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Pipe End Decontamination at Beaver Valley Nuclear Station


In March 2006, an AEA Technology team completed the Pipe End Decontamination (PED) project in support of the Steam Generator Replacement outage at the Beaver Valley Nuclear Generating Station. Steam generators are large heat exchangers that remove heat from the reactor in a closed loop and convert secondary-side (i.e., clean) water into steam that drives turbines. Many of these steam generators are being replaced at power plants worldwide as their lifecycles are ending. PED is an advanced grit-blasting process performed to reduce the radiation exposure (or dose) to personnel who conduct close-proximity work on the highly radioactive piping that connects the reactor to the steam generators inside a nuclear reactor building.
The inside surfaces of these six Reactor Coolant System pipe sections were heavily coated with a radioactive material commonly referred to as the oxide layer; PED was utilized to remove the oxide layer. This deployment resulted in above-average dose reduction factors, and the work was done safely in the most accelerated schedule the PED team has faced to date. The redesigned PED control system, which had only been used one time previously for actual fieldwork, allowed for increasingly more efficient and trouble-free operation of the system.
In addition, a modification which enabled automatic articulation as the blasting components traveled inside the curved radius of the pipe sections was successfully utilized. This modification resulted in time and dose savings and also decreased the amount of radioactive waste generated in the form of grit blast media. Our client, the prime contractor Bechtel Power Corporation, has expressed appreciation to the on-site team and the rest of AEA for a job well done. Not only have we provided another world class deployment, but we have demonstrated yet again AEA’s commitment to safety, quality, and continuous improvement.

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About AEA Technology
AEA Technology Engineering Services Inc. (ESI) has delivered leading edge technology solutions for over 30 years to a variety of customers including the US federal government, public utilities, international governments and a variety of commercial clients.  AEA Technology Battery Systems is a wholly owned subsidiary of AEA Technology plc (LSE: AAT), one of the United Kingdom's leading-edge technology firms. 

Contact:  Dr. Laurie Judd, Vice President, Federal Programs, AEA Technology ESI
Phone: 571.434.0639
Email:   Fax: 571.434.0763
Address:   AEA Technology ESI, 14 Pidgeon Hill Drive, Suite 160, Sterling, VA  20165 USA

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