Delivering Enhanced Through-Life Nuclear Asset Management

Lead Research Organisation: University of Strathclyde
Department Name: Electronic and Electrical Engineering

Abstract

Nuclear engineering has returned to the forefront of UK industrial attention with an unprecedented government economic infrastructure spend programme not seen for over 50 years. The combined life extension and new build programmes in Civil Nuclear, running in parallel with life extension and new build in submarine nuclear programmes places a significant demand on an area of engineering already dealing with a National and International skills shortage. Existing and new assets in both civil and naval sectors are important as civil nuclear power accounts for 21% of the UK's electrical generation and nuclear submarines provide the UK's independent continuous at-sea nuclear deterrent. A strategic partnership comprising Babcock International Group, BAM Nutall, Bruce Power, EDF-Energy, Kinectrics, The Weir Group and the University of Strathclyde will establish a nationally significant research programme to increase capability and multidisciplinary expertise focussed on enhanced through-life nuclear asset management.
The overall aim of the partnership is two-fold. First, the drive is to create new knowledge and understanding to underpin the operational management/maintenance of existing infrastructure and to improve understanding and knowledge of lifetime and degradation processes. This will significantly increase the life of existing assets, minimise operational risk and reduce through life costs. Second, this novel knowledge can then be fed into the development of the next generation of nuclear plants and equipment, and hence translate these breakthroughs into the design and build of future nuclear assets. In doing this, the partnership will provide game changing knowledge, understanding and technology to deliver significant impact for the partners, the UK economy and global nuclear industry.
Additionally it will ensure UK scientific and engineering companies remain at the forefront of global markets.
The research in this programme targets low technology readiness level (TRL) advances that are required to support the ambitions of the industry partners and will deliver specific research outcomes which:
- Deliver improved understanding and knowledge of lifetime and degradation processes;
- Deliver a novel method or system for diagnosing or predicting degradation in plant;
- Deliver novel predictive models that allow the lifetime of plant items to be extended; or
- Deliver novel solutions to repairing critical plant to allow plant lifetime to be extended.

The research programme and the pathway to impact will result in the whole life cycle of nuclear assets being more effectively implemented at a value higher than the sum of the individual parts. Operators will see increases in generation and reductions in costs, resulting in lower cost energy for consumers. As nuclear energy is a carbon neutral energy, investment in nuclear will help decrease CO2 emissions and global warming.
The programme targets Energy Security and Efficiency, aiming to meet National Strategic Needs in the Nuclear Sector by investing in nuclear plant life extensions and efficiencies which will help increase electrical generation capacity and reduce the burden on existing electrical assets at a time when the UK faces a shortage in energy and electricity supplies in the coming years.
In addition, some of the industry partners' interests span a number of sectors and the research themes in this programme are also highly relevant to other sectors including aerospace, energy and marine.
Finally, an additional aim of the programme, relates to development of supply chains to deliver the next generation of technologies and components for nuclear assets. Moreover, as a number of the industrial members of the research centres are non-UK based, outputs from this research programme and subsequent products and services can be exported into international markets. This will lead to UK companies being part of foreign supply chains.

Planned Impact

This programme is aimed at the supporting a more sustainable energy policy for the UK and benefits for all of society. It will result in lower cost energy for consumers and as nuclear energy is a carbon neutral energy, investment in nuclear will help decrease CO2 emissions and global warming. Additionally, nuclear plant life extensions and efficiencies will help increase electrical generation capacity at a time when the UK faces a shortage in energy and electricity supplies in the coming years.
By bringing together various sections of the nuclear supply chain (operators, consultants, OEMs, academics) in a consortium, an opportunity exists through this partnership to better integrate each part of the supply chain's needs and requirements, leading to a more efficient and effective nuclear sector in the UK.
The proposed treatment and repair strategies for nuclear structures (including foundations) are applicable to infrastructure within the wider Built Environment. The proposed technologies are low-carbon and designed to minimise production of radioactive waste, which requires encapsulation for storage and geological disposal. The research concerning operational intelligence and decision support will introduce a step change in the through-life plant maintenance, operation, management and lifetime extension capabilities in the UK and internationally. Within the UK context, the UK's largest producer of low-carbon electricity, EDF Energy, will benefit from: maximising the generation from their existing stations, reducing the costs of operations and maintenance on their existing stations, and reducing the costs of decommissioning their existing stations. The specific challenges and advances that the nuclear operators are using the Prosperity Partnership to address provides commercial opportunities for the wider partnership. The OEMs and consultants will benefit from technology-driven initiatives to enhance their support methodologies, service and product offerings.
The research outcomes, novel contributions and knowledge developed will provide value to a number of academic communities within EPSRC's clearly defined Research Areas. In particular, the programme directly articulates with researchers interested in EPSRC's Nuclear Fission priority area, with a focus on existing operations and new nuclear build. The strong linkage between the university's research, the industry partner needs and EPSRC priority research areas means that all of the research will significantly influence the UK academic community. Many of these priorities are also of international interest and reach.

