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Elios 3 RAD: The Future of Radiation Detection in Nuclear Power Plants

Last updated on

August 23, 2023

Contents

    Summary

    • Quick detection and quantification of radiation hotspots with the Elios 3 and its innovative RAD payload.
    • Human-free inspections that can be scaled up for broader applications.
    • A groundbreaking 3D model of a nuclear power plant’s infrastructure.

    Drones are revolutionising the way nuclear infrastructure inspections are conducted. At Coptrz, we understand the stringent safety standards that nuclear power plants must adhere to, both at the national and international levels. 

    Ensuring the safety of every component, from nuclear waste management to the pipelines transporting heavy water, is paramount. By minimising human intervention, we’re not only enhancing safety standards but also ensuring the well-being of the workforce. 

    We’re proud to be associated with Flyability, whose Elios drone models are employed in 80% of US nuclear power plants. The Elios 3, in particular, has demonstrated exceptional resilience, enduring radiation levels of 10,000 R/h during tests conducted in collaboration with the Idaho Environmental Coalition and the Department of Energy.

    The Elios 3 now boasts a specialised RAD payload, a product of the expertise of Mirion Technologies, renowned for their radiation detection solutions. This modular payload can be seamlessly integrated for radiation surveys and replaced with other payloads as per the plant’s requirements. The RAD payload’s capabilities extend beyond traditional dosimeters, offering real-time data, comprehensive radiation exposure details, and a 3D visualisation of detected radiation levels.

    A Practical Application:

    Recently, a leading US nuclear power plant decided to experiment with the RAD payload on the Elios 3. Their objective was to innovate their radiation inspection methods. The Elios 3, equipped with the RAD payload, was pitted against the Telepole, a handheld sensor by Mirion Technologies. The Elios 3’s remote piloting feature gave it a distinct advantage, especially when inspecting hard-to-reach areas.

    Conducting inspections and regular assessments can be daunting because of the elevated radiation levels. Should this radiation inspection method prove effective, it could set a new standard for the power plant trialling the technology and potentially extend to other nuclear facilities overseen by the parent company.

    The results were impressive. The Elios 3, with its RAD sensor, identified two high dose rate locations in the steam system’s piping bends. Post-inspection, the data was processed using Flyability’s Inspector 4.0 software, providing the plant’s management with detailed 3D models and graphs.

    Conclusion

    The Elios 3, combined with the RAD payload, offers a game-changing solution for radiation inspections. Its ability to access areas beyond the reach of traditional tools, coupled with its collision-resistant technology, makes it an invaluable asset for nuclear power plants. The detailed 3D models it generates are unparalleled, offering a comprehensive view of radiation hotspots.

    As a drone expert at Coptrz, I can confidently state that the Elios 3 and RAD payload are setting new standards in radiation surveillance. With a majority of US nuclear power plants already leveraging Flyability’s technology, we foresee this innovative approach being adopted nationwide and potentially globally.

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