Greene R&D International, Inc.
In depth information:
Power Plant Applications
Nuclear Plant Applications

Title: GRDI BatScan System for Power Plants

Sub title: Prognostic monitoring and damage mitigation

A National Laboratory estimated potential savings exceeding one billion dollars per year from deployment of on-line monitoring and diagnostics to increase the life of the 104 legacy US Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs).

The following required concepts on how to achieve these savings are drawn from GRDI's recent paper (IAEA PLiM 2007).

o Enhanced and advanced online monitoring and diagnostics is essential.

o Surveillance, monitoring and protection systems should be based on quantifiable fundamental physics principles, engineered to meet quantified plant requirements, and quantified in terms of probability of detection (e.g. false alarm criteria).

o Must lead to longer times between planned outages, and lead to shorter outages.

o Must reduce risk of "surprises" increasing or causing extended outages as plants age.

o Changes during plant operation should be detected, quantified and trended to enhance operator's condition monitoring and situational awareness.

o New technologies and approaches for structural health monitoring/management are required, and identified by Bond in schematic form as Figure 2 in his paper.

GRDI's BatScan Systems are fully responsive to all the concepts listed above. They include all new approaches, technologies, and required concepts defined for advanced NPP structural health monitoring. BatScan Technology Surveillance Systems are based on physical and mathematical models developed, verified and validated by extensive test programs and industrial installations.

Their performance is further enhanced by neural net and fuzzy logic technologies to increase monitoring sensitivity, integration with existing plant I&C systems, and operator situational awareness. These are two of the technologies identified in the National Laboratory paper for the prognostic approach required to achieve full benefits in costs, reliable operation and plant safety.

The BatScan systems go one stage further by incorporating interactive plant simulations that allow engineers to predict the impact of design changes or plant operating modes on monitoring parameters. The simulations also provide a platform for operator training and certification of response competencies. Both of these features can have a further beneficial impact on PLiM, reliability and safety.

BatScan Systems are available now for use in NPP PLiM installations where appropriate for specific applications, or can be custom designed for specific problem solutions.


The number of NPPs in the current global fleet is 440; average age is more than 20 years with design life in range of 30 to 40 years. Current expectation is to increase existing plant life to 60 years, and hope to extend lifetimes to 80 years or longer.

Growing global demand for electrical energy, cost of building replacement energy plants, and providing new power plants will test both available technical and economic infrastructures.

  • Existing plants are too valuable to scrap.
  • Nuclear power needs technological help to enable and enhance PLiM, management of resources, new plant designs, and efficiency, safety and reliability.
  • Loss of technology, NPP design factors, development, and test experience is very expensive to rediscover or repeat. Capture of this information is cost effective.
  • Aging workforce, and development and attraction of replacement highly educated workers, is a further concern.

Technologies and approaches are not specific to NPPs; they apply equally to many industries. Cost of too early replacement or scrapping of usable equipment is expensive (e.g. planes and ships). Experience and prognostic developments can be applied to these and other industries with further potential for substantial savings.

For further information contact: Dr Rosemary Greene at


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Nuclear Plants


Case Histories and Lessons Learned from Design, Development, Planning and Implementation of New I&C Systems, Including effective integration with existing systems and processes

D.A. Greene, R.A. Greene
Greene R&D International Inc. Los Gatos, California, USA []


This paper is based on practical, wide ranging and in-depth experience of many aspects of power plant design and operation. The authors have decades of experience working in the nuclear industry, as well as other high technology fields. This includes leading teams on development, design and implementation of plant diagnostic and monitoring equipment; fundamental technology and R&D investigations; and integration of advanced technologies and processes into nuclear energy, space reactors, and other industries. The paper will draw from this experience and describe the lessons learned when implementing systems 'from-womb-to-tomb', The paper is in two parts. We will use practical experiences to suggest project development best practices in Part 1; and illustrate lessons learned during I&C system installation, testing and validation in Part 2,

Damage to a steam generator from a sodium-water reaction can be extensive if not mitigated by a rapid detection system. A strong economic case can be made to develop a reliable detection system with very low false alarm rate (typically one false alarm in thirty years). A passive acoustic tomography leak detection system was invented and fully developed (the BatScan system). BatScan, in effect, has many tens of thousands of virtual microphones within the vessel, and can independently measure the noise field at each virtual microphone. BatScan's software then produces a three dimensional image of the absolute sound field within the volume, indicating the size and location of a tube leak.The project to develop this detection system was extensive, covering analyses, laboratory tests, and installation and integration with large test facility and Nuclear Power Plant Instrumentation and control systems. Analytical and experimental investigations covered a wide range of fields, from Sodium-water reaction phenomena, acoustic technology, to sensors and state of the art electronics. Best practices and lessons learned from the project are described.

For further information contact: Dr Rosemary Greene at

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