GE’s robotic inspector dives in nuclear containment vessels

GE’s ‘Stinger’ robot dives in water tanks at nuclear reactors while keeping squishy human workers at a safe distance

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.engadget.com

Normally when workers at the Edwin Irby Hatch Power Plant in Georgia want to inspect welds on the water-filled containment tank that houses the plant’s nuclear fuel, they have stick pole-mounted inspection cameras in there while potentially exposing themselves to radiation. But now that the plant has acquired a swimming inspection-bot developed by GE and Hitachi, plant workers can check the vessel’s integrity at any time while avoiding all that radiation.   –  The Stinger, as it’s called, operates much like other unmanned submersibles. It uses multi-directional thrusters to move about and a high-resolution color video camera to see where it’s going. What’s more, the tungsten-clad UAS is capable of remaining submerged for up to three weeks at a time. This not only give power plants added flexibility in when to perform these inspections but also gives engineers a look at how materials within the vessel are holding up in the corrosive environment over time.

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