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GEN-IV Webinar Series 54:

In-Service Inspection and Repair Developments for SFRs and Extension to other Gen-IV Systems

June 24, 2021

​In-Service Inspection is a major challenge to consider for future Generation IV Reactors’ safety. Therefore, a large focus of R&D work has been performed since 2010 in France for the Sodium Fast Reactor systems (SFR). This research has mainly been dedicated to the inspection of reactor block structures, primary components and circuits, and Power Conversion System main components (Heat Exchangers). In-Service Inspection requirements have to be taken into account since the early preconceptual design phase, then consolidated through the basic design phase with more detailed specifications leading to an increase in the inspection tools’ ability for immersed sodium structures of SFRs, at about 200°C (shut down conditions).

Inspection within the main vessel should be performed either with transducers immersed in sodium (with associated in sodium robotics) and with transducers located out of sodium medium. Nondestructive Examination, Telemetry and Imaging are qualified with experimental in-water and then in-sodium testing, using ultrasonic transducers. Experimental results are then compared to simulations using French CIVA software platform results. Repair was also part of this program, with laser system development.

This webinar provided a technical overview of this In-Service Inspection & Repair program that involves specific international collaborations done through GEN-IV mainly. It was presented by Dr. François Baqué who works as a Senior Expert on inspection for fast reactors at CEA Cadarache IRESNE in the Nuclear Technology Department.

Previously, he was the Manager of R&D activities associated with In-Service Inspection and Repair for ASTRID Project at CEA (2010-2019). During this period, he led CEA organizations engaged in the development and qualification of ultrasonic and electromagnetic sensors and related inspection methods. He supervises PhD works on ultrasonic methods in the French University and National Centre for Scientific Research. He is an active participant to the GEN-IV/SFR-CD&BOP (Component Design and Balance of Plant) group for inspection systems and methods.

Dr. Baqué has published several papers on associated studies and participated in relevant international conferences (ICAPP, FR, ANIMMA…). He was a former Manager of French Sodium School (2004-2010) who developed international activities.

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