Publications

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Aizpurua J (2018) Power transformer dissolved gas analysis through Bayesian networks and hypothesis testing in IEEE Transactions on Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation

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Aizpurua J (2018) Uncertainty-Aware Fusion of Probabilistic Classifiers for Improved Transformer Diagnostics in IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics: Systems

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Dunlop Matthew M. (2018) How Deep Are Deep Gaussian Processes? in JOURNAL OF MACHINE LEARNING RESEARCH

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Javadi Y. (2018) Ultrasonic phased array inspection of wire plus arc additive manufacture (WAAM) samples using conventional and total focusing method (TFM) imaging approaches in NDT 2018 - 57th Annual Conference of the British Institute of Non-Destructive Testing

 
Description Biotechnology for Design of Decommissionable Concrete 
Organisation BAM Nuttall
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Technologies being developed for the application of microbially induced mineral precipitation, specifically calcite, aragonite and apatite, on concrete and other geological materials (soils and rocks). Bio-treatment of concrete to develop new concrete material for use on nuclear sites (e.g. for construction of bunds beneath decommissioning operational areas or for new-build infrastructure). Retrofitting of technology to existing concrete structures (e.g. for application to uncontaminated concrete as a protection during decommissioning and deconstruction operations). Concrete specifically designed to trap radionuclides into a thin surface layer, that is easily removable.
Collaborator Contribution Babcock International Group, Bruce Power and EDF Energy each own and/or operate assets with a substantial concrete component. These partners have been working with the project team to identify relevant assets and locations for the deployment of the developed technology. They are also supplying concrete samples for use in laboratory testing and will subsequently provide access to site locations where the technology testing can be conducted in-situ. BAM Nuttall and Kinectrics aim to develop the technology to a commercial scale and deploy the technologies on behalf of the owner/operators. These service providers are hence providing knowledge on deployment aspects during development phases of the technologies and also regulations associated with acceptance by the industry regulator.
Impact Discussion meetings held to determine likely applications and environments as an input into material design.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Biotechnology for Design of Decommissionable Concrete 
Organisation Babcock International Group
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Technologies being developed for the application of microbially induced mineral precipitation, specifically calcite, aragonite and apatite, on concrete and other geological materials (soils and rocks). Bio-treatment of concrete to develop new concrete material for use on nuclear sites (e.g. for construction of bunds beneath decommissioning operational areas or for new-build infrastructure). Retrofitting of technology to existing concrete structures (e.g. for application to uncontaminated concrete as a protection during decommissioning and deconstruction operations). Concrete specifically designed to trap radionuclides into a thin surface layer, that is easily removable.
Collaborator Contribution Babcock International Group, Bruce Power and EDF Energy each own and/or operate assets with a substantial concrete component. These partners have been working with the project team to identify relevant assets and locations for the deployment of the developed technology. They are also supplying concrete samples for use in laboratory testing and will subsequently provide access to site locations where the technology testing can be conducted in-situ. BAM Nuttall and Kinectrics aim to develop the technology to a commercial scale and deploy the technologies on behalf of the owner/operators. These service providers are hence providing knowledge on deployment aspects during development phases of the technologies and also regulations associated with acceptance by the industry regulator.
Impact Discussion meetings held to determine likely applications and environments as an input into material design.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Biotechnology for Design of Decommissionable Concrete 
Organisation Bruce Power
PI Contribution Technologies being developed for the application of microbially induced mineral precipitation, specifically calcite, aragonite and apatite, on concrete and other geological materials (soils and rocks). Bio-treatment of concrete to develop new concrete material for use on nuclear sites (e.g. for construction of bunds beneath decommissioning operational areas or for new-build infrastructure). Retrofitting of technology to existing concrete structures (e.g. for application to uncontaminated concrete as a protection during decommissioning and deconstruction operations). Concrete specifically designed to trap radionuclides into a thin surface layer, that is easily removable.
Collaborator Contribution Babcock International Group, Bruce Power and EDF Energy each own and/or operate assets with a substantial concrete component. These partners have been working with the project team to identify relevant assets and locations for the deployment of the developed technology. They are also supplying concrete samples for use in laboratory testing and will subsequently provide access to site locations where the technology testing can be conducted in-situ. BAM Nuttall and Kinectrics aim to develop the technology to a commercial scale and deploy the technologies on behalf of the owner/operators. These service providers are hence providing knowledge on deployment aspects during development phases of the technologies and also regulations associated with acceptance by the industry regulator.
Impact Discussion meetings held to determine likely applications and environments as an input into material design.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Biotechnology for Design of Decommissionable Concrete 
Organisation EDF Energy
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Technologies being developed for the application of microbially induced mineral precipitation, specifically calcite, aragonite and apatite, on concrete and other geological materials (soils and rocks). Bio-treatment of concrete to develop new concrete material for use on nuclear sites (e.g. for construction of bunds beneath decommissioning operational areas or for new-build infrastructure). Retrofitting of technology to existing concrete structures (e.g. for application to uncontaminated concrete as a protection during decommissioning and deconstruction operations). Concrete specifically designed to trap radionuclides into a thin surface layer, that is easily removable.
Collaborator Contribution Babcock International Group, Bruce Power and EDF Energy each own and/or operate assets with a substantial concrete component. These partners have been working with the project team to identify relevant assets and locations for the deployment of the developed technology. They are also supplying concrete samples for use in laboratory testing and will subsequently provide access to site locations where the technology testing can be conducted in-situ. BAM Nuttall and Kinectrics aim to develop the technology to a commercial scale and deploy the technologies on behalf of the owner/operators. These service providers are hence providing knowledge on deployment aspects during development phases of the technologies and also regulations associated with acceptance by the industry regulator.
Impact Discussion meetings held to determine likely applications and environments as an input into material design.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Biotechnology for Design of Decommissionable Concrete 
Organisation Kinectrics Ltd
PI Contribution Technologies being developed for the application of microbially induced mineral precipitation, specifically calcite, aragonite and apatite, on concrete and other geological materials (soils and rocks). Bio-treatment of concrete to develop new concrete material for use on nuclear sites (e.g. for construction of bunds beneath decommissioning operational areas or for new-build infrastructure). Retrofitting of technology to existing concrete structures (e.g. for application to uncontaminated concrete as a protection during decommissioning and deconstruction operations). Concrete specifically designed to trap radionuclides into a thin surface layer, that is easily removable.
Collaborator Contribution Babcock International Group, Bruce Power and EDF Energy each own and/or operate assets with a substantial concrete component. These partners have been working with the project team to identify relevant assets and locations for the deployment of the developed technology. They are also supplying concrete samples for use in laboratory testing and will subsequently provide access to site locations where the technology testing can be conducted in-situ. BAM Nuttall and Kinectrics aim to develop the technology to a commercial scale and deploy the technologies on behalf of the owner/operators. These service providers are hence providing knowledge on deployment aspects during development phases of the technologies and also regulations associated with acceptance by the industry regulator.
Impact Discussion meetings held to determine likely applications and environments as an input into material design.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Biotechnology for the Treatment and Repair of Concrete Nuclear Infrastructure 
Organisation BAM Nuttall
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Development of nuclear specific repair strategies for concrete on nuclear sites, adopting three underlying technologies: Microbially Induced Calcite Precipitation (MICP); Enzyme-Based Calcite Precipitation (EBCP); and, colloidal silica-based repair. These are applied to: repair of building stone; ground improvements (strengthening soils/rocks); and, grout for the formation of subsurface hydraulic barriers.
Collaborator Contribution Babcock International Group, Bruce Power and EDF Energy each own and/or operate assets with a substantial concrete component. These partners have been working with the project team to identify relevant assets and locations for the deployment of the developed technology. They are also supplying concrete samples for use in laboratory testing and will subsequently provide access to site locations where the technology testing can be conducted in-situ. BAM Nuttall and Kinectrics aim to deploy the technology to a commercial scale and deploy the technologies on behalf of the owner/operators. These service providers are hence providing knowledge on how to best deploy the technologies as they are developed and also be accepted by the industry regulator.
Impact Location and case studies of technology development have been identified: Babcock International Group - Dockyard wall repair and life extension; and, Bruce Power and EDF Energy - degraded concrete radiation sheilding and concrete foundations;
Start Year 2018
 
