EASL has been recently awarded a contract for pipework weld defect tolerance assessments (DTA) for ITER with the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA), a non-departmental government body carrying out research into nuclear fusion as a future source of energy.
ITER is an international project, with 35 nations collaborating to design, construct and operate a prototype controlled nuclear fusion reactor in southern France, scheduled to begin operation in 2025. Once operational, many components will operate in extreme conditions, and many of them will need to be maintained and replaced during ITER’s operation lifetime.
The components’ maintenance will be done by remote handling systems (RHS) which commonly have an associated embedded piping set either for actively cooling them or to perform their process. These pipes must be remotely cut as part of the component removal operation and re-welded when the replaced components are re-installed always by the RHS.
The integrity of the remotely welded joints must also be demonstrated remotely by the means of NDT (visual examination, volumetric inspection, helium leak test, and pressure test).
Our task is to undertake defect tolerance assessment using UK and French approaches to define the allowable start of life defects which will need to be demonstrated as detectable via subsequent NDE development work. This is a critical input for delivery of the wider project.
EASL is actively involved in nuclear power generation and new build for both fusion and fission and currently collaborating with ITER within several departments such as Port Integration and Diagnostics, as well as Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in Somerset. We also provide specialised engineering services to the existing UK nuclear fleet, among many others.
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