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REPORT

WANO REPORT

RPT ǀ 2014-6 August 2014


Analysis of Heat Exchanger Events

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Report ǀ RPT 2014-6


Revision History

Author Date Reviewer Approval

Makoto Matsuura 28/08/2014 Mike Ballard Jo Byttebier

Reason for Changes:

First edition

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REPORT ǀ RPT 2014-6


Analysis of Heat Exchanger Events

CONTENTS
Analysis of Heat Exchanger Events 2
Introduction 2
Analysis Methodology 2
Trend of Overall Heat Exchanger Events 3
Trend of Specific Component Events 7
Lesson Learned From Heat Exchanger Events 8
Examples of Heat Exchanger Events 11
Main Condenser 11
Oil Cooler 12
Hydrogen Cooler 13
Feedwater Heater 14
Other Heat Exchangers 14

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Analysis of Heat Exchanger Events

Introduction

Heat exchangers in important plant systems can be crucial to maintain safety functions, reliability and
power generation. The sizes range from relatively small oil coolers to large heat exchangers like the main
condenser. The failure modes are typically tube leaks, tube clogging and external leakage at a joint or
through the shell. This review of heat exchanger events was initiated to communicate the trends, causes,
consequences and lessons learned by the member stations.

The following questions are addressed:

• How many heat exchanger events were classified as Significant or Noteworthy using the operating
experience (OE) reference manual?

• What are the major consequences of heat exchanger events?

• What type of heat exchangers experienced failures?

• What are the typical causes to the failures?

• What are the important lessons learned?

Analysis Methodology

Heat exchanger event reports were extracted from the WANO OE database using a variety of search
keywords. Some extracted results were not related to heat exchanger failures, so the results were also
screened manually. As a result, 74 event reports were found for heat exchanger failure analysis over a
period of approximately 2.5 years. Most heat exchangers at nuclear plants are a shell and tube design.

Search keywords used:

• Heat Exchanger
• Main Condenser
• Feedwater Heater
• Cooler

Note: steam generators (SGs) were not included in this study.

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Trend of Overall Heat Exchanger Events

All events reported to WANO are classified. Most of the heat exchanger events from 1 January 2012 to 1
July 2014 were classified as ‘Trending’.
Table 1: Numbers of Events According to Significance

Significant Noteworthy Trending Other All

Heat 2 1 46 25 74
Exchanger
Events

The following chart shows the percentage of significance in heat exchanger events.

Figure 1: Significance of Heat Exchanger Failure Events

Significant Noteworthy
3% 1%

Other
34%

Trending
62%

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The following reports are classified as Significant or Noteworthy. The summary of these reports are shown
in the appendix of this analysis report.

Significant

• WER ATL 14-0027, Forced Shutdown Caused by Reactor Coolant System Pressure Boundary Leakage
(Monticello 1; 17 January 2014)

• WER TYO 14-0010, Manual reactor scram for identification and repair of emergency condenser tube
leak (Tarapur 2; 24 November 2013)

Noteworthy

• WER ATL 14-0394, Isolated Phase Bus Cooler Leak Leads to Unit Shutdown (Bruce A 4, 16 July 2013)

Many of the events occurred in balance-of-plant heat exchangers resulting in unplanned generation loss or
challenged plant reliability. However, approximately 10 heat exchanger events occurred in safety-related or
risk-significant systems, reducing redundancy and safety margin (systems included diesel generator,
emergency coolant injection, spent fuel cooling, residual heat removal, component cooling water and
recirculation spray).

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The following chart shows the types of heat exchangers that failed.
Figure 2: Main Components of Heat Exchanger Failures

Air Conditioner
Cooling Coil
Hydrogen
4%
Cooler
Other
8%
8%
Feedwater Main Condenser
Heater 32%
10%

water
Heat Exchanger
19% Oil Cooler
19%

The following chart shows the consequences from the heat exchanger events.
Figure 3: Consequences from Heat Exchanger Failures

Safety System Manual Scram Enter to LCO


Impact to
Inoperable 3% 1%
Environment
4%
5%
Outage
Extension
Power
8%
Reduction
38%

No Significant
consequences
Reactor 30%
Shutdown
11%

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The following chart shows the direct cause of heat exchanger events.
Figure 4: Direct Causes of Heat Exchanger Failures

Leak (Tube Leak (Weld) Clogging (Tube)