Description Biotechnology for the Treatment and Repair of Concrete Nuclear Infrastructure 
Organisation Babcock International Group
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Development of nuclear specific repair strategies for concrete on nuclear sites, adopting three underlying technologies: Microbially Induced Calcite Precipitation (MICP); Enzyme-Based Calcite Precipitation (EBCP); and, colloidal silica-based repair. These are applied to: repair of building stone; ground improvements (strengthening soils/rocks); and, grout for the formation of subsurface hydraulic barriers.
Collaborator Contribution Babcock International Group, Bruce Power and EDF Energy each own and/or operate assets with a substantial concrete component. These partners have been working with the project team to identify relevant assets and locations for the deployment of the developed technology. They are also supplying concrete samples for use in laboratory testing and will subsequently provide access to site locations where the technology testing can be conducted in-situ. BAM Nuttall and Kinectrics aim to deploy the technology to a commercial scale and deploy the technologies on behalf of the owner/operators. These service providers are hence providing knowledge on how to best deploy the technologies as they are developed and also be accepted by the industry regulator.
Impact Location and case studies of technology development have been identified: Babcock International Group - Dockyard wall repair and life extension; and, Bruce Power and EDF Energy - degraded concrete radiation sheilding and concrete foundations;
Start Year 2018
 
Description Biotechnology for the Treatment and Repair of Concrete Nuclear Infrastructure 
Organisation Bruce Power
PI Contribution Development of nuclear specific repair strategies for concrete on nuclear sites, adopting three underlying technologies: Microbially Induced Calcite Precipitation (MICP); Enzyme-Based Calcite Precipitation (EBCP); and, colloidal silica-based repair. These are applied to: repair of building stone; ground improvements (strengthening soils/rocks); and, grout for the formation of subsurface hydraulic barriers.
Collaborator Contribution Babcock International Group, Bruce Power and EDF Energy each own and/or operate assets with a substantial concrete component. These partners have been working with the project team to identify relevant assets and locations for the deployment of the developed technology. They are also supplying concrete samples for use in laboratory testing and will subsequently provide access to site locations where the technology testing can be conducted in-situ. BAM Nuttall and Kinectrics aim to deploy the technology to a commercial scale and deploy the technologies on behalf of the owner/operators. These service providers are hence providing knowledge on how to best deploy the technologies as they are developed and also be accepted by the industry regulator.
Impact Location and case studies of technology development have been identified: Babcock International Group - Dockyard wall repair and life extension; and, Bruce Power and EDF Energy - degraded concrete radiation sheilding and concrete foundations;
Start Year 2018
 
Description Biotechnology for the Treatment and Repair of Concrete Nuclear Infrastructure 
Organisation EDF Energy
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Development of nuclear specific repair strategies for concrete on nuclear sites, adopting three underlying technologies: Microbially Induced Calcite Precipitation (MICP); Enzyme-Based Calcite Precipitation (EBCP); and, colloidal silica-based repair. These are applied to: repair of building stone; ground improvements (strengthening soils/rocks); and, grout for the formation of subsurface hydraulic barriers.
Collaborator Contribution Babcock International Group, Bruce Power and EDF Energy each own and/or operate assets with a substantial concrete component. These partners have been working with the project team to identify relevant assets and locations for the deployment of the developed technology. They are also supplying concrete samples for use in laboratory testing and will subsequently provide access to site locations where the technology testing can be conducted in-situ. BAM Nuttall and Kinectrics aim to deploy the technology to a commercial scale and deploy the technologies on behalf of the owner/operators. These service providers are hence providing knowledge on how to best deploy the technologies as they are developed and also be accepted by the industry regulator.
Impact Location and case studies of technology development have been identified: Babcock International Group - Dockyard wall repair and life extension; and, Bruce Power and EDF Energy - degraded concrete radiation sheilding and concrete foundations;
Start Year 2018
 
