Nuclear Power

Nearly thirty years ago, a power generation facility approached us with a desire to measure air flow in the vent line between the condenser and vacuum system to quantify condenser air in-leak. The mixture of air and water vapor at low absolute pressure presented a unique measurement challenge. A team of Bionetics engineers drawing on their aerospace project experience and understanding of the thermodynamics of the steam cycle, resulted in innovating the RheoVac® multi-sensor probe based on well-established Rheotherm® thermal mass technology.

The introduction of this specialized instrument provided unique insight into the complex and dynamic air removal process from which the modern understanding of air storage within the condenser was formulated.  Continued research through the 90’s led to the formulation of advanced methods for operating performance modeling which were presented in numerous EPRI papers and resulted in several patents. Over the last 20 years, these methods have been confirmed and validated through successful retrofit designs to improve plant performance, and the further development of unique instrumentation to measure key performance parameters.

Services for the Nuclear Power Industry

Bionetics offers a comprehensive portfolio of services and instrumentation to identify and solve performance and operational challenges including:

  • Advanced Performance Analysis and Modeling
  • Test-grade instrumentation for performance monitoring
  • Proven retrofit design for performance improvement
  • Vibration and Staking Analysis
  • Investigation of operational abnormalities affecting performance
  • Data evaluation to identify root cause of abnormal operating conditions
  • Vacuum system operating capacity studies and monitoring
  • Heat Rate Improvement Studies
  • Uprate studies
  • Continuous operating performance monitoring
  • CFD Modeling to predict and optimize cooling water process systems
  • Analysis of air storage, dissolved oxygen (DO), and condensate chemistry

Nuclear Power PlantBionetics applied its experience in power generation and expertise with plant design and performance to assist several nuclear stations in identifying and solving operational deficiencies. Our engineers examine drawings, plant data and RheoVac instrument data to understand, quantify and identify root causes for issues including:
• Air in-leak rate, total air in-leak and possible sources
• Potential cooling system design deficiencies including air removal system and condenser design
• Possible shortcomings in plant operating and maintenance procedures resulting in negative impact on plant performance
Examples of services that Bioneitcs has provided for Nuclear Power Generation:

  • Provided engineering consulting services to assist with Failure Mode Analysis (FMA) of main condenser
  • Performed review of plant’s thermal system, reported identified deficiencies and provided recommended corrective actions
  • Identified operational improvements and potential deficiencies in design of cooling system through examination of engineering drawings and data. Results included estimating total performance loss and possible root causes of poor performance
  • Assessed proposed modifications to a low pressure partition plate/Hotwell portion of condenser
  • Quantified air in-leakage into the condenser by interpreting data collected during refueling and identified offgas issues

Click here to read more about how Bionetics helped a nuclear power plant solve a unique design problem.

Click here for details on the available services for the nuclear power industry

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