Coatings for Nuclear Power Generating Stations


W. Jarret Inc.

ConKhem, Furlong,


Protective tion of nuclear tion of coating and procedures include

coatings power materials

play plants.

a significant The

role in the

safe and efficient



application While materials

and documentathis chapter will

used at these facilities cements

are subject to rigid specifications may be referred purClass 2

to assure a high of surfacing

level of performance. and paints, into three

a discussion power

to as coatings for the purpose of brevity. Nuclear areas include exposure plants can be divided interior traffic areas for identification Containment; poses. Class 1 areas include by radioactivity surfaces of Primary of Primary

those surfaces outside with areas.


that are subject to spills. Class 3


and chemical

signifies “non-nuclear”

OPERATING Two ized water Within reactors operation Primary

CONDITIONS of reactors are used to power these facilities. (BWRs). created by the two types of and the within coatings that of construction They are pressur-


reactors Primary of the

(PWRs) and boiling water Containment, and will vary according particular reactor. are subjected areas may would


the environment Under normal

is similar

to the method


Containment localized Examples

to a variety higher

of conditions than

are outlined

in Table 49-l. Some however. receive average doses of radiation, and areas adjacent to pipe be fuel storage canals areas.

assemblies. Table 49-2 outlines

some typical 650

. Chart by ANSI-see Reference 1. Figure 49-2: by ANSI-see BWR Mark II over and under pressure suppression containment Reference 1.Coatings for Nuclear Power Generating Stations 651 Figure 49-l: PWR pressure containment system. From table by ANSI--see Reference 1. system. Chart Table 49-I: Typical Design Exposure Conditions of Coatings for Normal Operation of Pressurized Water Reactors (PWRs) and Boiling Water Reactors (BWRs) Relative Humidity Atmosphere Air or nitrogen Air or nitrogen (XI 100 100 Pressure Tempfrature (mm Accumulated Radiation Exposure During 40 yr Life (rads) 5 x 106-3 5 x 106-3 x 109 x 109 Reactor Tvw PWR BWR ( I=) 120 135-150 Hd 760” 760 “1 atmosphere.

5 x 109 (a) Containment structures (b) Canals for fuel storage. examination. . and handling (cl Ductwork and filtration system 1 x10* 2 x 109-7 x 109 0. facilities showing temperature and pres- . of the reactor Accident or safety related equipment. . as a Loss of Coolant altered with in a matter chemical could Should this happen. (rads).5 x 109 *It is not intended that a coating system initially applied to a reactor containment facility last for forty years without appropriate maintenance or overcoating. coatings. come dramatically temperature quantities A of water of seconds and result in the escalation levels. tions and not peel or flake off in any sufficient Figure 49-3: Typical curve for PWR containment sure vs time. Wall Ceiling 1 x10* _ 0. To counteract are automatically conventional this condition. LOCA condition to disbond. . . . . Typical time/temperature/pressure LOCA curves are pictured below in Figures 49-3 and 49-4. . thus jeopardizing on the other of the plant.652 Corrosion and Chemical Resistant Masonry Materials Handbook Table 49-Z: Pressurized Radiation Water Exposure Reactors Guide of Coatings for Normal Operation (BWRsj of (PWRs) and Boiling Water General Level of Exposure Reactors Nuclear Containment or Area Facility . . severely with damage systems. . . From table by ANSI-see Reference 1. 60 combine the spray solutions the safe operation are formulated quantity and clog the pump to resist these condithe engineered suction spray screens. . Floor 1 x10* 2 x 109-7 x 109 0. . . . .5 x IO’-1 x IO’ During 40 yr* Life . . Chart by ANSI-see Reference 1. . . . causing them Qualified safety systems. . . . directed paint onto and pressure to dangerous additives surfaces by means of high pressure spray systems. to affect hand. (LOCA) may occur within would the environment a the beof all large In the event of a malfunction condition Primary known Containment Structure.

