Structural integrity & safety of nuclear power plants is critical, especially due to the nature of fuel it uses. The radioactive fuel can spread out and contaminate a vast geographical area in a very short period of time in case of any structural deterioration and damage in the plant’s structure.
The effects are long term and almost impossible to eradicate. Thus, nuclear power plant monitoring using a combination of techniques such as geotechnical instrumentation, non-contact deformation survey including aerial survey through drone is very essential.
Geotechnical sensors used in nuclear power plant monitoring includes:
- Embedment type and surface mounted strain gauges
- Load cells on retaining anchors to determine the deformations in the structure
- Single point borehole extensometer to determine bottom heave
- Multipoint borehole extensometers to determine relative subsurface movements
- Hydrostatic settlement monitoring systems to measure raft foundation settlements
- Piezometers to monitor groundwater pressure within the footprint area and in the area surrounding the plant
- Vibrating wire uniaxial and triaxial joint meters to determine relative movement between the concrete blocks of the plant
- Tilt meter to determine the change in the tilt of various components of the structure
- Temperature sensors to determine the temperature at critical locations of the structure
- Telecoordinometer to determine relative displacement between two points in the structure
- Non-contact methods involving 3D deformation survey by automated total stations, laser scanning combined with software to compare subsequent scans with the initial one to determine deformations
- An aerial survey by UAV or drone equipped with a high-resolution camera or a laser scanner for visual inspections deformation monitoring gives additional and useful information on the health of the structure.
Encardio-Rite offers a comprehensive web-based monitoring solution with the above-mentioned technologies for the long-term safety monitoring of Nuclear Power Plants. It manufactures a wide range of sensors which have a proven track record for reliability and long-term performance even under harsh conditions.