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pacific northwest National Laboratory

On-Line Lead/Water Heat Exchanger Sensor/System Feasibility, NE-20-21392


ABSTRACT: Hydromine, a sustainable energy company based in New York, recognizes the difficulty and expense of shutting down and flushing a lead-cooled reactor for inspection and maintenance. The primary lead coolant is radioactive and system temperatures are such that a manned approach for inspection and repair is difficult even with draining, cooling, and flushing. On-line structural health monitoring (OLSHM) of the most susceptible components could support extended periods of operation and limit shutdowns for inspection and repair/maintenance to “for cause” rather than based on arbitrarily chosen inspection intervals.

This project will leverage Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s experience with high-temperature ultrasound to demonstrate feasibility for OLSHM of the Hydromine lead-cooled reactor heat exchanger for cracks and corrosion. OLSHM benefits to the Hydromine reactor system include (1) minimizing the expense of a reactor shut down for periodic inspection—only shutdown for cause, (2) reducing the risk of pressurization of the primary system from a steam generator tube rupture and (3) reducing costs by minimizing the need to design for manual/robotic inspectability.

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