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A 5-day emergency testing turnaround for a nuclear pump proved no problem for this world-class testing facility.
Written by: Nick Dagres & Faisal Salman Published by: Nuclear Plant Journal
When a vertical safety-related residual heat-removal pump failed its required surveillance performance test at a nuclear power plant, it created the need for emergency hydraulic performance and vibration testing. The plant required the pump back in operation within one week, to prevent shutdowns that could cost the facility up to $1 million per day.
During a routine check by the regulator, a safety-related heat removal pump failed its required in-house surveillance pump performance test. With a safe shutdown of the unit, the plant entered an LCO (Limited Conditions of Operation) period. The power station shut down the unit but wanted to avoid a full shutdown of the facility. This created an emergency situation for the plant.
According to the regulator’s strict standards, if performance requirements are not fulfilled immediately, the plant can be shut down completely. The LCO allows the plant to continue to operate as long as the problem is being resolved in a limited time frame. In this case, the time frame was seven days. To allow for shipping to and from the facility, Hydro had only five of those days to complete the project. The plant was concerned that the repair time might exceed the LCO. Other similar pumps remained in operation performing the same function, however the unit was shut down because there were no spare pump store place it while testing was being
performed. The original equipment manufacturer could not schedule the required tests in the abbreviated time span; therefore the Chicago service company was commissioned. Under normal conditions the scope of work would generally take about six to eight weeks to complete.
Pump as received
Identifying the Problem
In such cases, the regulator requires that a third party inspect the equipment to discover whether the issues were with the instrumentation or with the pump itself. As a result, immediate testing was required to determine whether the pump was functional.
We are very pleased to announce that Hydro’s Test Lab is the first test lab to be certified by the Hydraulic Institute in their new pump test approval program.
The Hydraulic Institute which will celebrate 100 years of industry leadership in 2016 is a prestigious organization which develops and delivers comprehensive industry standards and educational programs.
Special thanks to Hydro’s Jeff Johnson, General Manager of the Test Lab and Ares Panagoulias Test Lab Engineer whose dedicated efforts in working with the accreditation team were critical to the approval of our test lab.
Join instructor, Robert Piotrowski of Turvac, Inc., as he discusses the key ingredients to successfully align machinery, the symptoms you will see if machinery is subjected to run under a misalignment condition, and more.