Conventional paint systems are generally used in these areas.. contractors. This program was developed by. suppliers must prepare test specimens of the candidate systems and submit them to test agencies having equipment that can simulate Class 1 and 2 conditions. facilities showing temperature and pres- Coatings in Class 2 areas are subjected to a variety of conditions which include abrasion and impact from fuel handling and other traffic operations.Failure to comply is grounds for rejection. The Oak Ridge National Laboratories in Oak Ridge. Arizona 85372. Personnel. a program has been established to certify Registered Professional Engineers and nonregistered engineers. In order to assure that the most qualified personnel are available for nuclear coating work. the coating systems must resist these conditions and be easily decontaminated to safe levels.Coatings for Nuclear Power Generating Stations 653 60 . Tennessee is one agency used by most suppliers. the National Board of Registration for Nuclear Safety Related Coating Engineers and Specialists. Box 1999. Since personnel regularly service Class 2 areas. chemical attack and demineralized water immersion. equipment and Q/A programs are screened to see that they meet the requirements as set forth by the specification. technicians and other personnel.. and is administered by. radioactive exposure. and inspection agencies wishing to do business in Class 1 and 2 areas must submit to thorough audits by the A/E firm in charge of the project or the owner. Sun City. . Coating suppliers..E AFTER RUPTURE INITIATING ACCIDENT SEOUENCE. equipment manufacturers.. Chart by ANSI-see Reference 1. Coatings in Class 3 areas are formulated for architectural and wear properties. QUALIFICATION REQUIREMENTS In order to qualify coatings for use in nuclear power plants. (secl Figure 49-4: Typical curve for BWR containment sure vs time.

ranges from 50” to IOO’F. cathodic some specifications resist abrasion are that and superior epoxies resistance to weathering. steel (i. The most polyamide cured epoxy systems. in Class 1 and 2 service. decontamination systems of substrates. Wetwell. particularly to retard to biofouling. specifications and in dispensing are: Standards regard to nuclear Institute for Testing and Materials Painting Council Engineers Steel Structures National Association of Corrosion COATING VARIETIES AND APPLICATION to seal and protect used coating concrete. A new coat can along the southern the formation coast. primary necessary. 100% with fillers or reinforcement perform bond which perform defined Torus. extensively etc. frequently of functions. have been used quite containment pipe. results in superior satisfactorily qualities. strict environmental but perform to permit well in certain areas such as radwaste the coating to bond and cure properly. One exception to at least 5’F above the temperature to these restrictions As is the case in all critical trols are required cations rounding sation will limit the temperature (dew point).. are subalgae. These coatings look quite promising. These polymer vide When a temporary saturated barrier with are airless sprayed onto surfaces to procontamination material the substrate. Waterborne nuclear facilities Class 1 testing. most importantly. They are occasionally A class of coatings topcoated known service conditions. or urethanes. in certain steel. They coating have not yet met the requirements handling applications. types concrete block and Nuclear coatings are formulated and steel surfaces. steel equipment). epoxy with have been used quite in some of conareas. depending along ocean coasts. off of the is pulled against contamination. Salt jected pounds water intake and safely disposed tunnels. finish with to a somewhat rough and porous surface ultimate as strippable materials radioactive coatings has been successfully of in Class 2 areas. American American engineering Typical National Society societies play an instrumental useful information role in developing with stand- ards. of tin oxides A class of toxic coatings known and fluorides formulations as organotins utilizes com- of barnacles. two cially and a wide variety tenaciously to a variety commonly are the amine The solids. by volume. the flexible surface by workmen then be applied. Many specifiwhere condenwould be the and the surface and sur- air temperatures form .e. good success. of in 55 gallon drums.654 Corrosion and Chemical Resistant Masonry Materials Handbook Several coating work. call for provide espeon the used and Inorganic exterior zinc coating surfaces main for areas such as structural is all that Their protection is usually of pressure advantages long term and some exterior although they One coat coats. can vary from 50 to fibers usually added so that the coating can Reasons for their wide use are that they finish they they cure to a hard smooth and.

this procedure is difficult to control. thus causing a variety of patterns and textures to appear from one pour to the next. and chlorinated rubbers. The improper placement of forms can result in significant offsets of 1/2to 1" or more as well as fins and projections. They include alkyds. In the pouring and placement of concrete walls. the type of mix and aggregates used and the ambient temperature. fins and projections are usually repaired by masons using stones and grinding wheels. although steel to be used in non-nuclear areas usually receives an SSPC #10 ("near white") finish or an SSPC #6 ("commercial") finish. the formation of blowholes or voids is inevitable. Figure 49. as long as the steel is of high quality and the environmental conditions are strictly controlled. Figure 49-5: Blowhole patterns. Areas that require special attention are welds.5 shows a variety of blowhole patterns. Since Class 1 and 2 surfaces must be easily decontaminated to safe levels. several types of coatings are used. Photo by Concrete Society-see Reference 5 Other contributing factors to the quality of the concrete finish are the types of forms and the release agents used. acrylic latexes. In Class 3 areas. the formation of blowholes is kept under reasonable control. on the other hand. In actual practice. . channels. Specifications usually call for an abrasive blast that meets Steel Structures Painting Council (SSPC) Spec. offers a variety of problems. urethanes. seams. edges. these imperfections must be corrected. These imperfections vary in size and quantity by the way the concrete is placed and compacted. Concrete. In this case condensation on the surface (dew) is desirable during the cure cycle. #5 ("white metal") finish. If the immersion vibrators are kept just below the surface of the concrete during the pour and raised at the same rate as the concrete. enamels. Steel surfaces do not provide any unusual difficulties during coating operations. The blowholes are corrected by application of the coating materials. etc. The offsets.Coatings for Nuclear Power Generating Stations 655 inorganic zinc coatings that cure by hydrolysis.

