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Becht Engineering Blog

In this section of the site contributing authors submit interesting articles relating to the various services, industries and research & development efforts of Becht Engineering.

EPRI Publishes "Roadmap to Integrity Evaluation and Repair of Nuclear Plant Piping"

epri-logo
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...
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Turnaround Critical Path Reviews – Recommendations and Examples

critical-path-review-for-TA
Critical Path Analysis, Schedule Optimization or Cold Eyes Review  (call it what you want) are all designed to check your Turnaround (TA) Schedule for logic, manpower and equipment efficiencies that can affect the duration of the TA Schedule.  When margins are high you can have unit-down-days that are worth upward of $1MM/day.  For this type margin it pays to have experienced third-party TA Field Supervision/Managers (as are all our Becht Advisors) to facilitate these sessions.  When Becht reviewers conduct these assessments, everyone in the review is told up front that there are no "stupid questions" - as there may be some who are afraid to ask a question.  We have found that these questions frequently lead to schedule or manpower savings. Other times, we just get people to look at doing a task a different and more efficient way. The reviewers not only evaluate the schedule to save time but also...
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Restoring High Energy Piping System Performance by Reducing Friction

pipe_friction2 Damaged/Destroyed Low Friction Sliding Surfaces
"When You're Stuck, You're Stuck" Over years of normal operation - like cycling and wear and tear - High Energy Pipe support friction can increase causing distress in these critical systems. Friction is a common phenomenon which is widely understood and considered in both piping analysis and support design.  Generally, a piping analyst models a piping system with a friction coefficient on all base type supports of 0.3 for steel on steel or lower if a low friction sliding surface will be used, and hits “run” on his design software program.  The stresses are evaluated, loads on supports determined, and the analysis is off to support design.  The support designer takes the loads (which include friction) and designs the support.  No errors were made, the calculations are correct, and everything should work. But what happens in the field after years of operation and cycling? That depends on several variables, including the...
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Reducing Coupling weights in Large Motor Driven Pumps

coupling Pump Coupling Assembly
One of the major issues in designing large motor driven pump applications is minimizing the overhung weight on the pump rotor.  Motor or gearbox drives are designed and sized independently of the driven unit.  They are based on motor frame size and/or gearbox frame sizes and the drive component manufacturer has no information on the actual driven unit.  In motors, the design of engineered motors is based on years of experience and rules of thumb.  The motor rotor is significantly heavier than the pump rotor, thus requiring it to be much larger in diameter than the driven unit size to support the rotor weight and give an acceptable bearing surface area.  It is not unusual for the motor output shaft size to be twice the input shaft size of the driven unit shaft. Size Matters The shaft size differences are basically a product of economics.   It cost money for a motor...
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