Description Biotechnology for the Treatment and Repair of Concrete Nuclear Infrastructure 
Organisation Kinectrics Ltd
PI Contribution Development of nuclear specific repair strategies for concrete on nuclear sites, adopting three underlying technologies: Microbially Induced Calcite Precipitation (MICP); Enzyme-Based Calcite Precipitation (EBCP); and, colloidal silica-based repair. These are applied to: repair of building stone; ground improvements (strengthening soils/rocks); and, grout for the formation of subsurface hydraulic barriers.
Collaborator Contribution Babcock International Group, Bruce Power and EDF Energy each own and/or operate assets with a substantial concrete component. These partners have been working with the project team to identify relevant assets and locations for the deployment of the developed technology. They are also supplying concrete samples for use in laboratory testing and will subsequently provide access to site locations where the technology testing can be conducted in-situ. BAM Nuttall and Kinectrics aim to deploy the technology to a commercial scale and deploy the technologies on behalf of the owner/operators. These service providers are hence providing knowledge on how to best deploy the technologies as they are developed and also be accepted by the industry regulator.
Impact Location and case studies of technology development have been identified: Babcock International Group - Dockyard wall repair and life extension; and, Bruce Power and EDF Energy - degraded concrete radiation sheilding and concrete foundations;
Start Year 2018
 
