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BWXT $   $  
As of . Minimum 20 minute delay.

CANDU PHWR Steam Generator Tube Prima® Inspection and Repair

To reduce the duration of steam generator inspection and maintenance activities, BWX Technologies, Inc. (BWXT) has developed the PRIMATM SG robotic manipulator. This manipulator offers improved speed, accuracy and durability; these traits in turn provide significant reductions in both time commitment and operator dose during inspection campaigns.

The PRIMA™ SG manipulator was designed, assembled and tested in-house by BWXT in cooperation with our Intech subsidiary. That process involved mechanical components, electrical and camera systems, as well as control software. The overall system is designed for rapid tool head changes and can accommodate all automated tube plugging and tube removal tooling.

PRIMA™ SG has been successfully deployed on steam generator inspection campaigns in Canada and overseas.

The PRIMA™ SG system was designed with employee safety in mind; no personnel are required to enter the vessel during the inspection. The system provides single-location calibration and a low-profile eddy current probe delivery system. It was also crucial that the system be designed based on the ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Achievable) principle - i.e., designed to minimize radiation exposure for personnel performing the installation and equipment functions in the work area. To exceed ALARA requirements, the system was designed to be extremely durable, portable and efficient to set up in containment.

Key Features & BenefitsPrima Inspection Tool

In response to the need for efficient, reliable and safe steam generator inspections, BWXT developed the PRIMATM SG system, a state-of-the-art service robot with a specialized manipulator arm. Key attributes of this system include:

  • Proven field installation time of 10 minutes
  • Three-piece lightweight design for ease of transportation and practical bowl assembly
  • Designed for FME safety
  • Extremely strong and rigid, with a maximum payload of 100 lbs
  • Remote, single-point calibration
  • Failsafe retention of calibration during power losses
  • Tube-to-tube speed is negligible (4 ft/second)
  • Interfaces with all common industry remote data acquisition units
  • Support suite of tube plugging, ECT and tube maintenance end effectors
  • No pneumatic air requirements
  • No striding or tube walking required
  • No metal-to-metal gripping of tubes
  • Zero inspection exclusion zones