Nondestructive inspection (NDI) is an integral part of structural integrity analyses of dry storage casks that house spent nuclear fuel. One significant concern for the structural integrity is stress corrosion cracking in the heat-affected zone of welds in the stainless steel canister that confines the spent fuel. In situ NDI methodology for detection of stress corrosion cracking is investigated, where the inspection uses a delivery robot because of the presence of the harsh environment and geometric constrains inside the cask protecting the canister. Shear horizontal (SH) guided waves that are sensitive to cracks oriented either perpendicular or parallel to the wave vector are used to locate welds and to detect cracks. SH waves are excited and received by electromagnetic acoustic transducers (EMATs) using noncontact ultrasonic transduction and pulse-echo mode. A laboratory-scale canister mock-up is fabricated and inspected using the proposed methodology to evaluate the ability of EMATs to excite and receive SH waves and to locate welds. The EMAT's capability to detect notches from various distances is evaluated on a plate containing 25%-through-thickness surface-breaking notches. Based on the results of the distances at which notch reflections are detectable, NDI coverage for spent nuclear fuel storage canisters is determined.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Nuclear Energy and Engineering