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Nuclear Steam Generator Replacement

New River Kinematics (NRK) developed a custom fitup package, GENFIT, for Framatome-ANP (Advanced Nuclear Power) in Lynchburg, VA. The package used metrology data from total stations and digital photogrammetry to determine the best fitup of the replacement steam generators into the existing powerplant structure. Using this software tool, Framatome-ANP machined both the powerplant piping and the replacement generator nozzles and achieved a fitup within 0.060 inches.

The replacement of the steam generators in a nuclear power plant is heavily dependent upon coordinate metrology. Steam generators are approximately 12 feet in diameter and approximately three stories tall. They weigh nominally 270 tons, and have steel walls that are almost a foot thick. The goal of the replacement operation is to remove the existing generator, machine the interfaces on both the new generator and power plant, and insert the new generator for near perfect fit up. The figure at the top of this page shows the old steam generator being removed from the power plant containment area. The high tolerances on the fit up allow for the use of robotic welding processes certified by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The GENFIT package combines NRK's powerful robust numerical optimization algorithms with the spatial transformation components of SpatialAnalyzer® (SA) to provide a flexible, accurate, and easy-to-use fit-up application.