Age and Condition Assessments for Fuel Handling Systems
9th International Conference on CANDU® Maintenance - 2011 December 04-06

Presented at:
9th International Conference on CANDU® Maintenance
2011 December 04-06
Toronto, Canada
Session Title:
Industry Performance Special Session D1

Glen Pyke (GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy Canada)


Throughout the nuclear industry, power plants are approaching, or in some cases have already exceeded, their originally forecasted operation life expectancy.  This situation has forced nuclear power plant operators to shift greater amounts of their focus toward equipment reliability and maintenance, while simultaneously supporting increased power generation requirements, and reductions in forced outages.  As a result, support organizations for the power plants, such as maintenance, spare parts, procurement, and engineering, are under more pressure than ever.  In an effort to deal with this situation, programs are being developed to help manage the effects on critical components of age-related degradation.

During recent years, GE Hitachi Nuclear EnergyCanada(GEH-C) has been commissioned by both Bruce Power and Ontario Power Generation to perform assessments of their Fuel Handling systems.  The Fuel Handling systems were identified as fundamentally different from other plant systems, and GEH-C, as the Fuel Handling OEM, was best positioned to perform these assessments.

Due to the size of the plants, and the quantity of components in the system, the scopes of the assessments covered portions of the Life Cycle Management Programs which were different for each plant.  The methodologies used varied, and evolved with lessons learned as the assessments progressed.  In common was a desire by the plants to categorize the levels of risk posed by different components, and to identify their criticality to the plant in terms of both safety and operating performance.  The challenge for the operating stations is to take information from these assessments and incorporate it into dynamic, living programs that can be used effectively to extend operational life.

The paper outlines the outlines the key aspects of age and condition-based assessments on Fuel Handling systems, and the lessons learned that are critical to the success of these initiatives.

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