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Experience in Chemical Decontamination of PWR Systems and Components

[+] Author Affiliations
Claude Steinkuhler

DDR Consult, Longueville, Belgium

Koen Lenie, Reginald Coomans

Tecnubel, Longueville, Belgium

Paper No. ICEM2009-16274, pp. 93-100; 8 pages
  • ASME 2009 12th International Conference on Environmental Remediation and Radioactive Waste Management
  • ASME 2009 12th International Conference on Environmental Remediation and Radioactive Waste Management, Volume 2
  • Liverpool, UK, October 11–15, 2009
  • Conference Sponsors: Nuclear Engineering Division and Environmental Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4408-3 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3865-X
  • Copyright © 2009 by ASME


Tecnubel has recently performed various chemical decontamination of French and Belgian Pressurized Water Reactors (PWR) systems and components. The purpose of this paper is to present and compare these experiences. The objectives of these operation were the reduction of the general surface contamination together with the elimination of hot spots in Residual Heat Removal Systems (RHRS), Chemical and Volume Control Systems (CVCS) and Reactor Coolant Pumps (RCP). This reduction of contamination leads to the reduction of dosimetry to the maintenance personnel and allows the works on critical equipment. An additional challenge for three of these projects lay in the execution of a complicated operation on the critical path of a reactor refueling shutdown. The chemical decontamination were performed by circulating an adequate fluid in the systems or around the components. Since the contamination was generated at hot conditions during power operation, a redox attack on the surface was necessary. The EDF systems and components were decontaminated using a qualified EDF process of the EMMAC family. The Reactor Coolant Pump from the Belgian PWR was treated with the NITROX process, qualified by Westinghouse. The functions required by the decontamination system were very diverse and therefore an existing decontamination loop, which was previously developed for the decontamination of small circuits, was re-developed and adapted for bigger volumes by DDR Consult and Tecnubel. The results of five decontamination are presented and detailed in terms of efficiency and waste production. These projects were: the chemical decontamination of the RHRS of Flamanville 1 NPP, of the CVCS non regenerative heat exchanger at St Laurent des Eaux NPP, of the RHRS and CVCS of Bugey 2 NPP and of two RCP at the Westinghouse Belgian Service Center.

Copyright © 2009 by ASME



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