encoders on the winch enable the sensors to be delivered to a prescribed location, e.g., for re-inspection of a problem area. The PRINSE system does not mar the canister surface, can be extracted manually in the case of a power failure, and is designed for an elevated temperature and gamma radiation environment, although not all components of the prototype are made from the final materials. The PRINSE system was tested on a full canister that was placed inside a HI-STORM cask at the Holtec Manufacturing Division. It was also demonstrated on a full-height mockup at Penn State to a live audience.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [2];  [3];  [4]
  1. Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park, PA (United States)
  2. Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (United States)
  3. Univ. of Illinois, Urbana, IL (United States)
  4. Univ. of South Carolina, Columbia, SC (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park, PA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
Contributing Org.:
University of Michigan, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of South Carolina
OSTI Identifier:
1471208
Report Number(s):
DOE-PSU-FE0008266
NEUP 14-7356; TRN: US1902860
DOE Contract Number:  
NE0008266
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; 12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; spent nuclear fuel; dry storage cask; stress corrosion cracking; nondestructive inspection; robotics; laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy; electromagnetic acoustic transducer; concrete degradation

Citation Formats

Lissenden, Cliff, Motta, Arthur, Brennan, Sean, Reichard, Karl, Jovanovic, Igor, Popovics, John, and Knight, Travis. Final Scientific/Technical Report, Multi-Sensor Inspection and Robotic Systems for Dry Storage Casks. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.2172/1471208.
Lissenden, Cliff, Motta, Arthur, Brennan, Sean, Reichard, Karl, Jovanovic, Igor, Popovics, John, & Knight, Travis. Final Scientific/Technical Report, Multi-Sensor Inspection and Robotic Systems for Dry Storage Casks. United States. doi:10.2172/1471208.
Lissenden, Cliff, Motta, Arthur, Brennan, Sean, Reichard, Karl, Jovanovic, Igor, Popovics, John, and Knight, Travis. Sat . "Final Scientific/Technical Report, Multi-Sensor Inspection and Robotic Systems for Dry Storage Casks". United States. doi:10.2172/1471208. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1471208.
@article{osti_1471208,
title = {Final Scientific/Technical Report, Multi-Sensor Inspection and Robotic Systems for Dry Storage Casks},
author = {Lissenden, Cliff and Motta, Arthur and Brennan, Sean and Reichard, Karl and Jovanovic, Igor and Popovics, John and Knight, Travis},
abstractNote = {Once removed from service, fuel rod assemblies are cooled in a pool and then placed in dry storage until they can be transported to a repository for disposal. The extended duration that used nuclear fuel spends in dry storage makes it prudent to be able to nondestructively inspect the dry storage casks. The degradation mechanisms of most concern are chloride-induced stress corrosion cracking of the stainless steel canister that confines the spent fuel and distributed cracking of the concrete in the overpack structure. Multi-sensor inspection and robotic systems were researched, developed, built, and tested. One system operates completely outside the cask to inspect the concrete. The other system, known as the PRINSE system, for Proactive Robotic Inspection of Nuclear Storage Enclosures, enters the cask through an outlet vent and navigates around the outer surface of the stainless steel canister. The PRINSE system delivers sensors for: (i) real-time characterization of the canister surface in order to assess whether chlorides are present, (ii) detecting the presence of cracks using shear-horizontal ultrasonic guided waves, (iii) measuring the temperature of the canister surface, and (iv) a gamma radiation counter. The four sensing modalities are applicable to any cask containing a stainless steel canister, however the robotic delivery system is designed specifically for Holtec’s HI-STORM family of casks. Horizontal axis casks have exposed concrete surfaces. A fully contactless air-coupled scanning ultrasonic test platform and a frequency-wavenumber domain data analysis method are used for these concrete structures. Analysis, numerical simulation and experimental results demonstrate that distributed cracks in concrete can be detected and cracked regions localized within a scanned region of concrete. Vertical axis casks (like the HI-STORM family) have steel-clad concrete overpacks. In a separate effort, a semi-coupled test platform and a guided wave attenuation-based data analysis method are used for disbond detection. Analysis, numerical simulation and experimental results show that the bonding conditions of steel-concrete interfaces can be quantitatively characterized using the guided wave signal analysis scheme. The PRINSE system is designed for vertical axis dry storage casks, specifically the HI-STORM family. The double pulse laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) system takes advantage of an optical fiber to deliver intense light to the canister surface that enables surface composition characterization in-situ in real time. Chlorine concentrations as low as 10 mg/m2 were detected on stainless steel. Additionally, a simpler laser setup was created to detect sodium as a surrogate for chlorine, and sodium was detectable when the chlorine concentration was as low as 0.5 mg/m2. The electromagnetic acoustic transducers (EMATs) enable detection of stress corrosion cracks. The EMATs generate shear-horizontal waves that propagate around the canister and are reflected by cracks enabling 100% of the canister weld lines to be inspected. The EMAT-based crack detection system was tested at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory on a canister containing blind defects and was shown to detect the crack sizes it was designed to detect. The PRINSE system is a novel marsupial robot. The command center and winch outside the cask control the delivery arm and train of cars that traverse the outside of the canister from the cask ventilation system. The sensors are housed in the cargo bays of three cars that comprise the train, which is lowered to the bottom of the canister by the winch. Encoders on the winch enable the sensors to be delivered to a prescribed location, e.g., for re-inspection of a problem area. The PRINSE system does not mar the canister surface, can be extracted manually in the case of a power failure, and is designed for an elevated temperature and gamma radiation environment, although not all components of the prototype are made from the final materials. The PRINSE system was tested on a full canister that was placed inside a HI-STORM cask at the Holtec Manufacturing Division. It was also demonstrated on a full-height mockup at Penn State to a live audience.},
doi = {10.2172/1471208},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {6}
}