Conference Proceedings Paper
In Reactor Measurements, Modeling and Assessments to Predict Liquid Injection Shutdown System Nozzles to Calandria Tube Time to Contact
9th International Conference on CANDU® Maintenance - 2011 December 04-06
Kobus Kirstein (Candu Energy Inc.)
Daryl Kalenchuk (Candu Energy Inc.)
Over the past few years there has been an expanding effort to assess the potential for Calandria Tubes (CTs) coming into contact with Liquid Injection Shutdown System (LISS) Nozzles to ensure continued contact-free operation as required by CSA N285.4. LISS Nozzles (LINs), which run perpendicular to and between rows of fuel channels, sag at a slower rate than the fuel channels. As a result certain LINs may come in contact with CTs above them. The CT/LIN gaps can be predicted from calculated CT sag, LIN sag and a number of component and installation tolerances. This method however results in very conservative predictions when compared to measurements, confirmed with the in reactor measurements initiated in 2000, when gaps were successfully measured the first time using images obtained from a camera-assisted measurement tool inserted into the calandria.
To reduce the conservatism of the CT/LIN gap predictions, statistical CT/LIN gap models are used instead. They are derived from a comparison between calculated gaps based on nominal dimensions and the visual image based measured gaps. These reactor specific (typically 95% confidence level) CT/LIN gap models account for all uncertainties and deviations from nominal values. Prediction error margins reduce as more in-reactor gap measurements become available.
Each year more measurements are being made using this standardized visual CT/LIN proximity method. The subsequently prepared reactor-specific models have been used to provide time to contact for every channel above the LINs at these stations. In a number of cases it has been used to demonstrate that the reactor can be operated to its end of life before refurbishment with no predicted contact, or specific at-risk channels have been identified for which appropriate remedial actions could be implemented in a planned manner.
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