Nuclear, O&M

Areva deploys new fire protection process at Callaway nuclear

18 October 2006 — Areva introduced a chemical cleaning process at AmerenUE’s Callaway nuclear power plant in Missouri that will improve the ability to fight fire on-site by maintaining the flow capacity of water pipes that supply fire protection systems.

Through its subsidiary Areva NP, Areva used a first-of-a-kind process to remove hematite deposits from the water supply pipes of the plant’s fire protection system. Areva NP and GE Water & Process Technologies cooperated with Callaway plant officials to clean the pipes, which were buried 15 feet below ground and had accumulated a 20-year buildup of hematite deposits. The deposits created friction as the water flowed through the pipes and significantly reduced the capacity factor — the amount of water that could travel through the pipes.

The process relies on chemicals that do not impact the foaming agents used to fight fire and maintains pH levels that would not be harmful to personnel. The cleaning process at Callaway included the addition of patented Ferroquest FQ chemistry to the 280,000 gallon fire protection tank to lower the pH to a level necessary to dissolve the deposits while protecting system metallurgy. The 11-day project was successfully completed without disruption to plant operations or the availability of the fire protection system.

Following the removal of approximately 9,000 pounds of hematite deposits, the cleanliness factor increased from 83 to 96, increasing the available water flow and strengthening the plant’s ability to protect its structures, systems and components.