Fuel Channel Inspection Tools

The fuel channel of a CANDU reactor is made up of two concentric tubes, a calandria tube (CT), and a pressure tube (PT). Each fuel channel is supported by the end shield lattice tubes through sliding bearings and by the annular spacers between the calandria tube and the pressure tube. The end fitting assemblies allow relative axial movement between the fuel channel assemblies and the lattice tubes, to accommodate thermal expansion, creep, and irradiation growth.

Hydrogen can build up within the zirconium alloys used in the pressure tubes and this can lead to changes in the alloy’s physical properties. Operators must keep a close eye on this build-up to ensure the safety of their assets and to satisfy the requirements of the regulator.

We have a suite of custom fuel channel tools including our Circumferential Wet Scrape Tool (CWEST*) and our Fret Replica Inspection Laser Scanner (FRILS) that enable the fuel channels to be sampled and inspected. We can supply tools, supply tools with a comprehensive support service, or undertake the inspection/sampling for you. We can also analyze the samples and the inspection data to provide detailed, informed, evaluations giving you a complete fitness-for-service assessment that you can rely on.

*CWEST not available for sale outside of Canada until after November 30, 2027.

Why Us?

  • Reactor Fitness-for-Service

    Fuel channel inspection tooling provides key data that enables the ongoing operation of your CANDU reactor. Our expertise supports the sampling and inspection with analysis of the samples and expert assessment of the data.

  • Reducing Cost With a Shorter Critical Path

    Fuel channel inspections are typically on the critical path of an outage and so by reducing the time they take you can lower your overall cost while simultaneously enjoying an earlier return to power generation.

  • Safe and Reliable

    Our tools keep the deployment team safe by enabling them to quickly complete the inspection and analysis confident in the knowledge that the tool will work.

  • Designed with OPEX in Mind

    Many of our design and fabrication team have been involved in the deployment of these and similar tools and they design and build them with that experience in mind.

  • Demonstrated Sampling Process

    Our CWEST* tool has seen plenty of action showing that it can take scrape samples without causing damage to the pressure tubes.

  • Reduced Risk of Human Performance Errors

    Automated and designed with human performance in mind the risk of human error is greatly reduced when using our tools.