Well, we have asked our engineers who did just that to share their most memorable observations. Matija Kurtoić, INETEC’s Senior Robotics Associate, recalled:
“One of the highlights for me was witnessing the Cherenkov effect – during the refueling process, you sometimes get to see, if you’re lucky I guess, a glow of nuclear fuel inside the reactor vessel. That was quite a fun and surreal experience for me. It’s a bunch of glowy - glowy, thingy-thingy in the water and people rarely get to see it.”
The Cherenkov effect occurs when a particle carrying an electric charge travels through a transparent medium like water or air. If the particle travels faster than light in this medium, its passage causes a brief flash of light, a Cherenkov light. The effect is named after the Soviet physicist Pavel Alekseyevich Cherenkov (1904-1990) who discovered the phenomenon and obtained the Nobel Prize in Physics for his discovery in 1958.
Some of the most common comments made by INETEC’s engineers who got to do some work in nuclear power plants, such as perform inspections of steam generators, the reactor vessel pressure head and other parts of nuclear power plants are:
“Going to nuclear power plants is quite a rare opportunity you would not get in another company.”
Or: “A great fieldwork experience – I got to see what a nuclear power plant looks like, and everything we work on made real sense there.”