Sheet) 3% 3%
Risk of Leak 4%
(Tube)
5% Other
7%

Leak (Packing)
12%
Leak (Tube)
66%

The following chart shows the root cause of heat exchanger events.
Figure 5: Root Causes of Heat Exchanger Failures

Severe Manufacture
Modification Corrosion
Weather 3% 3%
3%
4%
Operation
4% Degradation
Unknown issues
4% 35%
Design
issues
17%
Maintenance
issues
27%

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Trend of Specific Component Events

Main Condenser (24 events)

The direct cause of 22 condenser events was tube leaks. In 13 of these events, the leaks were the result of
predictable material degradation. Unplanned power reductions occurred following many of these tube
leaks (16 events). OE screening of press releases has highlighted that condenser tube leak events are not
systematically reported to WANO. Many other condenser tube leaks have occurred that were not
individually reported to WANO. One WER was recently submitted that represented 49 tube leaks from 22
units.

Condensers are the primary heat sink during normal operation. Tube leaks upset normal plant chemistry.
Introduction of sodium, chlorides and sulfates can accelerate corrosion or degradation to reactor internals,
fuel, steam generators and secondary plant piping. For boiling water reactors, radiological dose will
increase for workers completing online tube plugging. Some stations continue to be challenged by
condenser tube leaks resulting in unplanned generation losses.

Other contributors to condenser tube leaks include fretting from foreign objects after refuelling outages
(especially during turbine maintenance), steam or water impingement, admiralty brass tube ageing, and
tube degradation from inadequate chemistry control.

Oil Cooler (14 events)

The leading direct cause for oil cooler failure was tube leakage (7 events) and the major root cause was
ineffective preventive and predictive maintenance (7 events). Oil leaks degraded the operability and
reduced the availability of important equipment including emergency diesel generators, reactor coolant
pumps and balance-of-plant equipment (condensate pumps, main turbine, feedwater pumps).
Consequences of degraded oil coolers were distributed as followings.

• Impact to Environment (4 events)


• No Significant Results (4 events)
• Power Reduction (2 events)
• Safety System Inoperable (2 events)
• Outage Extension (2 events)

Hydrogen Cooler (6 events)

The direct cause for most of the events was external leakage from gasketed joints (4 events). The leading
root cause was weaknesses in maintenance practices (3 events). The consequences were turbine trips,
outage delay, and power reductions (3 events) and the potential for hydrogen fires.

Feed Water Heater (7 events)

The direct cause was tube leak (5 events), while the root cause was degradation from wall thinning,
abnormal lineups, vibration and other causes (2 events). Major consequence was unplanned power
reductions (4 events).

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Lesson Learned From Heat Exchanger Events

General

Identify heat exchangers that are safety related, critical components or single point vulnerabilities. Ensure
that this group of heat exchangers has effective preventive maintenance, condition monitoring and testing
programmes.

Periodically review heat exchanger industry operating experience and, if applicable, incorporate lessons
learned into heat exchanger programmes at your station.

Biological fouling must be controlled to maintain heat exchanger performance and operability. Heat
exchangers cooled with raw water systems have experienced failures from shell fish and debris in the
cooling water.

Main Condenser

Eddy current (EC) testing is unreliable when not properly performed and reviewed. Because of the large
amount of data, a second review by qualified EC personnel can verify test results or find additional defects.

Removal and evaluation of failed condenser tubes will determine the root cause so that effective corrective
actions can be implemented, reducing the potential for additional tube leaks.

Condition monitoring is important for trending performance and for early detection of tube leaks, fouling
and other degradation causes. System, component or programme engineers periodically trend key
parameters such as the heat balance, pressures, temperatures and flows, and compare the data against
baseline values or operational limits. Specific actions taken by stations that experienced condenser tube
leaks include the following.

• Based on prior EC testing, estimate the expected remaining life of the condenser. Develop a condenser
life cycle plan and revise the preventive maintenance strategy to support reliable operation until end
of life when major overhaul or replacement is required.

• As the condenser ages, increase the frequency and amount of tubes that are EC tested. Conduct EC
testing on 100% of the tubes, as needed based on condition of the condenser. Trend the EC results,
especially for tubes with wall thinning, or tubes identified with potential defects.

• Inspect previously installed tube plugs for tightness and signs of corrosion. Temporary non-metal or
rubber plugs should be replaced. Rubber plugs age over time, become loose and can be ejected.

