The inspection of vertical pipelines using pipe robots in French nuclear power stations is a done deal: Électricité de France SA (EDF) is a government-dominated stock exchange-listed French electricity company.
EDF is the second largest electricity producer in the world and employs approx. 150,000 employees for the supply of some 37 million customers.
EDF produces approx. 630 billion kWh of power annually. At least more than 22 % of the total electrical power generated in the European Union. Of this, approx. 75 % is generated in nuclear power stations.
In order to keep the 58 nuclear reactors in operation in France technically up to date, EDF is investing approx. 100 billion Euros in their maintenance over the next 10 years.
A part of this programme is also the visual inspection of different pipe systems in the reactor building. These pipelines are mostly vertical and consist of numerous 90°- bends, t- branches and segment bends in special locations.
For the inspection of these complex pipeline systems, INSPECTOR SYSTEMS has developed special robots. Equipped with all-wheel drive technology, they are capable of overcoming the 50 metre height difference – travel is always from the bottom to the top and only then back again.
In total until now, six different pipe robots have been built (3 video- laser inspection robots and 3 polishing- vacuuming robots). Within the next three years these will then inspect the EAS pipelines in more than 19 nuclear power stations.