Description Cable and Transformer Monitoring Analytics 
Organisation Bruce Power
PI Contribution Improved remaining useful life predictions for electrical plant and equipment (specifically cables and transformers) through novel application of machine learning, Bayesian Networks and statistical analysis. This includes:the creation of adaptive power transformer paper lifetime predictions through machine learning and uncertainty modelling; uncertainty-aware fusion of probabilistic classifiers for improved transformer diagnostics; and, an uncertainty driven probabilistic Health Index Framework for power transformer condition assessment.
Collaborator Contribution Bruce Power have provided extensive access to transformer experts and maintenance engineers to provide requirements, and assess the research results. Kinectrics has provided detailed dissolved-gas-in-oil analysis (DGA) results for Bruce Power transformers, as a result of oil tests undertaken by Kinectrics. EDF Energy have provided detailed cable data to extend the work into this area.
Impact A range of statistical and machine learning models have been created. Draft cable thermal rating model created. Bruce Power cable selection report. EDF Energy cable dataset analysis.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Cable and Transformer Monitoring Analytics 
Organisation EDF Energy
Department EDF Energy Nuclear Generation
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Improved remaining useful life predictions for electrical plant and equipment (specifically cables and transformers) through novel application of machine learning, Bayesian Networks and statistical analysis. This includes:the creation of adaptive power transformer paper lifetime predictions through machine learning and uncertainty modelling; uncertainty-aware fusion of probabilistic classifiers for improved transformer diagnostics; and, an uncertainty driven probabilistic Health Index Framework for power transformer condition assessment.
Collaborator Contribution Bruce Power have provided extensive access to transformer experts and maintenance engineers to provide requirements, and assess the research results. Kinectrics has provided detailed dissolved-gas-in-oil analysis (DGA) results for Bruce Power transformers, as a result of oil tests undertaken by Kinectrics. EDF Energy have provided detailed cable data to extend the work into this area.
Impact A range of statistical and machine learning models have been created. Draft cable thermal rating model created. Bruce Power cable selection report. EDF Energy cable dataset analysis.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Cable and Transformer Monitoring Analytics 
Organisation Kinectrics Ltd
PI Contribution Improved remaining useful life predictions for electrical plant and equipment (specifically cables and transformers) through novel application of machine learning, Bayesian Networks and statistical analysis. This includes:the creation of adaptive power transformer paper lifetime predictions through machine learning and uncertainty modelling; uncertainty-aware fusion of probabilistic classifiers for improved transformer diagnostics; and, an uncertainty driven probabilistic Health Index Framework for power transformer condition assessment.
Collaborator Contribution Bruce Power have provided extensive access to transformer experts and maintenance engineers to provide requirements, and assess the research results. Kinectrics has provided detailed dissolved-gas-in-oil analysis (DGA) results for Bruce Power transformers, as a result of oil tests undertaken by Kinectrics. EDF Energy have provided detailed cable data to extend the work into this area.
Impact A range of statistical and machine learning models have been created. Draft cable thermal rating model created. Bruce Power cable selection report. EDF Energy cable dataset analysis.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Main Boiler Feed Pump Analytics 
Organisation Alan Turing Institute
Country Unknown 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Requirements for analytics around main boiler feedpumps in nuclear power plants. Identification of data science visualisation and machine learning techniques that can be used for the power plant data. Initial visualisations of the data has revealed some typical behaviours of individual measurements, how they relate to one another, as well as how they have changed over the operational periods of the pump.
Collaborator Contribution The Weir Group have provided direct engineering expertise on the pumps, and insight into the data. EDF Energy have provided data from main boiler feedpumps. The Alan Turing Institute are providing assistance with the development and deployment of data science techniques.
Impact Initial visualisations of the data has revealed some typical behaviours of individual measurements, how they relate to one another, as well as how they have changed over the operational periods of the pump. Initial knowledge elicitation meetings to capture engineering knowledge complete - further meetings expected. Associated literature review on machine fault diagnosis for rotating plant compete. Prototype system user and functional specification document under development. Workshops between The University of Strathclyde and The Alan Turing Institute conducted to define work breakdown and tasking complete.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Main Boiler Feed Pump Analytics 
Organisation EDF Energy
Department EDF Energy Nuclear Generation
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Requirements for analytics around main boiler feedpumps in nuclear power plants. Identification of data science visualisation and machine learning techniques that can be used for the power plant data. Initial visualisations of the data has revealed some typical behaviours of individual measurements, how they relate to one another, as well as how they have changed over the operational periods of the pump.
Collaborator Contribution The Weir Group have provided direct engineering expertise on the pumps, and insight into the data. EDF Energy have provided data from main boiler feedpumps. The Alan Turing Institute are providing assistance with the development and deployment of data science techniques.
Impact Initial visualisations of the data has revealed some typical behaviours of individual measurements, how they relate to one another, as well as how they have changed over the operational periods of the pump. Initial knowledge elicitation meetings to capture engineering knowledge complete - further meetings expected. Associated literature review on machine fault diagnosis for rotating plant compete. Prototype system user and functional specification document under development. Workshops between The University of Strathclyde and The Alan Turing Institute conducted to define work breakdown and tasking complete.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Main Boiler Feed Pump Analytics 
Organisation Weir Group plc
PI Contribution Requirements for analytics around main boiler feedpumps in nuclear power plants. Identification of data science visualisation and machine learning techniques that can be used for the power plant data. Initial visualisations of the data has revealed some typical behaviours of individual measurements, how they relate to one another, as well as how they have changed over the operational periods of the pump.
Collaborator Contribution The Weir Group have provided direct engineering expertise on the pumps, and insight into the data. EDF Energy have provided data from main boiler feedpumps. The Alan Turing Institute are providing assistance with the development and deployment of data science techniques.
Impact Initial visualisations of the data has revealed some typical behaviours of individual measurements, how they relate to one another, as well as how they have changed over the operational periods of the pump. Initial knowledge elicitation meetings to capture engineering knowledge complete - further meetings expected. Associated literature review on machine fault diagnosis for rotating plant compete. Prototype system user and functional specification document under development. Workshops between The University of Strathclyde and The Alan Turing Institute conducted to define work breakdown and tasking complete.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Ultrasonic Inspection and Monitoring for Challenging Industrial Welding Applications 
Organisation Babcock International Group
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Research and development of a prototype traffic-lighting system indicating weld quality, with a focus on beam steering and time of flight diffraction studies.
Collaborator Contribution Babcock International Group, EDF Energy and Bruce Power engineers have identified weld geometries to focus on, based on their applications and needs. They are also providing details and input on the industry standards for weld geometries and weld qualities that need to be incorporated into the project. Cranfield University are experts in fusion welding and are contributing knowledge on the weld process.
Impact Initial specifications of weld quality identification systems. Robot training for weld tool completed. Ultrasonic propagation modelling frame utilizing linear arrays developed. Rubber coupling material characterized acoustically for longitudinal properties. Thermal measurements for in-process welding on-going.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Ultrasonic Inspection and Monitoring for Challenging Industrial Welding Applications 
Organisation Bruce Power
PI Contribution Research and development of a prototype traffic-lighting system indicating weld quality, with a focus on beam steering and time of flight diffraction studies.
Collaborator Contribution Babcock International Group, EDF Energy and Bruce Power engineers have identified weld geometries to focus on, based on their applications and needs. They are also providing details and input on the industry standards for weld geometries and weld qualities that need to be incorporated into the project. Cranfield University are experts in fusion welding and are contributing knowledge on the weld process.
Impact Initial specifications of weld quality identification systems. Robot training for weld tool completed. Ultrasonic propagation modelling frame utilizing linear arrays developed. Rubber coupling material characterized acoustically for longitudinal properties. Thermal measurements for in-process welding on-going.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Ultrasonic Inspection and Monitoring for Challenging Industrial Welding Applications 