• Improve foreign material controls for outage maintenance when conducted in, around and above the
condenser. Retrieve any dropped objects. Remove any other foreign materials found in the water
boxes prior to startup. If the objects cannot be found, evaluate the potential impact.

• Inspect the condenser for failed deflection plates on lines that drain to the condenser that can result in
unexpected or increased impingement on the tubes. Repair deflector plates if necessary. Note that
power uprates should consider the impact of increased tube impingement.

• Train personnel on effective methods for leak detection and have appropriate leak detection
equipment readily available.

• Verify condenser tubes are leak tight when coming out of a refuelling outage. Some stations use
dimple plugs as soon as condenser vacuum can be established.

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Oil Cooler

Periodic EC testing, inspections, cleaning, and in some cases replacement, is important for even small heat
exchangers. If cooled by raw water, tube leakage can result in oil discharge to the environment. The raw
cooling water in some environments contains small debris or silt that can cause tube erosion and eventual
leakage. In these conditions, some stations replace small coolers before the predicted end of life. External
heat exchanger leakage also occurred in some events. Corrective actions considered by the stations include
the following:

• Ensure the materials used for gaskets and O-rings are acceptable for the application.

• Improve maintenance practices for torqueing and installation using industry operating experience and
industry standards.

• Determine which heat exchangers are necessary for plant safety and reliability. This population should
not be treated as run-to failure. Where appropriate, implement life cycle management plans and
interim preventive maintenance.

• Maintain spare parts for important heat exchangers.

• Upgrade tube materials for heat exchangers that are susceptible to corrosion (such as admiralty brass
tubes).

• Implement routine inspections.

• Ensure performance monitoring and trending is performed by engineers responsible for heat
exchangers.

• Lubricating oil sampling and trending of the results can be effective for identifying early degradation in
some types of oil coolers.

Hydrogen Cooler

Hydrogen leakage from gasket joints was a leading cause of the events. Corrective actions to prevent
recurrence were the following:

• Improve gasket materials to seal more effectively and resist ageing.

• Ensure torque values are adequate and tightening methods are methods are sufficient to prevent
long-term relaxation or loosening from vibration.

• Flange surfaces may become smooth over time and may require stoning.

• In some cases, periodic replacement may be necessary to address gasket material ageing.

Feed Water Heater

Feed water heater tube leaks were attributed to several causes including abnormal operational alignments,
tube material susceptible to corrosion (admiralty brass), ageing, and inadequate chemistry control.
Increased service duty from power uprates can also accelerate ageing. Often the leaks are a combination of
these factors. Typical industry actions to prevent feedwater heater degradation include the following:

• Develop and implement a life cycle management plan to replace heaters before the predicted end of
life.

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• Implement a preventive strategy that includes leak checks, pressure testing when shutting the plant
down and periodic EC testing.

• Use plant and industry operating experience to understand the risk of abnormal operational
alignments. Minimise the time operating in these modes.

• Trend important feedwater process parameters for early potential signs of degradation and
operational challenges. Heater levels, terminal temperature differences (TTD) and drain cooler
approach (DCA) are typically monitored by engineering personnel.

While not observed in recent events reported to WANO, significant events have occurred from feed water
heater shell ruptures and leaks. Feed water heater shell thinning can be caused by erosion, flow
accelerated corrosion or impingement. Periodic shell inspection and ultrasonic testing are conducted at
many stations for monitoring shell thickness.

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REPORT ǀ RPT 2014-6


Examples of Heat Exchanger Events

Examples of some heat exchanger events in the following categories are included in this section.

• Main Condenser
• Oil Cooler
• Hydrogen Cooler
• Feed water heater
• Other Heat Exchangers

Main Condenser

WER MOW 14-0080, Unit Load Reduced to Address Water Chemistry Abnormalities (Balakovo 3; 20 January
2014) – Trending

During normal operation, an increase in sodium ion concentration up to 20mg/kg was observed
downstream of the first stage motor driven condensate pump versus the diagnostic turbine condensate
quality indicator of 1.5mg/kg per sodium concentration. The reactor power was reduced approximately
30% to address the problem.

As a result of leak test, three leaking tubes were found and plugged.