however. Inc.. In order to minimize surface preparation. or 150 sq. squeegeeing and brushing. however.).656 Corrosion and Chemical Resistant Masonry Materials Handbook Fi~re floors. It is important to note that no applicator can guarantee a 100% void-free surface without considerable expense and delays. (Under most circumstances. The use of muriatic acid etching is prohibited on nuclear sites due to the adverse effect of chlorides on stainless steel. however.) Hard troweled floor surfaces are usually broom finished to provide a surface profile and to eliminate costly abrasive blasting. 100. ft. so special care must be taken to assure the selected agent is compatible with the coating used . they actually bridge rather than fill these voids. When selecting form release agents. oils are not used as they will detrimentally affect the bonding characteristics of the coating to the substrate. Some abrasive blasting will be required on the typical job. the lacquer or epoxy types are usually used as they remain on the forms when the forms are pulled and do not contaminate the concrete. etc. is shown spraying epoxy coatings on Class 2 walls and Some coating suppliers have responded by increasing the volume solids to 90% or higher and adding fillers and/or fibers to arrive at a family of materials commonly referred to as surfacing cements. therefore the prudent and realistic specifying engineer will use such words as "essentially" voidfree and include some specific statement on the maximum number and size of permissable voids in the finished film per area (50. 49-6: A coating applicator Photos by Con/Chem. rolling. however. the use of curing agents cannot be altogether avoided. some suppliers claim their oils degrade with time and leave a clean surface. . Applicators apply these products by one or more methods including spraying. in fact. concrete surfaces are usually water cured for 28 days. The materials can be made to partially fill the blowholes. troweling.

surface defects in the coating film and coating adhesion are all checked and recorded. Inc. weld. and they can reject completed work that does not meet the requirements of the specification. mil thickness tests. (d) Elcometer adhesion tester. This practice is designed to assure the utility owner that the coating system was appl ied in accordance with the provisions of the specification . point monitoring Photos by Metal- . (b) Dew (c) Wet film thickness gauge. handling and application.7: equipment.Coatings for Nuclear Power Generating Stations INSPECTION 657 Highly trained and qualified inspectors are required to monitor and record all coatings work. Items such as material storage. Figure 49. (a) Steel surface profile monitoring equipment. environmental conditions. The importance of an effective inspection program cannot be over emphasized as the ultimate beneficiary of a safe and efficient operating nuclear power plant is the general public. surface preparation. Inspectors have the authority to halt work not being performed properly.

Inc. 5. Protective Coatings (Paint) for Light Water Nuclear Reactor Containment Facilities. Preparing and Painting Vertical Concrete Surfaces of Buildings. Reading. American Society for Testing and Materials. M. Berger. 3. Edition 1 (1979). Protective Coatings for Power Plants. 6. M.... a Paper for a Symposium in Finland (August 1977). Inc. Dean. NY (1972). Gilbert Associates. Blowholes in Concrete Surfaces. The Journal of the Concrete Society. Inc. Manual of Coating Work for Light Water Nuclear Power Plant. 3038 (December 1982).C. Conversations with: B. Philadelphia. Chandler and S. Primary Containment and Other Safety Related Facilities. New York. 2.J. pp. 3 (February 1969). Oechsle of Metalweld. 4. Houston. PA and C.658 Corrosion and Chemical Resistant Masonry Materials Handbook REFERENCES 1.. R.S. Power Engineering. Vol.. Fiittenhouse. KTA-Tator.H.TX.W. PA. Concrete. Hall. PA.. Philadelphia. . Great Britain. American National Standards Institute. Thompson.

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