Organisation Cranfield University
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Research and development of a prototype traffic-lighting system indicating weld quality, with a focus on beam steering and time of flight diffraction studies.
Collaborator Contribution Babcock International Group, EDF Energy and Bruce Power engineers have identified weld geometries to focus on, based on their applications and needs. They are also providing details and input on the industry standards for weld geometries and weld qualities that need to be incorporated into the project. Cranfield University are experts in fusion welding and are contributing knowledge on the weld process.
Impact Initial specifications of weld quality identification systems. Robot training for weld tool completed. Ultrasonic propagation modelling frame utilizing linear arrays developed. Rubber coupling material characterized acoustically for longitudinal properties. Thermal measurements for in-process welding on-going.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Ultrasonic Inspection and Monitoring for Challenging Industrial Welding Applications 
Organisation EDF Energy
Department EDF Energy Nuclear Generation
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Research and development of a prototype traffic-lighting system indicating weld quality, with a focus on beam steering and time of flight diffraction studies.
Collaborator Contribution Babcock International Group, EDF Energy and Bruce Power engineers have identified weld geometries to focus on, based on their applications and needs. They are also providing details and input on the industry standards for weld geometries and weld qualities that need to be incorporated into the project. Cranfield University are experts in fusion welding and are contributing knowledge on the weld process.
Impact Initial specifications of weld quality identification systems. Robot training for weld tool completed. Ultrasonic propagation modelling frame utilizing linear arrays developed. Rubber coupling material characterized acoustically for longitudinal properties. Thermal measurements for in-process welding on-going.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Zero Assumption Non-Destructive Evaluation (ZANDE) 
Organisation Babcock International Group
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution The project builds upon existing University of Strathclyde knowledge: 1. Concepts of generalised NDE toolsets for robotics, and parts of an integrated manufacturing NDE process (10 years of development of a custom robotic platform incorporating integrated NDE probe system and 6 years in fixed base manipulators); 2. Automated robot trajectory planning for complex geometries (commercial and in-house developments); 3. Surface profile measurements when CAD models not available (to construct CAD models for automated trajectory planning for NDE); 4. Robot integration and coordination of external metrology/measurement technologies for spatial data location/registration; 5. Real time compensation/adaptive control of NDE delivery robots in response to measured metrology data - use of generalised probabilistic framework for data combination/fusion; 6. Use of NDE data as both NDE and metrology data (localised feature extraction for use as spatial feedback) - Using reflections from material interfaces (component edges) to provide spatial feedback and resultant ray-traced corrected Total Focussing Method (TFM) for complex shapes. 7. "On-the-fly" focal law modification for ultrasonic imaging; 8. Real time curved interface TFM and associated off-line reconstruction algorithms for Full Matrix Capture (FMC) ultrasonic approaches; 9. Control strategies for multiple robot systems; 10. Automated defect recognition (pattern recognition based); 11. NDE data presentation/visualisation, including overlay in to CAD geometries and 3D display; 12. Calibration of external metrology systems using laser trackers/range finders and common target approach; 13. Know-how and expertise in the form of robot designs, circuit designs and copyrighted software code; 14. Real time sensor data acquisition and signal processing (both mobile and fixed) for NDE, obstacle avoidance, positional estimation and mapping; 15. Wired and wireless low powered monitoring and data logging/acquisition system design and software; 16. Non-contact ultrasonic transducer design, manufacture and operation in industrial applications;
Collaborator Contribution The ultimate aim of the research is to deploy new/novel methods of automated Non-Destructive Evaluation (NDE). The aim is to deploy this technology on the sites operated by Babcock International Group, EDF Energy, and Bruce Power. These organisations have hence been working with the project team to identify and define suitable case studies for the development and deployment of the technology. The real industrial knowledge and understanding provided by engineers from each of the aforementioned organisations is ensuring that there is a real engineering problem to be addressed. Kinectrics are a service supplier to the operational organisations mentioned above. Kinectrics are working with the project team to ensure that the technology developed can be adopted by a relevant service supplier to deploy a suitable solution on site. Kinectrics are contributing their knowledge on how to best deploy technologies to the operational organisations and with the regulator to the industry also. The UK Research Center for Non-Destructive Evaluation (RCNDE) are partnered in this project as they have the same goals in the research, i.e. new/novel forms of NDE. The RCNDE are a funding body and are funding 1 year (of 3) of the research.
Impact The collaborating partners have held meetings to identify the case study geometries for the technology development. This will form the basis for one (or two) 'mock-ups' that will be developed in the University laboratory.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Zero Assumption Non-Destructive Evaluation (ZANDE) 
Organisation Bruce Power
PI Contribution The project builds upon existing University of Strathclyde knowledge: 1. Concepts of generalised NDE toolsets for robotics, and parts of an integrated manufacturing NDE process (10 years of development of a custom robotic platform incorporating integrated NDE probe system and 6 years in fixed base manipulators); 2. Automated robot trajectory planning for complex geometries (commercial and in-house developments); 3. Surface profile measurements when CAD models not available (to construct CAD models for automated trajectory planning for NDE); 4. Robot integration and coordination of external metrology/measurement technologies for spatial data location/registration; 5. Real time compensation/adaptive control of NDE delivery robots in response to measured metrology data - use of generalised probabilistic framework for data combination/fusion; 6. Use of NDE data as both NDE and metrology data (localised feature extraction for use as spatial feedback) - Using reflections from material interfaces (component edges) to provide spatial feedback and resultant ray-traced corrected Total Focussing Method (TFM) for complex shapes. 7. "On-the-fly" focal law modification for ultrasonic imaging; 8. Real time curved interface TFM and associated off-line reconstruction algorithms for Full Matrix Capture (FMC) ultrasonic approaches; 9. Control strategies for multiple robot systems; 10. Automated defect recognition (pattern recognition based); 11. NDE data presentation/visualisation, including overlay in to CAD geometries and 3D display; 12. Calibration of external metrology systems using laser trackers/range finders and common target approach; 13. Know-how and expertise in the form of robot designs, circuit designs and copyrighted software code; 14. Real time sensor data acquisition and signal processing (both mobile and fixed) for NDE, obstacle avoidance, positional estimation and mapping; 15. Wired and wireless low powered monitoring and data logging/acquisition system design and software; 16. Non-contact ultrasonic transducer design, manufacture and operation in industrial applications;
Collaborator Contribution The ultimate aim of the research is to deploy new/novel methods of automated Non-Destructive Evaluation (NDE). The aim is to deploy this technology on the sites operated by Babcock International Group, EDF Energy, and Bruce Power. These organisations have hence been working with the project team to identify and define suitable case studies for the development and deployment of the technology. The real industrial knowledge and understanding provided by engineers from each of the aforementioned organisations is ensuring that there is a real engineering problem to be addressed. Kinectrics are a service supplier to the operational organisations mentioned above. Kinectrics are working with the project team to ensure that the technology developed can be adopted by a relevant service supplier to deploy a suitable solution on site. Kinectrics are contributing their knowledge on how to best deploy technologies to the operational organisations and with the regulator to the industry also. The UK Research Center for Non-Destructive Evaluation (RCNDE) are partnered in this project as they have the same goals in the research, i.e. new/novel forms of NDE. The RCNDE are a funding body and are funding 1 year (of 3) of the research.
Impact The collaborating partners have held meetings to identify the case study geometries for the technology development. This will form the basis for one (or two) 'mock-ups' that will be developed in the University laboratory.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Zero Assumption Non-Destructive Evaluation (ZANDE) 
Organisation EDF Energy