Analysis of structural materials identified that copper-nickel alloy MNZ5-1, used for the condenser heat
exchanger tubes, was prone to erosion in the high water flow turbulence environment at the tube inlets.
Alloy MNZ5-1 is also prone to under-deposit corrosion and to pitting corrosion. Turbine condenser heat
exchanger tube failures were attributed to corrosion of the tube metal in the operating environment.

An engineering solution was developed to replace copper containing secondary system heat exchanger
components to ensure reliable and long-term steam generator operation, and improve reliability and
efficiency of VVER-1000 balance-of-plant equipment which involves condenser tube replacement, with heat
exchanger tube material replaced with titanium alloy VT1-0 or corrosion-resistant austenitic steel.

WER ATL 13-0799, Condenser Tube Plugging Required due to Pitting Damage (Darlington 4; 28 October
2013) – Trending

During an outage, approximately 10 gallons of zebra mussels were found in the inlet water box and 1 gallon
were found in the return water box of condenser. A large number of the condenser tubes with high
percentage through-wall pitting indications required plugging. The pitting indications were found on the
inside diameter (ID) of the tubes and were due to microbiologically induced corrosion (MIC).

When flow is reduced, due to the accumulation of zebra mussels inside the tubes and on the face of the
tube sheet, silt and mud are trapped inside the tubes or deposits started to form on the ID of tubes
(restricted tubes or heavily deposited tubes). Subsequently, MIC develops on the ID of the tubes, resulting
in pitting corrosion and eventually pinhole leaks. Once MIC is developed in the tube, there is no way to
completely eliminate it.

It was noted that the ball cleaning system, under the current condition, is not effective. The ball cleaning
system is only designed for removing soft deposits. When the tubes are trapped with zebra mussels, mud
or hard deposits, the ball cleaning system can only clean the tubes with no blockage. Balls will not enter

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blocked tubes but may enter and become stuck in partially blocked tubes. It was also noted that piston-
based jet propelled tube cleaning was seldom used. This tool will clean the tubes with hard deposits;
however, it cannot clean blocked or partially blocked tubes.

For tubes that have already suffered MIC attack, the mitigating action is to inspect and plug degraded tubes,
as required, to prevent tube leaks. For the tubes that have not yet been affected, MIC can be mitigated by
frequent cleaning of water boxes and tubes to reduce the development of pitting corrosion.

Oil Cooler

(Condensate Booster Pump Oil Cooler)

WER ATL 14-0092, Planned Power Reduction Caused by Degradation of the Condensate Booster Pump Oil
Cooler (Fitzpatrick 1; 22 December 2013) – Trending

During normal operation, leaking condensate water into oil system was found on the condensate booster
pump lube oil cooler. The reactor power was reduced to 64% to remove the pump from service. After the
oil cooler was replaced, the reactor was returned to normal operation. The most probable cause was a tube
leak in the lube oil cooler.

(Condensate Pump Motor Oil Cooler)

WER ATL 13-0116, Condensate Pump B Upper Motor Bearing has Service Water Leaking into the Cooler
(Kewaunee 1; 2 October 2012) – Trending

During normal operation, the upper motor bearing of a condensate pump was discovered leaking water
into the cooler. The leak was approximately 1 drop per 8 seconds. The reactor power was reduced to 56%
to remove the condensate pump motor from service and repair it. The root cause was that no preventive
maintenance had been performed to the cooler since installation (the component had an accumulated in-
service time of 15 years).

(Transformer Oil Cooler)

WER ATL 13-0064, Degradation of Main Transformer Cooling (Bruce B 6; 18 December 2012) – Trending

During normal operation, an alarm indicated that there was a power supply failure affecting the main
output transformer cooling system. The power supply failure affected half of the transformer cooling
system. As the oil temperature on a phase increased to 80°C, the reactor power was reduced to 56.3% by
following conservative decision. The direct cause was a short circuit in one of the red phase cooling fans.

(Reactor Coolant Pump Oil Cooler)

WER MOW 13-0171, Reactor Coolant Pump (RCP) was Removed from Service to Allow Repairs due to
Service Water that Entered the Upper Oil Bath of the Electric Motor Because of the Leaking Oil Cooler Tubes
(Kursk 2; 27 June 2013) – Trending

During normal operation, a level deviation alarm on the upper oil bath of a reactor coolant pump (RCP) was
activated. The oil level (via a level sensor sight glass) was shown higher than the maximum allowable one.
Sample of the oil showed water ingress. The RCP was changed over to the standby one to address the
problem.

