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8 Comments

  1. Does this kind of hardware come with any warranty? Since they were just installed not too long ago, I would hope so.

  2. From what I understood, the SGs in Unit 3 were from a different manufacturer than the ones in Unit 2.

  3. The OTSGs like those used in the B&W PWR design also have the advantage that you get a significant amount of superheating of the exit steam, which helps on thermal efficiency. The downside is that they are more sensitive to feedwater transients, as we have learned. Improvements in the ICS for PWRs may help on that score. I am working on a system for in-situ monitoring of flow-accelerated corrosion, which may provide prognostic capability for tube wear and eventual replacement and/or plugging.

  4. Don’t all steam generator tubes have the possibility of failure through improper or un- intended operation, regardless of the source of heat?

    1. Paul W — EVERYTHING has a possibility of failure through improper or unintended operation. “Possibility” is a very vague word. My car’s radiator has a “possibility of failure” if I don’t use a corrosion-inhibiting anti-freeze and clog it up.

  5. It has been almost 30 years since I was involved with reactor technology, but I seem to remember that the once-through design of Babcock and Wilcox steam generators supposedly contributed to the dynamics of the Three Mile Island reactor plant during the 1979 disaster. I guess that relates to Wayne SW’s comment.

  6. Northcoast, yes, they are more vulnerable to dry-out and thus the introduction of thermal transients on the primary side. There is nothing inherently wrong with the design, its just you have to be more aware of the possibility of this kind of scenario and understand the basic physics a little more. In TMI they took care of the steam generator problem fairly quickly but by then they had the stuck-open PORV and didn’t recognize right away that they were losing primary coolant through that pathway. They were so fixated on the pressurizer level that they didn’t know the RV level was dropping. If not for that, it would have been a pretty minor incident.

  7. Are steam generators routinely instrumented with vibration monitors?

    Digital signal processing can be used to recognize nominal vibration signatures and provide additional alarms when conditions are abnormal. Metal-to-metal contact should be discernable.

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