Steam Generators with Tight Manufacturing Procedures

By Ei Kadokami, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. 1. What is the life expectancy of the future generation steam generators currently manufactured by Mitsubishi Nuclear Energy Systems? Our steam generator is designed and verified for 60 years of lifetime. “60 years” is just design lifetime and the limitation of integrity is considered to be much longer than that. 2. What are Mitsubishi Nuclear Energy Systems’recommendations to its clients for ensuring optimum life and functionality of its steam generators regarding the following: a. Maintaining the water chemistry for the steam generators (primary as well as secondary side). MHI recommends that the clients control the water chemistry in accordance with EPRI guidelines. b. Preventive maintenance practices One of the most important preventive maintenance practices is control of secondary water chemistry. Since tube material of Inconel 690 has high resistance against corrosion, the corrosion phenomena is not a concern for our steam generator. On the other hand, the secondary side scale management is important for degradation of thermal hydraulic performance. For this concern, MHI recommends that the pH of secondary side is maintained high (9.2 or more), which results in very low iron concentration rate in the steam generator. Even if the secondary water pH control is performed, scale could be deposited. MHI recommends that chemical cleanings should be performed in this case. c. Ensuring minimal leak rate of reactor coolant into the secondary loop. Our steam generator has Inconel 690 tubes to have enough corrosion resistance Responses to questions by Newal Agnihotri, Editor of Nuclear Plant Journal.

Ei Kadokami
Ei Kadokami is the deputy general manager of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), Kobe Shipyard & Machinery Works. In 1978, he graduated from the faculty of nuclear engineering, the University of Kyushu and joined MHI. He has been working in the nuclear engineering field throughout his career. His expertise includes entire Pressurized Water Reactor power plants technology(basic plan, design, manufacture, construction , and maintenance). against several degradation modes, which could avoid the leakage due to tube degradation. For tube to tubesheet joint region, seal weld is performed and the weld is designed to have the structural integrity to withstand the design pressure. Tube expansion is also performed. This expansion procedure is verified to avoid the leakage even if the seal weld is not performed. d. Avoiding potential for in-service rupture. Our steam generators are designed to have enough resistance for several degradation modes as follows: • Tube material is alloy 690 which has high resistance against corrosion. • Anti-Vibration bar (AVB) and tube support plates (TSP) are designed to have enough margins against fretting wear. On the other hand, all heat transfer tubes are inspected by Eddy Current Testing (ECT) in outage to find the degraded tubes. The criteria for plugging is determined by considering the tube walls thinning growth until the next outage, ECT measuring degradations and other uncertainties, ensures that there is no in-service tube rupture. e. Chemical cleaning methods. Chemical cleaning is taken into account for material selection for USAPWR. The material for the steam generators of US-APWR is suitable for general chemical cleaning so the owner of the plants can use general commercial chemical cleaning method. f. Reactor coolant temperature to insure least corrosion There is no clear criterion of reactor coolant temperature for tube degradation. No corrosion is observed when the temperature is less than 617°F so the thermal design temperature at full power is 617°F. g. Injection of chemicals into the secondary side water. High pH control is recommended to maintain the low iron concentration rate, which could avoid the performance degradation. h. Recommended tools and techniques for sleeved tubes or other technologies to defer replacing the steam generators. MHI has techniques for plugging and sleeving degraded tubes. Normally the plugging is recommended. However, we have several techniques and experiences for sleevee tubes such as laser weld sleeves. To prevent performance degradation, chemical cleaning and secondary water chemistry control (high pH) is recommended for long life operation. 3. What are the recommended techniques for repairing tubes allowing degraded tubes to remain in operation? The sleeve tubes technique such as

Nuclear Plant Journal, March-April 2009

laser weld sleeves can allow degraded tubes to remain in operation. The tubes may also be plugged. 4. What instrumentations are provided by Mitsubishi Nuclear Energy Systems with its steam generators to monitor degradation in a timely manner and accurately?

the weld lines of pressure boundary can be inspected by Ultrasonic Testing (UT). 6. How has Internet and the evolution of Information Technology in the last 30 years helped Mitsubishi Nuclear Energy Systems provide a state of the art instrumentation to ensure efficient and productive operation and detect degradation during operation and refueling? The information on degradation experience is stored in the electronic database, which can be instantaneously accessed by internet. MHI recommends the best operation and maintenance method based on the investigation of the database. Tube ECT source data can be transferred from the job site to MHI Kobe by internet and the data can be analyzed immediately; earlier it used to take one or more days to carry the data media from job site to MHI. 7. Please provide any other design, operation, and construction highlights, which makes you believe that Mitsubishi

Nuclear Energy Systems future generation steam generator has an edge over other steam generator technologies? Tube P/D (pitch/outer diameter) is narrower than others so that the tube bundle and the Steam Generator itself are smaller, which is the first feature. The second feature MHI would like to emphasize is that MHI has not experienced any significant degradation in recent design. Alloy 690 is used for almost all steam generators and has high resistance against corrosion, but some steam generators fabricated by other manufacturers have wear caused by tube vibration in the U bend region. No tube wear has been experienced in recent MHI steam generators because not only AVB and TSP are designed to have enough margin against fretting wear but also the manufacturing procedure is appropriate to control gaps between the tube and AVB. Contact: MHI Nuclear Energy Systems Headquarters, 16-5, Konan2choume, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan; email:

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During operation, Steam pressure is monitored to evaluate fouling factor of tubes. Leak rate is watched by N16 monitor. During outage, Tube ECT inspection using Intelligent ECT method can be applied for quick and detailed tube inspections.

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5. What in-service inspection is recommended during: Plant operation? Leak rate, steam pressure and loose parts are monitored. Outages? In outage, all heat transfer tubes can be inspected by Eddy Current Testing and


Nuclear Plant Journal, March-April 2009