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Feedback From Westinghouse Experience on Segmentation of Reactor Vessel Internals

[+] Author Affiliations
Paul J. Kreitman

Westinghouse Electric Company, Lake Bluff, IL

Joseph Boucau

Westinghouse Electric Belgium, Nivelles, Belgium

Per Segerud, Stefan Fallström

Westinghouse Electric Sweden, Västerås, Sweden

Paper No. ICEM2011-59013, pp. 151-155; 5 pages
  • ASME 2011 14th International Conference on Environmental Remediation and Radioactive Waste Management
  • ASME 2011 14th International Conference on Environmental Remediation and Radioactive Waste Management, Parts A and B
  • Reims, France, September 25–29, 2011
  • Conference Sponsors: Nuclear Engineering Division and Environmental Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5498-3
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME


With more than 25 years of experience in the development of reactor vessel internals segmentation and packaging technology, Westinghouse has accumulated significant know-how in the reactor dismantling market. Building on tooling concepts and cutting methodologies developed decades ago for the successful removal of nuclear fuel from the damaged Three Mile Island Unit 2 reactor (TMI-2), Westinghouse has continuously improved its approach to internals segmentation and packaging by incorporating lessons learned and best practices into each successive project. Westinghouse has developed several concepts to dismantle reactor internals based on safe and reliable techniques, including plasma arc cutting (PAC), abrasive waterjet cutting (AWJC), metal disintegration machining (MDM), or mechanical cutting. Westinghouse has applied its technology to all types of reactors covering Pressurized Water Reactors (PWR’s), Boiling Water Reactors (BWR’s), Gas Cooled Reactors (GCR’s) and sodium reactors. The primary challenges of a segmentation and packaging project are to separate the highly activated materials from the less-activated materials and package them into appropriate containers for disposal. Since space is almost always a limiting factor it is therefore important to plan and optimize the available room in the segmentation areas. The choice of the optimum cutting technology is important for a successful project implementation and depends on some specific constraints like disposal costs, project schedule, available areas or safety. Detailed 3-D modeling is the basis for tooling design and provides invaluable support in determining the optimum strategy for component cutting and disposal in waste containers, taking account of the radiological and packaging constraints. Westinghouse has also developed a variety of special handling tools, support fixtures, service bridges, water filtration systems, video-monitoring systems and customized rigging, all of which are required for a successful reactor vessel internals segmentation and packaging project. The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the Westinghouse reactor internals segmentation experience by illustrating projects related to various types of reactors and providing feedback from project execution.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME



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