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Recent Concerns with Reactor Coolant Chemistry Technology in Pressurized Water Reactors

J. H. Hicks

Nuclear Technology

Volume 29 / Number 2 / May 1976 / Pages 146-152


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Three concerns have recently arisen in reactor coolant chemistry technology: (a) the projected shortage of highly enriched, 99.99% 7Li for the control of reactor coolant pH, (b) the availability of anion resins for minimizing chloride elution problems, and (c) the additional inservice inspection requirements for the integrity of steam generator tubes, which subject plant personnel to radiation exposure. The normal consumption of 7Li can be reduced with modifications to plant operations, particularly those associated with purification demineralizers. The ion-exchange industry is having some difficulty in supplying the anion resins with low residual chlorides that are needed for the chloride elution problem, but they are actively working to provide them in the near future. Recognizing the importance of radiation levels associated with steam generator inservice inspection, Babcock & Wilcox is conducting a study program to determine the characteristics of corrosion products, to develop mathematical models that predict corrosion product behavior, and to develop methods for removing or minimizing the buildup of corrosion products in the reactor coolant system.

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