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Software Output

The Core Verification System outputs a substantial amount of data throughout its operation and stores it on redundant devices: the internal hard drive and the external USB memory stick. The NM200E output provides three alternative, user friendly file options: CSV, PDF and PNG.

CSV Files
The standard, CSV file format contains a sequential list of all data present in an XML file of the core map, separated by commas. By converting a core map XML file into a CSV file, the data can then be easily imported into common word processors, such as Microsoft Excel.

PDF Files
The PDF file is the primary means of reviewing the results of the core mapping process, providing both an overview of the entire core with information and statistics about the mapping performed, as well as detailed information on each individual fuel assembly, including s-hole locations and gap measurements.

PNG Image Files
Images of fuel assemblies at each mapping stop in the core are automatically taken and stored. The system may be directed to capture individual images as well. All images are tagged as to their location, date and time.

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Features of NM200E Core Verification Software

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In this UI screen shot, the NM200E software has identified the core baffle and has found the location of all s-holes at this position of the mapping head. The software has recorded global coordinates of the fuel assemblies as well as the gaps between them and has determined that all are within tolerance.

The accuracy of the NM200E Core Verification System is based on proprietary Newton-developed machine vision software algorithms that accurately identify and measure the positions of all fuel assemblies in a PWR reactor and compares them with ideal positions (supplied by the reactor operators) even in the presence of significant thermals.
The sophisticated software enables the precise global mapping of fuel assembly positions, including any degree of misalignment or nozzle rotation, while compensating for the visually distorting issues of thermal turbulence and light refraction.
NM200Esoftware determines the positions of Westinghouse and AREVA PWR fuel assemblies based in part upon s-hole positions, and it is also able to map the more symmetrical Babcock and Wilcox nozzles.

There are two software applications that are provided with the NM200E system:
- The utility application that allows the user to easily input all desired core and mapping specifications and
- The mapping application with the main user interface to guide the user through the core mapping operation.
Both applications run on the control box utilizing the Ubuntu Linux operating system. No prior knowledge of the Linux operation system is required to operate the system.

Core Layout Utility Application

The Core Layout Utility has the following functions:

  • Specify layout patterns for used and new fuel assemblies
  • Specify gaps globally, or on a per-row or per-column basis
  • Specify the North cardinal direction in relation to the core layout
  • Specify the mapping head positions (stops) to be used for the core mapping
  • Modify global settings such as the site name, label order and nozzle dimensions

Core Mapping Application

The Core Verification System is the primary application and interface used to perform a core mapping. During deployment, it displays processed images from the mapping head, and guides the operator through the mapping procedure by providing instructions and feedback on the current status of the process.

On the NM200E operator's console the actual s-hole positions of individual nozzles are graphically superimposed upon the "ideal" or "design" locations. Out-of-tolerance s-holes are immediately apparent and their precise locations are digitally recorded for future reference.


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Pre-Deployment Data Input Requirements

Before deployment and mapping can begin, a number of parameters relating to the reactor vessel and fuel need to be identified and entered into the NM200E software. An outage questionnaire for the NM200E Core Verification System has been developed that lists all the required information needed for the NM200E software to function properly.
The necessary information includes:

- Site name and reactor number, which is used primarily for annotating all data and documents produced by the system.

- Detailed measurements about the fuel and baffle plates are needed. The NM200E uses these values to help locate the s-holes in a global reference frame based on the baffle locations.

- Configuration of the core must be specified. This includes the number of fuel assemblies, fuel bundle re-load plan, and the ideal nozzle gaps. All of this information is used during both the mapping process and generation of results data.

Learn more about deploying the NM200E and core mapping process HERE.