Madison, Pa., July 5, 2017 – Westinghouse announced today it has successfully used its Zephyr® Advanced Acquisition System to examine 100 percent of the tubes in a steam generator from a single plenum – a first in the nuclear industry. The Zephyr system uses revolutionary probe delivery to more rapidly perform high-quality eddy current examinations as part of a plant’s regular steam generator maintenance program.
This milestone was achieved at Arizona Public Service Company’s Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station in Wintersburg, Arizona. It also marked the first time that an eddy current data acquisition speed of 120 inches per second was performed on essentially all of the steam generator’s tubes. Zephyr also contributed to the plant by using the fewest number of probes ever.
Eddy current testing is a non-destructive evaluation technique used to meet industry inspection requirements.
Westinghouse’s innovative Zephyr eddy current testing system is proven to reduce outage schedule, radioactive waste and outage costs. Zephyr is part of the company’s Long-Term Operations campaign to provide solutions that help nuclear plant operators solve their most pressing operational challenges, saving time and costs.
“Westinghouse personnel utilizing the Zephyr system surpassed all expectations, including scheduling, ALARA and data quality,” said Palo Verde Senior Consulting Engineer Doug Hansen. “Both primary and secondary analysis teams noted that they have never seen better and more consistent data quality. The schedule could not have been met without Zephyr.”
“This achievement continues our ongoing partnership with Palo Verde to demonstrate industry leadership in steam generator inspections,” said Steve Ira, senior vice president, Global Field Services & Plant Modifications. “This mutual success also aligns to the industry’s goal of ‘Delivering the Nuclear Promise’ by generating electricity more efficiently, economically and safely.”
Palo Verde won the Nuclear Energy Institute’s Top Industry Practice (TIP) Award in 2015 and 2016 for implementation of innovative Westinghouse steam generator primary acquisition and analysis technologies.