Abstract

In the field of nuclear energy, two particular applications are considered—the measurement of biological shielding concrete and measurement of high-temperature high-pressure piping. For the measurement of biological shielding concrete, a special manipulator was developed, which is applied through the ionization channels of VVER-440 power plants. Biological shielding concrete is covered on all sides with an 11 mm thick steel liner preventing its assessment using any conventional test method. For the measurement of high-temperature high-pressure piping, acoustic emission sensors installed in the LEMOP system (NPP Temelin) are used for both excitation and data acquisition. In operation, this piping is covered with glass wool insulation, but installed sensors on the waveguides make it possible to assess pipelines without removing the insulation. To demonstrate the material degradation, a set of concrete test specimens and a set of steel test specimens were made. Nonlinear elastic wave spectroscopy is a test method based on measuring the elastic–plastic response of the material whose plastic component is caused by microcracks. Part of this response may be caused by inhomogeneity of the material itself or the nonlinearity of the test system used, which is to be minimized in the measurement. Due to degradation, the number of microcracks increases, increasing the total nonlinear response of the material. The aim of this approach is to monitor the degradation of concrete and metallic materials based on the response of the test system to ultrasonic excitation.

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