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Non-contact, High Speed Inspection of Zirconium Power Plant Components

Award Information

Department of Energy
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2012 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
58 a
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Radiation Monitoring Devices, Inc.
44 Hunt St. Watertown, MA 02472-4699
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2012
Title: Non-contact, High Speed Inspection of Zirconium Power Plant Components
Agency: DOE
Contract: DE-FG02-11ER90128
Award Amount: $1,009,940.00


Advanced sensors and measurement techniques are needed to increase resolution, and sensitivity to defects while reducing the intrusiveness and cost of inspection at nuclear power plants. Zirconium, a metal with a low neutron absorption cross section, is widely used in nuclear power plants. Close proximity to the reactor of zirconium parts presents limitations for in-service inspection because the parts are difficult to access. High quality, defect-free manufacturing is essential to avoid defects in components before installation. RMD proposes a new, hybrid solid-state, eddy current sensor array to provide complete, high resolution analysis of critical components such as conduits made from zirconium and other low conductivity metals. High sensitivity, low noise and directionality, combined with the wide frequency range of the sensor elements, will give the sensors the capacity to make measurements all the way through the walls and detect microscopic defects in components made from zirconium, stainless steel and Inconel. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: The new sensors can penetrate much deeper into metal parts and will result in more definitive detection of defects, and the ability to detect smaller, more deeply buried defects. The sensors will be suitable for use in existing eddy current test (ECT) equipment making them available for all applications where ECT is now used. Some of the major industries using ECT include: electricity generation, aircraft inspection, transportation vehicle maintenance, oil drilling, and pipeline inspection.

Principal Investigator:

Timothy Tiernan

Business Contact:

Michael Entine
Small Business Information at Submission:

Radiation Monitoring Devices, Inc.
44 Hunt Street Watertown, MA -

EIN/Tax ID: 042546395
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No