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George Antaki, Fellow ASME, has over 40 years of experience in nuclear power plants and process facilities, in the areas of design, safety analysis, startup, operation support, inspection, fitness for services and integrity analysis, retrofits and repairs. George has held engineering and management positions at Westinghouse and Washington Group International, where he has performed work at power and process plants, and consulted for the Department of Energy (DOE), the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI).

Roadmap For Repair of Buried Pipe

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The repair of a corroded, damaged, or leaking buried pipe should be approached in a well-structured manner. Here is a roadmap to the repair options for buried steel pipes, with the corresponding brief commentary.1. Open trench repair1.1 New line, replacing the existing line (or segment). Determine whether to use the same material, or a higher alloy, or HDPE, or fiberglass for the new pipe.1.1.1 Same trench as existing line, either cut-out and replace the old line, or abandon in-place the old line and place the new line next to or above the abandoned existing line. Caution with new line near old one if there is cathodic protection.1.1.2 Wet (hot) tap and bypass, installing a new bypass either above ground or buried.1.1.2.1 Welded tap, if the old line has sufficient remaining wall to be weldable.1.1.2.2 Clamped tap, using a bolted full-encirclement clamp with a nozzle, instead of a welded wet (hot) tap.1.2...
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Operability And Fitness-for-Service (FFS) Of ASME Equipment In Nuclear Power Plants

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Bringing Order and Logic to the Evaluation ProcessThere is a multitude of documents and reports that describe the damage mechanisms of ASME pressure equipment (vessels, pumps, valves, piping, and tanks, and their supports) in nuclear power plants. Thousands of pages published by EPRI, the NRC, ASME, NACE, research laboratories, utilities, contractors, and others, to read, study, and understand.The plant engineer must understand these thousands of pages of damage mechanisms, first to take the right preventive measures, and second, when the damage occurs despite our best efforts, to correctly diagnose the remaining life of the equipment, i.e. determine its fitness-for-service, its operability.In December 2018, EPRI published “Roadmap to Integrity Evaluation and Repair of Nuclear Plant Piping” EPRI report number 3002013156, to help the plant engineer navigate through the technical and regulatory complexities of damage mechanisms and the methods for the evaluation of remaining life. This is an important step in bringing order...
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Evaluation of Degraded and Nonconforming Conditions For ASME III and B31.1 and B31.7 Class 2 and Class 3 Pressure Boundary Nuclear Plant Components

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1.   Definitions1.1    Degraded ConditionA degraded condition as defined in NRC Inspection Manual 0326 Paragraph 03.02: “A degraded condition is one in which the qualification of an SSC or its functional capability is reduced. Examples of degraded conditions are failures, malfunctions, deficiencies, deviations, and defective material and equipment. Examples of conditions that can reduce the capability of a system are aging, erosion, corrosion, improper operation, and maintenance.”1.2    Nonconforming ConditionA nonconforming condition as defined in US NRC Inspection Manual 0326 Paragraph 03.06: “A nonconforming condition is a condition of an SSC that involves a failure to meet the CLB or a situation in which quality has been reduced because of factors such as improper design, testing, construction, or modification. The following are examples of nonconforming conditions: An SSC fails to conform to one or more applicable codes or standards (e.g., the CFR, operating license, TSs, UFSAR, and/or licensee commitments). An as-built or as-modified...
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EPRI Publishes "Roadmap to Integrity Evaluation and Repair of Nuclear Plant Piping"

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EPRI has just published the report “Roadmap to Integrity Evaluation and Repair of Nuclear Plant Piping” EPRI report number 3002013156, dated December 2018, prepared by Becht Nuclear Services, under EPRI Project Manager T. Eckert.The methods and criteria for the evaluation of degraded and non-conforming conditions in piping systems in nuclear power plants are dispersed among a number of ASME XI Code sections, Appendices, Code Cases, and US NRC regulatory requirements, generic letters, and inspection manual sections. This multitude of requirements makes it necessary to have this roadmap to help the engineer make the right fitness-for-service evaluation and the right repair decision.The EPRI road map addresses the fitness-for-service evaluation methods and criteria for the two most common damage mechanisms in nuclear power plant piping systems: Wall thinning, and cracking. The roadmap also addresses non-conformance caused by overloads, i.e. operating loads that exceed the design loads.Regarding repairs of nuclear plant piping systems, the...
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