During operation of CANDU reactors, the Primary Heat Transport Feeder Piping is exposed to certain environmental conditions which promotes wall thinning as a result of flow accelerated corrosion and makes the piping susceptible to cracking as well as other station specific conditions.
Since 2010, BWXT Canada has performed extensive inspections on PHT Feeder Piping in order to justify fitness for services of these components. Inspection of this piping is currently conducted using ultrasonic techniques executed by highly skilled technicians and trades.
Through the use of 6Sigma applications as well as Utility Station Condition Reports (SCRs) and other sources of industry OPEX relating to Feeder Inspection, BWXT has developed a highly effective inspection program that focuses on training and execution in order to increase performance and promote safe work habits during inspection campaigns.
Prior to deploying to a customer site, BWXT conducts simulated mockup training exercises in order to increase the performance and capabilities of the individuals performing the work. Trainees are coached by highly skilled and knowledgeable BWXT staff that have extensive experience preforming Feeder Inspections at CANDU utilities.
In order to address the need for data storage as well as to provide effective communication to the different work groups within the inspection program, BWXT has developed a user friendly data management software application. This software acts both as a means of storing and accessing data as well as a mechanism for reporting and trending inspection results. Future development of this software has the potential to address all reactor components as a single Master Reactor Database through a common user interface in order to provide utilities with easy access to all inspection and maintenance data.
Through OPEX gained from performing Feeder Inspections at customer sites, BWXT has compiled a comprehensive “lessons learned” database that contains a tremendous amount of information that is recycled back into the program in order to improved processes and develop new tooling to meet industry demands. As such, the BWXT Feeder Inspection program is continuously being improved with each and every inspection campaign executed.