Westinghouse Hanford Company has designed and constructed a nuclear fuel fabrication process line for the U.S. Department of Energy. This process line includes a system that remotely inspects the cylindrical surface of nuclear fuel pellets for surface spots, flaws, or discoloration. The pellets are inspected on a 100% basis after pellet sintering. A feeder delivers the pellets directly to a fiber optic inspection head, which views one pellet surface at a time and images it to a closed-circuit color televison camera (CCTV). The output signal of the CCTV is input to a digital imaging processor that stores approximately 25 pellet images at a time. A human operator visually examines the images of the pellet surfaces on a high resolution monitor and accepts or rejects the pellets based on visual standards. The operator uses a digitizing tablet to record the location of rejected pellets, which are then automatically removed from the product stream. The system is expandable to automated disposition of the pellet surface image.
Frank W. Moore,
"Remote Visual Inspection Of Nuclear Fuel Pellets With Fiber Optics And Video Image Processing," Optical Engineering 26(2), 262152 (1 February 1987). https://doi.org/10.1117/12.7974041