Innovative piping rehabilitation solution to be used at US plant

24 May 2024

Framatome has been awarded a multi-million-dollar contract to carry out its first major mitigation of buried condenser feed pipes using its innovative spray-in-place structural pipe liner solution at a three-unit operating nuclear plant in the USA.

The spray-in-place liner is delivered remotely via in-pipe robotics (Image: Framatome)

The company says it will mitigate more than one mile (1.6 km) of large diameter piping running underground to plant condenser boxes. The project will be carried out during nine outages over eight years, with the first application planned in 2025.

Ageing and degradation of buried pipes and underground piping components is a challenge for nuclear power plant operations, but the location of these components - which can be as small as a few centimetres and as large as three metres in diameter - makes carrying out repairs and inspections costly. Framatome has developed a spray-in-place liner, delivered remotely using in-pipe robotic crawlers to spray a fast-curing liner evenly onto the inside of the pipe. The engineered structural liner system, which was developed with industry partners, can rehabilitate safety-related piping beyond its original 50-year design life and through to the end of plant life, and with no excavation required the quick-installing system minimises safety risks and reduces outage durations and costs.

Catherine Cornand, senior executive vice president for the Installed Base BU at Framatome, said the company had adapted an industrial solution and applied it to the nuclear industry to support long-term operational needs and competitiveness. "Now utility customers have access to an innovative, technically advanced, turnkey rehabilitation solution that includes in-depth engineering, manufacturing, application, project management, technical support and OEM experience," she said.

The system has been validated through a two-year testing programme which was completed last year.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News