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution The project builds upon existing University of Strathclyde knowledge: 1. Concepts of generalised NDE toolsets for robotics, and parts of an integrated manufacturing NDE process (10 years of development of a custom robotic platform incorporating integrated NDE probe system and 6 years in fixed base manipulators); 2. Automated robot trajectory planning for complex geometries (commercial and in-house developments); 3. Surface profile measurements when CAD models not available (to construct CAD models for automated trajectory planning for NDE); 4. Robot integration and coordination of external metrology/measurement technologies for spatial data location/registration; 5. Real time compensation/adaptive control of NDE delivery robots in response to measured metrology data - use of generalised probabilistic framework for data combination/fusion; 6. Use of NDE data as both NDE and metrology data (localised feature extraction for use as spatial feedback) - Using reflections from material interfaces (component edges) to provide spatial feedback and resultant ray-traced corrected Total Focussing Method (TFM) for complex shapes. 7. "On-the-fly" focal law modification for ultrasonic imaging; 8. Real time curved interface TFM and associated off-line reconstruction algorithms for Full Matrix Capture (FMC) ultrasonic approaches; 9. Control strategies for multiple robot systems; 10. Automated defect recognition (pattern recognition based); 11. NDE data presentation/visualisation, including overlay in to CAD geometries and 3D display; 12. Calibration of external metrology systems using laser trackers/range finders and common target approach; 13. Know-how and expertise in the form of robot designs, circuit designs and copyrighted software code; 14. Real time sensor data acquisition and signal processing (both mobile and fixed) for NDE, obstacle avoidance, positional estimation and mapping; 15. Wired and wireless low powered monitoring and data logging/acquisition system design and software; 16. Non-contact ultrasonic transducer design, manufacture and operation in industrial applications;
Collaborator Contribution The ultimate aim of the research is to deploy new/novel methods of automated Non-Destructive Evaluation (NDE). The aim is to deploy this technology on the sites operated by Babcock International Group, EDF Energy, and Bruce Power. These organisations have hence been working with the project team to identify and define suitable case studies for the development and deployment of the technology. The real industrial knowledge and understanding provided by engineers from each of the aforementioned organisations is ensuring that there is a real engineering problem to be addressed. Kinectrics are a service supplier to the operational organisations mentioned above. Kinectrics are working with the project team to ensure that the technology developed can be adopted by a relevant service supplier to deploy a suitable solution on site. Kinectrics are contributing their knowledge on how to best deploy technologies to the operational organisations and with the regulator to the industry also. The UK Research Center for Non-Destructive Evaluation (RCNDE) are partnered in this project as they have the same goals in the research, i.e. new/novel forms of NDE. The RCNDE are a funding body and are funding 1 year (of 3) of the research.
Impact The collaborating partners have held meetings to identify the case study geometries for the technology development. This will form the basis for one (or two) 'mock-ups' that will be developed in the University laboratory.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Zero Assumption Non-Destructive Evaluation (ZANDE) 
Organisation Kinectrics Ltd
PI Contribution The project builds upon existing University of Strathclyde knowledge: 1. Concepts of generalised NDE toolsets for robotics, and parts of an integrated manufacturing NDE process (10 years of development of a custom robotic platform incorporating integrated NDE probe system and 6 years in fixed base manipulators); 2. Automated robot trajectory planning for complex geometries (commercial and in-house developments); 3. Surface profile measurements when CAD models not available (to construct CAD models for automated trajectory planning for NDE); 4. Robot integration and coordination of external metrology/measurement technologies for spatial data location/registration; 5. Real time compensation/adaptive control of NDE delivery robots in response to measured metrology data - use of generalised probabilistic framework for data combination/fusion; 6. Use of NDE data as both NDE and metrology data (localised feature extraction for use as spatial feedback) - Using reflections from material interfaces (component edges) to provide spatial feedback and resultant ray-traced corrected Total Focussing Method (TFM) for complex shapes. 7. "On-the-fly" focal law modification for ultrasonic imaging; 8. Real time curved interface TFM and associated off-line reconstruction algorithms for Full Matrix Capture (FMC) ultrasonic approaches; 9. Control strategies for multiple robot systems; 10. Automated defect recognition (pattern recognition based); 11. NDE data presentation/visualisation, including overlay in to CAD geometries and 3D display; 12. Calibration of external metrology systems using laser trackers/range finders and common target approach; 13. Know-how and expertise in the form of robot designs, circuit designs and copyrighted software code; 14. Real time sensor data acquisition and signal processing (both mobile and fixed) for NDE, obstacle avoidance, positional estimation and mapping; 15. Wired and wireless low powered monitoring and data logging/acquisition system design and software; 16. Non-contact ultrasonic transducer design, manufacture and operation in industrial applications;
Collaborator Contribution The ultimate aim of the research is to deploy new/novel methods of automated Non-Destructive Evaluation (NDE). The aim is to deploy this technology on the sites operated by Babcock International Group, EDF Energy, and Bruce Power. These organisations have hence been working with the project team to identify and define suitable case studies for the development and deployment of the technology. The real industrial knowledge and understanding provided by engineers from each of the aforementioned organisations is ensuring that there is a real engineering problem to be addressed. Kinectrics are a service supplier to the operational organisations mentioned above. Kinectrics are working with the project team to ensure that the technology developed can be adopted by a relevant service supplier to deploy a suitable solution on site. Kinectrics are contributing their knowledge on how to best deploy technologies to the operational organisations and with the regulator to the industry also. The UK Research Center for Non-Destructive Evaluation (RCNDE) are partnered in this project as they have the same goals in the research, i.e. new/novel forms of NDE. The RCNDE are a funding body and are funding 1 year (of 3) of the research.
Impact The collaborating partners have held meetings to identify the case study geometries for the technology development. This will form the basis for one (or two) 'mock-ups' that will be developed in the University laboratory.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Zero Assumption Non-Destructive Evaluation (ZANDE) 
Organisation RCNDE
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Multiple 
PI Contribution The project builds upon existing University of Strathclyde knowledge: 1. Concepts of generalised NDE toolsets for robotics, and parts of an integrated manufacturing NDE process (10 years of development of a custom robotic platform incorporating integrated NDE probe system and 6 years in fixed base manipulators); 2. Automated robot trajectory planning for complex geometries (commercial and in-house developments); 3. Surface profile measurements when CAD models not available (to construct CAD models for automated trajectory planning for NDE); 4. Robot integration and coordination of external metrology/measurement technologies for spatial data location/registration; 5. Real time compensation/adaptive control of NDE delivery robots in response to measured metrology data - use of generalised probabilistic framework for data combination/fusion; 6. Use of NDE data as both NDE and metrology data (localised feature extraction for use as spatial feedback) - Using reflections from material interfaces (component edges) to provide spatial feedback and resultant ray-traced corrected Total Focussing Method (TFM) for complex shapes. 7. "On-the-fly" focal law modification for ultrasonic imaging; 8. Real time curved interface TFM and associated off-line reconstruction algorithms for Full Matrix Capture (FMC) ultrasonic approaches; 9. Control strategies for multiple robot systems; 10. Automated defect recognition (pattern recognition based); 11. NDE data presentation/visualisation, including overlay in to CAD geometries and 3D display; 12. Calibration of external metrology systems using laser trackers/range finders and common target approach; 13. Know-how and expertise in the form of robot designs, circuit designs and copyrighted software code; 14. Real time sensor data acquisition and signal processing (both mobile and fixed) for NDE, obstacle avoidance, positional estimation and mapping; 15. Wired and wireless low powered monitoring and data logging/acquisition system design and software; 16. Non-contact ultrasonic transducer design, manufacture and operation in industrial applications;
Collaborator Contribution The ultimate aim of the research is to deploy new/novel methods of automated Non-Destructive Evaluation (NDE). The aim is to deploy this technology on the sites operated by Babcock International Group, EDF Energy, and Bruce Power. These organisations have hence been working with the project team to identify and define suitable case studies for the development and deployment of the technology. The real industrial knowledge and understanding provided by engineers from each of the aforementioned organisations is ensuring that there is a real engineering problem to be addressed. Kinectrics are a service supplier to the operational organisations mentioned above. Kinectrics are working with the project team to ensure that the technology developed can be adopted by a relevant service supplier to deploy a suitable solution on site. Kinectrics are contributing their knowledge on how to best deploy technologies to the operational organisations and with the regulator to the industry also. The UK Research Center for Non-Destructive Evaluation (RCNDE) are partnered in this project as they have the same goals in the research, i.e. new/novel forms of NDE. The RCNDE are a funding body and are funding 1 year (of 3) of the research.
Impact The collaborating partners have held meetings to identify the case study geometries for the technology development. This will form the basis for one (or two) 'mock-ups' that will be developed in the University laboratory.
Start Year 2018
 
