Providing visual inspections for the nuclear power industry can be a big job, but sometimes the real challenges come in very small places. When Edward Hyp and his team from Vistas Corp. were recently hired to inspect a turbine extraction pipe for a customer, they found a large foreign object stuck deep in the bottom of the heater 35 feet down the pipeline.
Time was of the essence and we knew the problem had to be solved quickly. "We were using a Spectrum 100 PTZ integrated into a custom sled for the inspection," said Hyp. "We couldn't get to the object with it because it was too large for the pinch points and too far down, at 35 feet, for video probes on site. We used the stand-alone Spectrum 45 pan and tilt to get into the smaller space and were able to retrieve the object in two hours."
Hyp and his team never go to a job without the right equipment. Since 2002, Vistas Corp. has been using Inuktun robotics to get the job done. In seven years the company has built a fleet of Inuktun products that includes two Minitrac systems, two Microtrac systems, two Versatrax 100 systems, two Nanomags, two Spectrum 100s, a single Spectrum 90, a Spectrum 45 standalone and two FireflEYEs
"I like the reliability and high resolution of the Spectrum 100 and 90s and I like the magnetic capabilities of the Nano and Micro," said Hyp, adding 16 jobs have been carried out with the machines with no repairs needed. "I also like how Inuktun responds to problems after the sale and goes the extra mile to figure out any potential problems."
Hyp created Vistas in 1996 when an opportunity arose for him. Since then, Vistas has been serving the nuclear power industry with services that include steam generator FOSAR (foreign object search and removal) Tubesheet and in-bundle visual tests of nuclear steam generators, as well as steam drum visuals, reactor head BMI and Reactor closure head VT for boron leakage, piping for flow accelerated corrosion and emergency retrievals.
Vistas clientele includes TVA, FP&L, Fort Calhoun, ANO, Progress Energy, Entergy, PG&E, and Dominion.
Author: Toby Gorma