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Slowing the aging of nuclear power plants

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3 Author(s)
Trovato, S.A. ; Consolidated Edison Co., New York, NY, USA ; Parry, J.O. ; Burger, J.M.

As nuclear power plants need more maintenance as they age. However, the reactor core also gets hotter. The operator of an aging nuclear plant is caught between conflicting obligations: to increase the maintenance of an ever hotter facility, yet keep the exposure of each worker to an unprecedentedly low level. The solution chosen by the US utility industry is chemical decontamination-more specifically, decontamination of the system that cools the nuclear reactor, namely, the full primary, or reactor coolant, system. The process is under way at the Indian Point 2 pressurized-water reactor plant of the Consolidated Edison Company. The process consists of removing radioactive oxide deposits from the cooling system using a two step process using alkaline permanganate and Can-Derem. The authors describe the process and its use at Indian Point 2

Published in:

Spectrum, IEEE  (Volume:32 ,  Issue: 3 )