Polyethylene (PE) pipe has many advantages such as good flexibility, corrosion resistance and long service life. It has been introduced into nuclear power plants for transportation of cooling water both in U.S. and Europe. Recently, one Chinese nuclear power plant in Zhejiang Province also introduced four polyethylene pipelines in essential cooling water system with operating pressure of 0.6MPa and operating temperature of no more than 60°C. The PE pipes used in this nuclear power plant are DN762 SDR9 (30in OD, 3.3in wall), which are much larger and thicker than traditional natural gas PE pipe. As the pipe wall is so thick that the ultrasonic phased array instrument used in inspection of PE pipe with diameter less than 400mm has been improved. Results of field inspection in the Sanmen nuclear plant are reported, and the presented ultrasonic inspection technique proves to be effective for high density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe of large size in nuclear power plant.

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