Westinghouse has been awarded a contract to use an underwater laser to fix a nuclear reactor. The Underwater Laser Beam Welding process (ULBW) has been applied previously in Japan, but this will be the first time the process has been used at a nuclear plant in America.
Developed jointly by Westinghouse and Toshiba Corporation, the ULBW process repairs plants by applying stress corrosion, cracking-resistant weld metal under water to aging components.
Nick Liparulo, senior vice president at Westinghouse Nuclear Services said: “Development of the underwater laser welding process allows us to make welds to vessel components without the customer having to drain their vessel.
“This results in a much shorter implementation schedule and dramatically reduced exposure for maintenance crews and plant personnel.”