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.
Discussions on events, projects and activities with a nuclear flavor.

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...
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Mentoring Nuclear Power Plant Engineers

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As the Nuclear Power Plant workforce continues to age, it is imperative that nuclear plant supervisors and managers use as many tools as possible to mentor younger engineers. This article discusses several ways proven to be successful in mentoring younger engineers as a means of filling the voids created by the retirements of senior workforce individuals. These tools are also be effective in retaining younger engineers. The Aging Workforce It is well known that one of the nuclear power industry’s challenges is addressing its aging workforce. In a 2015 Article [Ref. 1], Power Engineering Magazine cites the following statistics: “The Nuclear Energy Institute estimates that 39 percent of the nuclear workforce will be eligible for retirement by 2018, which means the industry must hire 20,000 new workers over the next four years to replace those retiring workers.” “About 40 percent of the work force at America's electric and natural gas...
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Using NB-3200 FEA As An Option To Stress Equations In NB-3600

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  The ASME B&PV Section III Div.1 Code 2013 Edition is currently approved in 10CFR50.55(a). The 2013 edition, permits elastic FEA per NB-3200 in place of the stress equations of NB-3600, as follows: For pressure design -  “NB-3611.2 Acceptability When Stresses Exceed Stress Limits. When the stresses as determined by the methods given in NB-3630 exceed the limits thereof, the design can be accepted, provided it meets the requirements of NB-3200.” For shakedown check Eq. (10)(12)(13) - For the shakedown check, quoting from NB- NB-3653.1 Satisfaction ofFor shakedown check Eq. (10)(12)(13) - For the shakedown check, quoting from NB- NB-3653.1 Satisfaction ofPrimary Plus Secondary Stress Intensity Range. “(b) If for one or more pairs of load sets eq. (a)(10) is not met, thepiping product may still be satisfactory, provided that the conditions of NB-3653.6 are met or provided that therequirements of NB-3200 are satisfied.”   Equations (10), (12) and (13),...
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Five Keys to a Cost-Effective Repair/Modification Package for Tanks-Vessels-Piping

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: Process : Does the repair change the process chemistries, physics (fluid phase), and thermo-hydraulics (flow rates, pressures, temperatures)? Does the modification change the control room indications and the operating envelopes? Material : Are the selected metallic materials (base metal and welds) and non-metallic materials (gaskets, packings, etc.) compatible with the existing materials, with the environment, and with the service, for the design life of the repair? Is the material compliant with (a) the material specification (ASTM or ASME II), (b) the supplementary Code requirements, and (c) the supplementary plant-specific requirements? Will the material be procured from an approved supplier; does it require supplementary Quality Controls? ASME Code design : Does the modification alter the system layout? If yes, has the layout been checked for good practice and consistency with the process design (item 1 above)? Are the loads and load combinations well defined and categorized as Service Levels A,...
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