Anticipating future energy challenges, Argentina asserts its will to increase its atomic energy industry. Argentina’s government has entrusted CNEA (Comisión Nacional de Energía Atómica) with the development of a new type of nuclear reactor, from low to medium electrical capacity, completely engineered and designed in Argentina.
The project, called CAREM 25, began in early 2014 at the Atucha nuclear site in the province of Buenos Aires.
CAREM 25 project
This new generation reactor, of reduced dimensions, will produce 25 MW which corresponds to the power supply of a 100 000 inhabitants city.
Cementys provides technical expertise to CNEA for the design and the implementation of a structural instrumentation and monitoring meeting the project’s requirements.
For this CAREM 25, Cementys favored to set-up a “long-term” instrumentation based on robust and viable Vibrating Wire sensors. These technology based sensors have been installed on French and worldwide nuclear power plants for more than 40 years and their reliability is no longer to be demonstrated.
In addition to so-called “traditional” sensors in the nuclear industry, CNEA has relied on Cementys’ fiber optic measurement technical expertise and know-how, to integrate optical fiber cable into several parts of the reactor’s slab and concrete walls.
“For such an ambitious project that is the CAREM 25, we desired to ensure a traditional structural monitoring (Vibrating Wire sensors), and improve it with an advanced technology that is optical fiber distributed measurement in order to better understand the behavior of the structure”, commented Vincent LAMOUR, technical director and civil engineering expert at Cementys.
Distributed measurement with optical fiber gives added-value data since temperature and strain perceived by the fiber optic cable is collected each meter over its entire length.
Slab’s instrumentation was installed during summer 2016, and allowed to verify the good behavior of the concrete during its pouring in October 2016. Optical fiber measurements emphasize the same temperatures and strains as recorded by the Vibrating Wire sensors, and moreover, provide many additional measuring data.
A dedicated web interface allows the CNEA Civil Engineering and Instrumentation engineers to visualize real time data from the various installed sensors.
Cementys’ engineering teams will continue to contribute to the coming phases of the project with their expertise, until the site’s commissioning in the first half of 2019.