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Eddy current testing of AGR fuel cladding

Morozov, Maxim and Pierce, S Gareth and Bolton, Gary T (2015) Eddy current testing of AGR fuel cladding. In: 54th Annual British Conference of Non-Destructive Testing, NDT 2015. British Institute of Non-Destructive Testing, Northampton.

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Abstract

The scope of the presented study was to investigate feasibility of Eddy Current Testing (ECT) for detection in storage of inter-granular attack (IGA) cracking and general clad thinning of irradiated fuel cladding from Advanced Gas-cooled Reactors (AGR). The impact of the storage environment, particularly the effect of immersion in water compared to measurements in air, has also been investigated. A miniature EC probe was developed to induce eddy currents in a pin and to read out EC response. The transducer was robotically moved along the AGR pin and multi-frequency EC responses were acquired using a spectrum analyser. Main results of the experimental investigation are the following: even very small artificial defects such as short EDM notches of depth of 100μm produce distinguishable EC response; localised clad thinning of depth of 100μm and above produces considerable EC response levels; effect of water environment on the EC response is negligible; effect of anti-stacking grooves on the EC response is considerable.