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Decommissioning and Decontamination Equipment Requirements

 

Equipment utilized in nuclear generation environments often weathers conditions that are more complex than a typical construction site. Most temporary power equipment is constructed to withstand normal weathering conditions encountered in outdoor service, such as wind-driven rain, dust, and debris. However, nuclear sites often require increased levels of protection, especially where the site is being dismantled or converted from nuclear to fossil fuel.

nuclear

For example, when the equipment needs to be moved or serviced, it will require cleaning to remove any acquired contaminated dust, dirt, or liquids. The proper solutions will be able to withstand the cleaning process without degrading or compromising the components, especially the insulating materials. Be sure to select equipment with an environmental rating of NEMA 4 or 4X. The NEMA 4 rating provides equipment protection for directed high pressure water, while the NEMA 4X rating provides additional corrosion protection for cleaning agents stronger than water.

During decommissioning and Decontamination (D&D), instruments are frequently stored within the reactor containment building or structure. The primary environmental factors in this type of location are elevated radiation levels and temperatures. Wiring and insulation must function in the higher operating temperatures without degrading, and framework must be steel and provide a corrosion protection via paint or plating. Additionally, the construction of the hardware must be entirely aluminum-free, including mechanical wiring lugs, receptacle housings, and conduit.

Today’s typical nuclear plant is designed for an operating cycle of 40 to
60 years,  but still requires a thorough decommission
and decontamination (D&D) when the facilities have fully depreciated
in usefulness. A successful D&D will either enable existing structures to
be repurposed, or set the property up for demolition so an entirely new
operation can be built from the ground up. Selecting the proper temporary power solutions will ensure this process is safe and streamlined. 

 

 

 


Written by: April Miller
April Miller is the Marketing Specialist at Ericson Manufacturing. She has a BA in Marketing and Fine Arts from Capital University and an MBA from Mount Vernon Nazarene University. Outside of work, she enjoys reading, playing video games, and rewatching The Office for the hundredth time.

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