The investigation revealed that the oil cooler had two leaking tubes. The oil contained water at 0.84% (no
standard value was available). The reason for the oil level increase was that service water had entered the
oil bath through the defected tubes.

(Circulation Water Pump Motor Oil Cooler)


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WER ATL 12-0488, Condenser Cooling Water Pump Motor Upper Bearing High Temperature Alarm
(Pickering B 8; 20 June 2012) – Trending

During operation at 60% power following an outage, a condenser cooling water (CCW) pump motor upper
bearing temperature increased above the alarm setpoint of 80°C. Although the air mover was adjusted, the
temperature continued to increase to 95°C. The CCW pump was shut down to address the problem,
resulting in a 1.2% power reduction. The bearing was found to be damaged and required offsite repairs.
The oil sample taken from the bearing lube oil cooler revealed a water intrusion that concluded a cooling
coil failure.

During the last outage, maintenance personnel determined that the new replacement coil did not fit and
made the decision to reinstall the old cooling coil. The coil replacement also included replacing the pipe
nipples that go through the bearing housing, as the coil was reconnected using threaded compression
fittings. No external leaks were present during the post-maintenance test.

The direct cause was a service water leak located between the tube pipe and lower cooling coil
compression ring, where the fitting was capable of rotating on the tube pipe. This leak allowed service
water to mix with oil and increase temperature on the bearing surface, which resulted in bearing wipe and
failure. The leak was caused by a poor seal due to reuse of the old compression fitting.

Hydrogen Cooler

WER ATL 14-0219, Main Generator Hydrogen Cooler Leaking (Comanche Peak 2; 1 February 2014) –
Trending

During normal operation, a 150-drop-per-minute leak was discovered at the lower flange socket weld for
the cooler vent line pipe on the main generator hydrogen gas cooler. Within 45 days the leak expanded to
7.5 gallon per hour. The reactor power was reduced to approximately 62% to address the problem.

The leak was caused by a crack in the lower flange socket weld. It was determined there was inadequate
fusion of the flange socket weld root due to errors in welding execution, which led to fatigue failure under
normal operating conditions. The failed welds on the leaking hydrogen cooler vent piping flanges were
replaced. The lower flange welds on other vent piping were reworked.

WER MOW 14-0044, A Turbine Generator Removed from Service to Repair a Hydrogen Leak from Defective
Gas Cooler Tubes (Balakovo 4; 20 November 2013) – Trending

During normal operation, an operator found that the hydrogen leak rate of a main generator was 7% versus
the normal value of 5%. The dissolved hydrogen was found in the service water system of the generator gas
coolers. The sampling of the service water identified the gas release from two gas coolers. The reactor was
shut down to address the problem.

The gas coolers were found to have degraded gas tightness. One was repaired and the other one was
replaced. The unit sent a request to the gas cooler manufacturer about possible gas cooler reinforcement
in the tube sheet expansion openings.

WER MOW 14-0029, Reactor Power Reduction to Repair a Main Generator Hydrogen Leak Followed by
Reactor Protection System Actuation (Kozloduy 5; 20 December 2013) – Trending

During normal operation, a ‘generator hydrogen pressure drop’ alarm activated. A loud leak noise was
heard under the generator gas cooler. The reactor power was reduced to trip the affected generator;
however, due to incorrect adjustment (not directly related to the hydrogen leak event) of setpoints on the
neutron monitoring system, the reactor automatically scrammed. The investigation identified that the
affected generator had a flange gasket rupture joint in the isolable generator gas cooling system section. A
five-day outage was required to address the problem.
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The station had experienced a similar generator flange gasket rupture event in 2013 (see WER MOW 13-
0049). The affected rubber gasket had been installed in 2010. After the rubber gasket was removed, a
10mm radial shaped piece of the gasket was found to be missing and vulcanised rubber was found to be
deformed. After the generator shields were removed, vulcanised silicone resin fillers were found to be
deformed at horizontal to vertical flange butts. After the reactor was shut down in 2013, the rubber gasket
used to tighten the butts failed to restore its normal shape due to huge hydrogen and nitrogen
temperature difference.

