Thursday, May 4, 2017

How AI Spots Problems in Nuclear Plants That Other Systems Miss

Regular safety checks are as critical to nuclear power plants as doctors’ check-ups are for people. For power plants, regular inspections can spot cracks and other problems before they become serious or even cause an accident. But detecting cracks in nuclear power plants isn’t easy. Reactors are underwater, so inspectors can’t examine them directly. Instead, power station staff scrutinize hours of video from inspection cameras to spot cracks in the plant’s metallic surfaces. These cracks can be dangerous, discharging radioactive material into the water or air. Mohammad Jahanshahi, a civil engineering professor at Purdue University, has a better way. He’s automating crack detection in nuclear plants with GPU-accelerated deep learning and machine learning. He’ll talk how how he’s automating inspections of nuclear power plants and other infrastructure at the GPU Technology Conference, May 8-11, in Silicon Valley.