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Iatan Desuperheater Pipe Failure Caused by FAC: September 28, 2007

[+] Author Affiliations
Chong Chiu

Performance Improvement International, Oceanside, CA

Lance B. Gockel

Kansas City Power & Light, Kansas City, MO

Paper No. PVP2010-26066, pp. 601-606; 6 pages
  • ASME 2010 Pressure Vessels and Piping Division/K-PVP Conference
  • ASME 2010 Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference: Volume 6, Parts A and B
  • Bellevue, Washington, USA, July 18–22, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: Pressure Vessels and Piping Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-49255 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3878-5
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME


At approximately 11:40 AM on May 9, 2007, Iatan Unit 1 experienced a catastrophic rupture of a 4 inch superheater (SH) attemperator spray line after nearly 27 years of commercial operations. At the time of the rupture, several plant personnel were in the immediate vicinity performing maintenance on a plugged coal feeder. Plant operators immediately initiated a plant shutdown. This incident resulted in two fatalities and one serious injury. Subsequent examination of the ruptured line indicated significant pipe wall thinning had occurred, leading to the sudden failure of the pipe pressure boundary and the pipe rupture event. The preliminary evaluation of the failed pipe determined that flow accelerated corrosion (FAC) was the likely failure mechanism. To prevent this and similar events, the PII team recommends the following actions be taken to identify other potential areas which may have similar characteristics to the failed pipe: 1. Employ the EPRI method CHECKWORKS (as has been implemented) to identify the susceptible areas. 2. Supplement the EPRI model with connected flow modeling techniques to identify additional inspection areas. 3. If the measured wall thickness is less than 30% of the minimum allowable wall thickness, replace or repair the pipe immediately. 4. If the measured wall thickness is less than the minimum allowable wall thickness (as specified by the B31.1 code), but no less than 30% of the minimum allowable, perform a safety risk assessment. If the risk is determined acceptable, replace or repair the pipe at the next planned plant outage with temporary compensatory actions (such as caution tags, leak flow blockage facilities, etc.). 5. Identify and replace all throttled gate valves and replace them as soon as practical. Until these valves are replaced, utilize NDE techniques to monitor the pipe wall thinning downstream of the valves and replace pipe based on the above criteria in 3 and 4.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME
Topics: Pipes , Failure



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