Innovation and progress in the reactor hall

Published 2020-10-09 09:40

Brand new equipment was recently used in the reactor hall in order to perform a cleaning campaign of the reactor vessel bottom. The new technique used is an important step to remove fuel damage in the long run and thus an important measure for enhanced cleanliness in our systems. The job was carried out during three days in close collaboration between OKG's reactor hall employees and the suppliers' operators, with an outcome that met our expectations.

After just over a year of intensive work, innovation and cooperation between FORCE Technology A/S and employees from the reactor maintenance at OKG, it was during the outage up to proof for the new equipment developed to enable cleaning of the reactor vessel bottom. The uniqueness of the equipment is that it reaches down to the reactor vessel bottom without requiring removal of other internal parts – an operation method that reduces both costs, time and the technical risks considerably.

The big challenge in this project has been to ensure a sound construction that minimizes the risks of for example jamming, as the complex environment requires great precision on the equipment. In order to ensure the right precision the supplier built a full-scale demonstration model of a section of our vessel to be able to test the design principle and all functions as realistic as possible.

When the work now was carried out at site two masts were brought down from the hearth grid to be docked in their respective fuel element positions through which two hoses equipped with a camera and vacuum nozzle could be maneuvered in a safe manner. The implementation went as planned and Niklas Eriksson, project leader, states that it would not have been possible without the persistent work and innovative power that both OKG's personnel and the supplier have shown proof of.

- Once the equipment was set in place in the reactor hall, everyone worked towards the same goal: To perform a safe and efficient cleaning of the reactor vessel bottom! says Niklas. The supplier's operators really did a solid job together with OKG's reactor hall personnel.

During the de-establishment of the equipment just over a ton of contaminated equipment was lifted out of the vessel, which required intensive cooperation between operators, hall personnel, radiation protection and sanitizers in order for it to be done safely and efficiently.

- The fact that the work went accordingly with our plan without any incidents is for sure proof of the good cooperation between everyone involved, Niklas concludes.

The equipment will now be stored at OKG until the next cleaning campaign which is planned for the 2023 outage. The demonstration model will also be delivered to OKG to constitute training facility for future cleaning campaigns. 

Page updated Monday, October 12, 2020