Feedwater Heater

WER ATL 13-0440, Tube Leakage in Feedwater Heater (Fitzpatrick 1; 18 February 2013) – Trending

During normal operation, an unplanned reactor power change of 2MWt was caused by a sudden level
change in a feedwater heater. This resulted in a reactor shutdown to address the problem.

Air testing of the feedwater heater confirmed six tubes leaking in the top of the heater. Eddy current
testing and borescope inspections identified widespread tube-to-tube and tube-to-support plate vibration
damage. The damage was found between 18 and 22 feet into the bundle. Six leaking tubes and 78
preventive tubes plugged to bound damage mechanism.

Review of the setting plan revealed that it was where the high pressure extraction steam nozzle was
located. Update feedwater heater preventive maintenance template to include a more detailed description
of potential internal inspection techniques and requirements; specifically detailing shell-side sub-
component inspection.

Other Heat Exchangers

(Power Bus Duct Cooler)

WER ATL 14-0394, Isolated Phase Bus Cooler Leak Leads to Unit Shutdown (Bruce A 4; 16 July 2013) –
Noteworthy

During normal operation, an alarm revealed an issue with the isolated phase bus (IPB) cooling water. After
a short time, the turbine tripped due to a generator ground fault. The reactor was shut down to address
the problem for 18 days.

As a result of investigation, a water intrusion was discovered in an IPB duct of the generator from its
cooling unit enclosure. A crack had formed in a degraded heat exchanger coil leading to a water leak. The
water accumulated in the enclosure due to the deficient drain line.

(Each isolated phase bus (IPB) duct receives cooling air from its cooling unit. The cooling unit is an enclosed
structure which consists of a water-to-air heat exchanger. A drain line is connected to the enclosure to
prevent water from collecting and overflowing outside the enclosure.)

Based upon the lessons learned from this event, the maintenance strategy was updated to promote more
frequent inspections of the cooling units and to replace them on a more proactive basis. This also included
functionality checks on the drain lines to prevent overflowing within the enclosure.

(Recirculation Pump Seal Water Cooler)

WER ATL 14-0027, Forced Shutdown Caused by Reactor Coolant System Pressure Boundary Leakage
(Monticello 1; 17 January 2014) – Significant

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During normal operation, the reactor was shut down due to leakage of reactor coolant into the reactor
building closed cooling water (RBCCW) system. The leak was identified from a through-wall crack on the
bleed heat exchanger tube for cooling upper seal water of a reactor recirculation pump.

When the heat exchanger was disassembled, a loose black deposit was found coating the hottest section of
the tube. Most of these deposits were found in the bottom of the heat exchanger vessel. Hydro testing of
the cooling tube clearly identified the location of the leak within the area of black deposits and also
highlighted the linear characteristic of the leak.

The heat exchanger consists of a 304 stainless steel tube (1 inch diameter, 0.095 inch thickness). This tube
is formed into a single helical shape inside of a baffled vessel. The metallurgical analysis showed that the
tube failure was due to intergranular stress corrosion cracking (IGSCC). At some location along the tube
within the region exhibiting the residues, the environment (combination of temperature, localised
environment within the pits, and stress) resulted in crack growth and final through-wall penetration.

Interestingly, the RBCCW fluid is within the parameters for chloride concentration as suggested by EPRI and
INPO guidance (2.4ppm actual < a limit of 10ppm). It was the creation of the deposits as a result of the
boiling/flashing that allowed the chloride concentration to achieve a level where corrosion was initiated
(204ppm at the crack and 442ppm in the scale). This heat exchanger had been in operation for
approximately 30 years allowing the damage to progress to failure.

By isolating the seal water cooling tap from the pump case, the output temperature of the lower seal is
reduced to 120°F at 510psig, thus eliminating any flashing or boiling at the tube surface. The seal water that
bleeds past the RCP shaft into the pump case is not recaptured in this configuration. This new configuration
eliminates the concentration of chlorides on the tube surface by preventing the RBCCW fluid from
boiling/flashing. IGSCC cannot initiate and propagate without a corrosive environment.

(Bleed Condenser – PHWR Primary System)

WER TYO 14-0061, Manual Reactor Trip due to Continuous Reactor Setback on Bleed Condenser Level Very
High (Kakrapar 1; 9 March 2014) – Trending

During normal operation, the bleed condenser (BCD) pressure low alarm was initiated. It was observed that
the BCD level increased and pressure decreased. All other parameters relating to the primary heat
transport (PHT) system were normal. The reactor was manually scrammed and entered a five-day outage to
address the problem.

