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Preventative Maintenance for Improved Fuel Reliability & Performance

October 4, 2022, 12:02PMSponsored ContentDominion Engineering Inc.

The process of making fuel for our light-water nuclear plants is meticulously developed and executed. And as anyone who has gone through the receipt process once it arrives at the plant can attest, the initial quality examination is likewise a thorough and rigorous activity. We do a great job of making sure that high quality fuel is ready to go into the core.

Innovation in Fuel Reliability and Spent Fuel Cask Loading

February 18, 2022, 8:55AMSponsored ContentDominion Engineering, Inc.

Dominion Engineering, Inc. (DEI) has developed a number of innovative and cost effective tools and services designed to improve fuel reliability and spent fuel cask loading operations. This includes BNDETM fuel cleaning, which effectively removes debris from all reload fuel bundles without significantly impacting outage schedule. Smart-SipTM fuel sipping, a related activity, provides much higher fidelity leak detection capability than traditional vacuum canister sipping equipment, ensuring tight leaks are reliably identified and dispositioned during refueling outages and prior to spent fuel cask loading operations. Related industry experience is discussed further below.

Nuclear Fuel Performance Life Cycle Modeling with the End in Mind

February 1, 2022, 12:01PMSponsored ContentJoe Rashid, Senior Associate at Structural Integrity Associates, Inc.
The cladding hoop stress distribution at cladding surfaces.

Decades of fuel performance data coupled with advanced analytics and multi-processor computing have enabled the development of ‘novel’ modeling & simulation tools that allow nuclear fuel engineers to predict behavior across the entire fuel cycle. With this new capability nuclear fuel designers and fuel reload managers are better equipped to predict performance and reliability. These tools are fundamental to communicating highfidelity safety margin assessments with the regulator, and, when applied in the early stage of reactor design, can achieve optimum safety system functionality. At the apex of the fuel performance codes development pyramid sit a triad of codes: SI’s Pegasus, DOE’s Bison, and CEA’s Alcyone, which share the commonality of three-dimensional modeling and simulation of nuclear fuel performance. Unique among the capabilities represented by these codes is the ability to bridge the encoded-technology gap between the frontend and the backend of the fuel cycle to eliminate sources of uncertainties in spent fuel safety evaluations. This capability is a distinguishing feature of the Pegasus code.

EnergySolutions Models Success in D&D

November 1, 2021, 12:03PMSponsored ContentJeremy Kartchner, freelance energy writer
EnergySolutions announced the stock transfer of Kewaunee from Dominion Energy in May 2021 and is in the process of approval by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Public Service Commission of Wisconsin.

Contrary to what some believe, the nuclear industry, far from fading into the past, is experiencing an ongoing evolution. New generations of nuclear power technologies move closer to reality, while traditional nuclear generators are reaching retirement and entering decommissioning. As research on Small Modular Reactors (SMR) advances, prototype production is in full swing with the potential for SMRs to eventually replace the current fleet. And while technology advances, so do markets seeking to deal with the challenge of climate change in the face of the retirement of the currently operating nuclear power plants in the U.S. In an exceptional recent win for nuclear power, the Illinois legislature approved $700 million in subsidies for the Byron and Dresden nuclear stations over the next five years. It remains to be seen if this will be an isolated move in today’s nuclear plant lifecycle.

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Digitalization of Work: A Key to Viability for Nuclear Power

October 1, 2021, 11:18AMSponsored ContentNextAxiom Technology

Work itself can be digitalized

Almost every aspect of work within a nuclear plant can be digitalized—from your frontline maintenance to back-end support functions. Digitalized work improves productivity, efficiency, and safety while substantially reducing costs.

From a work performance perspective, an organization can be defined as a collection of processes, often governed by regulatory policies. These processes are implemented using paper-centric procedures, work instructions, forms and checklists, often touching many hands during preparation, performance, and record management. This perspective applies to both direct powerplant operations and maintenance as well as administrative and support functions.

Nuclear Station Beyond-Design-Basis Electrical Power Supply Coping System

September 1, 2021, 11:55AMSponsored ContentBenjamin P. Youman, BlackStarTech Strategic Implementation Director
Quad Cities Generating Station. Image: Exelon.

BlackStarTech® Innovation Group asked one simple question:

How do we further improve the response times of our FLEX strategies?

That question led to a second question:

Can we add defense in depth to U.S. FLEX response, enhance safety margins, and strategically provide critical power rapidly and reliably in under 30 minutes for up to 30 days?

The response and resultant innovative journey led to the development of a rapidly deployable and portable battery-powered energy delivery system transforming how the nuclear industry can provide critical DC and AC power to the most essential components and control systems. The BlackStarTech methodology utilizes compact and portable power supplies to further enhance essential equipment availability, as well as providing defense in depth to FLEX and B.5.b response. The portable battery power technology provides an alternative means of electrical power delivery solutions, expanding operator flexibility and optimizing station risk reduction strategies.

Oak Ridge brings fusion and fission together for clean energy synergy

June 8, 2021, 12:06PMSponsored ContentORNL
ORNL associate laboratory director Kathy McCarthy at the prototype which led to the Material Plasma Exposure eXperiment (MPEX), a device that will support fusion materials research. Photo: ORNL

Oak Ridge National Laboratory has a long record of advancing fusion and fission science and technology. Today, the lab is focused more than ever on taking advantage of that spectrum of nuclear experience to accelerate a viable path to fusion energy and to speed efficient deployment of advanced nuclear technologies to today’s power plants and future fission systems.

