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OXIPROBE: A Non Destructive Tool for Determining Steam Generator Oxide Characteristics

[+] Author Affiliations
John P. Krasznai

Kinectrics Inc., Toronto, ON, Canada

Paper No. ICEM2009-16250, pp. 339-343; 5 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


CANDU Stations are designed with significant amounts of carbon steel piping in the primary circuit. Although the primary coolant chemistry is such that carbon steel corrosion is minimized, nevertheless magnetite transport from the carbon steel surfaces to the steam generators is a significant issue leading to potential reduction in heat transfer efficiency in the steam generator. There are other contributors to the reduction of heat transfer efficiency such as divider plate leakage whereby some of the coolant short circuits the steam generator tubes and secondary side steam generator tube fouling. CANDU station operators have utilized a number of mitigating measures such as primary and secondary side mechanical and chemical tube cleaning, and divider plate refurbishment to counter these problems but these are all expensive and dose intensive, It is therefore very important to establish the relative contribution of each source to the overall heat transfer degradation problem so the most effective results are obtained. Tube removal and laboratory assessment of the oxide loading is possible and has been utilized but at best it provides an incomplete picture since typically only short lengths of tubes are removed — most often from the hot leg and the tube removal process adversely impacts the primary side oxide integrity. Kinectrics Inc. has developed, qualified and deployed Oxiprobe, a highly mobile non destructive technology able to remove and quantify the deposited oxide loading on the primary surfaces of steam generator tubes. The technology is deployed during shutdown and provides valuable, direct information on: • Primary oxide distribution within the steam generator; • Oxide loading (thickness of oxide) on the primary surfaces of steam generator tubes; • Oxide composition and radiochemical characterization. The End Effector probe can reach either side of the straight section of the steam generator U tube but as currently designed it is unable to be deployed in the U-tube region. The current technology is able to visit 4 tubes simultaneously. The technology is Code classified as a Class 6 fitting by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and registered by the Ontario Technical Standards and Safety Authority as a pressure boundary retaining system. Although the application of the technology to date has been applied to steam generator tubes, in principle it can be applied to any heat exchanger tube, vertical or horizontal. This paper will describe the system, the qualification program for its deployment as well as some actual field results. The applicability of the technology for PWR steam generators is also addressed.

Copyright © 2009 by ASME
Topics: Boilers



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