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The Impact of Power Coastdown Operations on the Water Chemistry and Corrosion in Boiling Water Reactors

Tsung-Kuang Yeh, Mei-Ya Wang

Nuclear Science and Engineering / Volume 165 / Number 2 / June 2010 / Pages 210-223

Technical Paper

A theoretical model was adapted to evaluate the impact of power coastdown on the water chemistry of two commercial boiling water reactors (BWRs) in this work. In principle, the power density of a nuclear reactor upon a power level decrease would immediately be lowered, followed by water chemistry variations due to reduced radiolysis of water and extended coolant residence times in the core and near-core regions. It is currently a common practice for commercial BWRs to adopt hydrogen water chemistry (HWC) for corrosion mitigation. The optimal feedwater hydrogen concentration may be different after a power coastdown is implemented in a BWR. The computer code DEMACE was used in the current study to investigate the impact of various power coastdown levels on major radiolytic species concentrations and electrochemical corrosion potential (ECP) behavior of components in the primary coolant circuit of two domestic reactors operating under either normal water chemistry or HWC. Our analyses indicated that under a rated core flow rate, the chemical species concentrations and the ECP did not vary monotonically with decreases in reactor power level at a fixed feedwater hydrogen concentration. In particular, ECP variations basically followed the patterns of hydrogen peroxide in the selected regions and exhibited relatively high values at power levels of 95 and 90% for Chinshan Unit 1 and Kuosheng Unit 1, respectively.

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