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CASE STUDY: Bow Measurement Software – Business Automation in the process of inspecting cores in nuclear power plants

Ahlberg Cameras
Cooperation period
2014 – continued
About the client

Ahlberg Cameras AB is a Swedish high-tech company that designs and manufactures advanced color camera systems and inspection equipment for the nuclear industry.

About the project

Pressurized water reactors (PWRs) are shut down for necessary work such as maintenance, cleaning, repairs, and inspections of critical parts. During this time, specialized camera systems from Ahlberg Cameras inspect nuclear fuel cores, among other things, due to health-threatening radiation.

The purpose of fuel inspection is to detect abnormalities that can adversely affect the operation of the reactor or even prevent the fuel from re-entering the reactor vessel. Examples of anomalies are cracks in the fuel bundle components or deformations of the entire bundle (side bends, torsion).

When the reactor shuts down, all fuel rods are removed and placed in a temporary tank. After the inspection, fuel is reloaded into the reactor vessel, and the rods rearrange due to partial or complete consumption of fuel by some of them. Significant deformations of the fuel rod bundles may prevent the tank from being refilled with fuel.

Within the framework of existing cooperation, we can recommended 3Soft as a reliable contractor with considerable experience and knowledge and qualified staff. We have cooperated with the 3Soft company for more than 15 years and we can recommend this company as a reliable business partner.

– Joakim Ahlberg, former CEO of Ahlberg Cameras AB.

We have developed dedicated software to automate the process of detecting fuel bundle deformations during inspection. Bow Measurement Software helps decide whether a bundle should be decommissioned, subjected to more detailed analysis, or how it should be positioned in a specific location in the vessel so that the observed bend does not prevent all bundles from fitting. The developed solution significantly reduces the costs associated with reactor shutdown and shortens the critical path of the reactor maintenance process.

Bow Measurement Software uses recordings from the 4-Face System as input data.

Implementation and development

Bow Measurement Software was created in 2014-2015, initially as a prototype, and since then, is delivered in conjunction with 4-Face systems. In 2019, changes were made at the UI level and measurement accuracy increased.

Specialized vision systems with software by 3Soft are in operation at 160 nuclear power plants in 20 countries around the world.

Applied Machine Learning solutions:

Radon transform – tilt correction
Canny Edge, Local Energy– edge detection
Rolling ball– standardization of image frame brightness


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