How Deficient Preventative Maintenance Impacts Power Plants

In April, an electrical component on an emergency generator at a major nuclear power plant failed during a scheduled test. This was due in part, to inadequate preventive maintenance measures. As a result, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission increased oversight of the facility pending resolution of the issue.

A nuclear meltdown is perhaps the most terrifying consequence of neglected maintenance. Electrical failures, like the one at Duke Energy, can result in fires if they’re not caught during inspection. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission estimates the risk of meltdown due to fire is 50% compared to all other risk factors. That’s a scary statistic to consider.

Proper maintenance of a nuclear facility necessarily includes regular cleaning procedures and testing, ensuring every piece of equipment is in good condition and operating effectively. The condenser, in particular, requires careful, regularly scheduled maintenance.

Condensers possess thousands of metal tubes affecting the efficiency of the reactor when they become clogged. Clogged condensers can even cause the reactor to fail. That’s why scheduled outages for cleaning with a good condenser tube cleaning system (like Goodway’s Surface Condenser Tube Cleaning System) are necessary.

Using a cleaning system like Goodway’s removes microbiological fouling and scale like manganese, iron and calcium carbonate. This type of heavy cleaning reduces the friction in tubing, which prevents future buildup and improves the efficiency of the condenser. Doing this on a regular schedule is essential to prevent fires and other dangers that can cause a nuclear meltdown.

Regular plant maintenance is the solution to prevent most potential hazards. Once facility managers put schedules in place, the next step is to choose the proper cleaning systems. Goodway has condenser tube cleaning systems, as well as other heavy industrial descaling systems for heat exchangers and industrial clean up.

Be proactive about your plant’s maintenance procedures and contact Goodway to find out about all of its cleaning solutions.

Articles related to nuclear plant maintenance:

  1. The Nuclear Tourist
  2. Operation and Maintenance of Nuclear Power Plants
  3. Maintenance Programs for Nuclear Power Plants

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