BWR Radiation Control Through Operational Practices

  • Gerard F. Palino


The rate of radiation buildup on out-of-core Boiling Water Reactor (BWR) primary system surfaces can be reduced by reasonably straight forward changes in plant operating practices. The operational practices considered most relevent include: optimized operation of condensate and reactor water demineralizer systems; control of dissolved oxygen in the feedwater system to minimize corrosion product input into the primary system; and changes in shutdown/ lay-up/ and startup practices. This presentation includes a discussion of the current radiation levels and isotopics observed on out-of-core surfaces of operating BWRs. Evidence for successful implementation of these radiation control practices is presented along with the current status of our modeling development. Finally, the General Electric (GE) program for radiation control through operational practices is introduced.


Primary System Radiation Level Operational Practice General Electric Company Fuel Surface 
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  1. 1.
    The program “BWR Radiation Assessment and Control” (BRAC), RP-819–1, was established in November 1976 by EPRI and the General Electric Company. Following the inception of this program, several organizations have joined the program through information-exchange, Technology Development Agreements. These organizations include: ASEA-ATOM, Hitachi, Toshiba, Kraftwerk Union, and the Japan Atomic Power Company (JAPC). Prior to the BRAC program, two other programs existed: Nine Mile Point Water Chemistry Program (started in September 1970) and the Water Chemistry Program Extension (WCPE) (March 1973 to September 1976). Participants in the WCPE included Northern States Power Company, Detroit Edison Company, Northeast Utilities, Tennessee Valley Authority, Empire State Electric Energy Research Company, ASEAATOM, and JAPC.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    G. F. Palino, “Radioisotope Activities on BWR Primary System Piping, Part I. Calibration of the G.E. Ge(Li) Pipe Gamma Scanning System”, General Electric Report NEDC-12646–1, Class I, October 1976.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    G. F. Palino and E. G. Brush, “Radioisotope Activities on BWR Primary System Piping, Part II. Calibration Curves for Interpreting In-Plant Gamma Scanning Measurements”, General Electric Report NEDC-12646–2, Class I, October 1976.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    G. F. Palino and J. Blok, “Radioisotope Activities on BWR Primary System Piping, Part IV. In-Plant Gamma Scanning Data through April 1979”, General Electric Report NEDC-12646–4, Class I, July 1979.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    The DPGSM is a combination of the Eberline PRS-1/2 “RASCAL” and a modified HP 220A probe. The HP 220A probe provides a directionality to the measurements by exhibiting a 9:1 front to back ratio for cobalt-60 radiation. This combination instrument has been recommended by GE for use in the GE-EPRI initiated “BWR Radiation Level Surveillance” program; General Electric Report NEDC-12688, Class 1, December 1977.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    The efforts in modeling “activity transport” had its beginnings with the Water Chemistry Program Extension (Ref. 1) and continued into the EPRI/GE funded BRAC program. This effort culminated with the publication of GE Report NEDC-13461, Class 1; J. Blok and J. Younger, “Contribution of Fuel Rod Deposits to the Buildup of Radiation on Out-of-Core Surfaces of the Nine Mile Point-1 BWR”, in March 1977. Since that time, GE has undertaken, on its own, an extensive program of “activity transport” modeling. The model discussed in this presentation is but a small part of this effort.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Additional detailed information on this program can be obtained from BWR Technical Services, General Electric Company, 175 Curtner Avenue, San Jose, California 95125.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerard F. Palino
    • 1
  1. 1.General Electric CompanySan JoseUSA

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