Nuclear I&C Modernization: The Future is Digital

June 4, 2021, 9:34AMSponsored ContentRobert Ammon, Technical Director of Digital Safety Systems at Curtiss-Wright Nuclear Division

As the U.S. nuclear industry moves into plant life extension and subsequent license renewals, the modernization of safety instrumentation and control (I&C) systems holds significant potential to transform plant operations. Automated system diagnostics, equipment health monitoring, and performance indications reduce the need for manual surveillance activities and enable condition-based maintenance, resulting in improved system reliability and reduced maintenance costs. Despite these benefits, adoption of digital I&C systems for safety-related applications across the domestic nuclear fleet has been slow. U.S. nuclear power plants that do choose to embrace the transition from analog to digital are in good company; international plants have successfully implemented digital safety systems for more than a decade. Furthermore, digital safety systems are also the first choice of the growing small modular reactor (SMR) and advanced reactor (AR) communities.

TRU Waste Solution inDRUM Treatment

May 27, 2021, 2:39PMSponsored ContentStudsvik

Do you have TRU waste with characteristics and/or prohibited items not acceptable in their current configuration for transportation and/or disposal at WIPP? Such as liquids, oxidizers, corrosives, reactive materials, flammable liquids, and aerosol cans? Are you sorting and segregating the non-compliant waste forms and then developing process/treatment approaches (i.e., solidification, grouting, deactivation, etc.) to ensure your final waste form will meet transportation and WIPP’s acceptance requirements?

Inspecting Hidden Areas of Metal Tanks and Containment Vessels or Liners

October 22, 2020, 11:35AMSponsored ContentSouthwest Research Institute
The Hanford Site in Washington state stores millions of gallons of high-level radioactive waste in 28 double-shell tanks. The tanks are buried underground to enhance radiation shielding. The space between the primary tank and the steel liner can be used to allow inspection of the inaccessible regions of these vessels.

Nuclear power plant containment vessels have large, inaccessible regions that cannot be inspected by conventional techniques. Inaccessible regions often are encased in concrete, soil or sand, or hidden behind equipment attached to a wall. Similar constraints affect the inspection of double-shell tanks designed to store nuclear waste, illustrated in Figure 1, that have an inaccessible region at the tank bottom where the primary shell is supported by the secondary shell. Present methods to monitor the integrity of these vessels primarily rely on partial inspections of accessible areas or estimation of corrosion rates; however, these approaches cannot account for nonuniform localized corrosion or cracking.

I&C vendor insights: safety digital technology selection to win the energy market

August 3, 2020, 11:28AMSponsored ContentRadICS

RadICS-based RPS-ESFAS system

Commercial nuclear power plants in the United States (U.S.) face tough competition from sources of alternative generation (e.g., solar, wind, etc.), cheap natural gas, especially in the unregulated market. It is recognized that 35 percent of the U.S. nuclear power plants, representing 22 percent of U.S. nuclear capacity, are at risk of early closure due to economic factors. Plant operators have been reluctant to adopt modern digital technologies for safety-related systems even though these technologies offer many benefits to improve safety and reliability, as well as achieve operating cost reductions.

Lead Lined Cabinets Custom Designed for Your Needs

May 7, 2020, 8:45AMSponsored ContentMarShield

By Paul Rochus , MarShield

Lead lined cabinets are utilized across a wide variety of industries including hospitals, nuclear medicine and the nuclear power industry. Some of the applications of shielded cabinets are for storing radioisotopes, radioactive waste, and providing shielding while operating x-ray tubes and protecting sensitive electronic devices from external radiation damage.

A simple, revolutionary approach to waste packaging

March 16, 2020, 9:53AMSponsored ContentCentral Research Laboratories

By Rob Weber, Projects and Proposals Manager, Central Research Laboratories

Addressing Current Problems

Bag-out operations can pose many issues to the TRU waste handling and disposal process. Among these are operator and facility safety, operational time, excess waste volume, and increased shipping costs to a waste repository.

Historically, removing hazardous waste from gloveboxes has involved using bags for primary containment. This bag-out method can prove tedious, repetitive, and time-consuming to ensure it follows all required safeguards to transfer waste without breaching containment. Layers of bags, yards of tape, and multiple filters are all added to the waste stream to transfer hazardous waste safely from the glovebox into a disposal drum.

U.S. NRC approved RadICS Platform

March 14, 2020, 9:26AMSponsored ContentRPC Radics LLC

List of authors:

  1. Mr. Ievgenii Bakhmach, “RPC Radics” LLC, Chief Executive Officer
  2. Mr. Ievgen Brezhniev, “RPC Radics” LLC, Strategic Marketing Director
  3. Mr. Vyacheslav Kharchenko, Director of Scientific and Technical Center, PC “RPC Radiy”
  4. Mark J. Burzynski, SunPort, Chief Executive Officer
  5. Sean Kelley, SunPort, Chief Operating Officer

Radiy is proud to present the RadlCS Digital Instrumentation and Control (l&C) Platform that was approved by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) on July 31, 2019.