Prototype of an Echo-PIV Method for Use in Underwater Nuclear Decommissioning Inspections

Authors: Takuya Kawachi, Robert Malkin, Hideharu Takahashi, Hiroshige Kikura

The ongoing decommissioning of the Fukushima Daiichi (1F) nuclear power plant requires the inspection of the inside of containment vessels that have been submerged in water. These inspections must locate leaks and map the distribution of fuel debris in water with very low visibility. This paper reports the design and testing of an echo-PIV system that uses a single divergent signal wave and delay-and-sum processing to efficiently map the interior and fluid flow within a submerged vessel. The diverging wave and delay-and-sum processing improve upon the performance of conventional ultrasound PIV methods specifically to meet the demands of containment vessel inspections. The imaging method uses an ultrasonic linear sensor array that emits a diverging wave that covers a wide angle with a single transmission. The delay-and-sum algorithm combines echo signals recorded by each element of the sensor array. We optimized the design of an echo-PIV system in laboratory-scale tests, and then tested the prototype with a mockup of a containment vessel in a water tank. The small-scale prototype successfully located a mock leak and mapped the surface of a piece of mock debris. This prototype can be scaled up readily for inspections at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.


Journal: Journal of Flow Control, Measurement & Visualization

DOI: 10.4236/jfcmv.2019.71003(PDF)
Paper Id: 90098 (metadata)

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