Description EPSRC online video to promote the Prosperity Partnership programme 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Online video describing the Prosperity Partnership video
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://epsrc.ukri.org/newsevents/multimedia/ppstrathclydebabcock/
 
Description Keynote Presentation on "Digitilisation in Nuclear - Harnessing Data Science for Enhanced Through Life Management of Nuclear Plants" 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Keynote presentation at the Energiforsk Annual Nuclear Conference 2018, Stockholm, Sweden.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.energiforsk.se/program/omvarldsbevakning-karnkraft/nyheter/ny-karnkraftsteknik/digitaliza...
 
Description Profile Article in The Manufacturer Magazine/Website 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Publicity article in Magazine/Website
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.themanufacturer.com/articles/4-2m-consortium-make-nuclear-power-safer-reliable/
 
Description Research Showcase Event - Advanced Nuclear Research Centre Annual Showcase 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Research being conducted as part of the Prosperity Partnership was showcased at a University hosted event on the 30th August 2018. This event was attended by approximately 150 delegates from a range of organisations including the academic and industrial partners named on the grant, but also additional researchers, academics, industrialists and government agencies interested in the on-going research. The aim of the event was to update all stakeholders on programme progress and also increase the visibility of research associated with the grant to a wider audience. The event was also taken as an opportunity to hold governance meetings associated with the programme in question.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018