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The recent introduction of field-usable multifrequency/multiparameter instrumentation has provided a basis for the development of a near-term system for the inspection of pressurized water-reactor steam-generator tubing. Multifrequency eddy-currents offer benefits in the performance of parallel tests and a readily available data base for the identification of nonunique signals. Multiparameter methods allow for the minimization of extraneous test variables, that is, support plates and small dents, for the more reliable detection and characterization of tube degradation. The suppression of the extraneous variable in real time offers advantages over off-line computer/digital subtraction approaches. Experience with the system based on the in-service inspection of three steam generators is considered.
PWR steam generator tubing, multifrequency eddy currents, multiparameter methods
Senior engineer, The EPRI NDE Center Operated by Jones Applied Research, Charlotte, N.C.