Design and Analysis of Position Mapped EMAT Sensor Readings For a Nuclear Cask Inspection System

Open Access
Kontra, Michael Ryan
Area of Honors:
Mechanical Engineering
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Sean Brennan, Thesis Supervisor
  • Sean Brennan, Honors Advisor
  • Hosam Fathy, Faculty Reader
  • Robot
  • Nuclear Fuel
  • Fuel Cask
  • NEUP
  • EMAT Sensor
  • Mechanical Engineering
The goal of this thesis is to design and develop technologies for a robot that can inspect the integrity of a dry nuclear storage cask from within the cask. In order to do so, the robot must be capable of navigating the inner geometry of the cask, as well as capable of taking measurements pertaining to the cask’s thermal environment and material composition. The specific areas of interest covered in this work include the design of the robot’s body, the design of the winch mechanism, as well as the mapping of position-based measurements taken by the robot. To complete the task at hand, the robot will enter the cask and properly orientate itself with respect to the channel. As the robot navigates down the channel via a winch mechanism, it will take periodic measurements of the channel’s temperature and material composition. The robot will then be extracted from the channel for further use in geometrically similar parts of the cask to fully determine its structural integrity. The geometric constraints of the cask are constant, and will thus be used as parameters for the aforementioned processes above. As a result of performing the multiple iterations of the machining processes used to create the inspection system’s components, more efficient production processes were established. Additionally, the initial EMAT testing yielded results that concluded that there were little to no flaws in the nuclear cask’s composition.