When the BCD reflux cooler outlet valve was closed, the BCD level and pressure returned to normal. After
opening the top cover of the BCD, a leaking tube was found. The failure was considered to be due to a
design configuration of degassing region of the BCD reflux cooler. The same kind of leak occurred prior to
the event, but had not been resolved properly.

(The BCD receives bleed flow of the primary heat transport (PHT) system and keeps the pressure and level.
In case of the PHT pressure increase, vapour space in the BCD collects relief from the PHT system through
the instrumented relief valves (IRVs). The normal operating temperature of the BCD is around 200 to 210°C
and the reflux cooler is supplied with cold water from Primary Pressurising Pump (PPP) discharge at around
40°C.)

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Figure 6: Regenerative Heat Exchanger System Diagram

(Emergency Condenser – BWR Safety System)

WER TYO 14-0010, Manual reactor scram for identification and repair of emergency condenser tube leak
(Tarapur 2; 24 November 2013) – Significant

During normal operation, the shell side temperature of the emergency condenser started increasing and
reached a maximum of 80°C. When emergency condenser loop B was isolated, the shell side temperature
came down to the normal value. As suspecting tube leak of the emergency condenser, the reactor was shut
down to address the problem for approximately one month.

In the investigation, a tube was found leaking at the rolled joint area with the tube sheet. The metallurgical
tests revealed that the failed portion of the leaking tube had linear indication of 40mm at the tube-to-tube
sheet area. The crack originated from inside of the tube. The failure mechanism was identified as fatigue
assisted corrosion.

Both tube bundles of the emergency condenser were replaced in 1995. The performance of the tube
bundles had remained satisfactory. The radioactivity released to the environment through the emergency
condenser vent was calculated to be well within the technical specification limit.

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Figure 7: Emergency Condenser Structure and Leak Location

(The emergency condenser is installed for depressurising the reactor vessel and removing decay heat from
the core when the main condenser is unavailable. The emergency condenser has 2 x 100% capacity tube
bundles, each having 18 numbers of tubes with a common shell. The shell side has water inventory of
about 30,000 gallons, which is sufficient for decay heat removal for about eight hours.)

(Feedwater Pump Auxiliary Condenser)

WER ATL 13-0245, Reactor Power was Reduced due to Increasing Feedwater Sodium Levels from Tube Leaks
in the Auxiliary Condenser (Comanche Peak 2; 6 November 2012) – Trending

During startup operation, the sodium levels in the feedwater system were increasing during the balancing
of circulating water flow to the auxiliary condensers. The reactor power was reduced to 47.6% to remove
the main feedwater pump and the auxiliary condenser from service for suspected tube leakage. The helium
leak test revealed tube leakage in the subject auxiliary condenser.

It was discovered that two tubes of the auxiliary condenser were damaged by the insertion depth of the
removable tube plugs previously installed; therefore, 26 removable tube plugs were replaced in the
auxiliary condenser. The direct cause was that the removable tube plugs were installed improperly due to
inadequate procedural guidance, which damaged tubes and resulted in the auxiliary condenser tube
leakage. The root cause was that the removable tube plug installation instructions were written for the
feedwater heaters which have a different tubesheet thickness.

(Emergency Diesel Generator Cooler)

WER TYO 12-0162, Leakage of Seawater from Air Cooler A of Emergency Diesel Generator B (Mihama 3; 10
September 2012) – Trending

During an outage, a field operator discovered that water was slightly (at approximately 10cc/sec) flowing
from the air cooler drainage piping of an emergency diesel generator into the sump. As the water flowing
into the sump was identified as seawater, tube leakage was suspected in the air cooler. When the air cooler

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was disassembled, a large amount of seaweed was found on the surface of the tube plate and some of the
seaweed entered the tubes of the cooler.

The investigation revealed that thinning had occurred near the inlet tube plate of two tubes and a hole of
approximately 4mm x 1mm had formed on a tube. The thinning parts indicated typical characteristics of
erosion. The investigation also revealed that there was a gap between the filter inside the seawater strainer
which was on the upstream of the air cooler. Therefore, the flow rate inside the tubes increased locally
because of seaweed stacked inside the tubes, and then caused erosion there. Packing was newly installed
to fill the gap in the seawater strainer.

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