11:06 GMT18 September 2020
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    This robot is used for testing the eddy current of steam generator tubes inside nuclear power plants. This task has been traditionally carried out manually and was considered hazardous due to the highly-radioactive atmosphere.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) — Indian scientists have developed a breakthrough technology for a radioactive environment which will replace the human intervention for testing the eddy current inside nuclear power plants.

    The robot manipulator was developed by scientists from the Center for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (CAIR), Bengaluru, the state-owned Defense Research and Development Organization's (DRDO) premier research laboratory. Last month the DRDO transferred the technology to the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL).

    "The ECT Robot Manipulator system is a remotely controlled 5 Degree of Freedom (5-DoF) robotic system used for positioning the ECT probe below the steam generator tube, which has to be inspected. The system has been designed with a unique 2 DOF base for automatic calibration. The probe holder is equipped with a camera for automatic visual position correction to compensate for mechanical errors in the system," DRDO said in a statement.

    The steam generator tubes are used as a barrier between the primary wall that fills up with highly radioactive coolants and uncontaminated secondary coolants. It transfers the heat of the primary coolants to the secondary coolants efficiently.

    Any defects or cracks inside the tubes directly impact the reliability and performance of the plants and is also dangerous from the point of view of human safety. Many countries have already started using robot manipulators in place of human inspection for steam generator tubes, but Indian plants were still dependent on human resources for such inspections.




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