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Cathodic Protection System Upgrade Installed at Nuclear Utility
Posted on January 27th, 2016

Over the past month RSCS has teamed with CorrTech to install anodes as part of a comprehensive cathodic protection system upgrade at an operating nuclear plant on the east coast to protect subsurface assets.  This work resulted from several subsurface characterization projects that were performed in the past year in support of the NEI 09-14 Buried pipe and Tank Inspection Initiative.  Prior work involved several projects at nuclear utility sites installing Smart Stack corrosion monitoring devices.  Smart Stack devices measure in-situ corrosion rates and impressed current cathodic protection effectiveness on in-scope buried piping, tanks and structures.  These devices have been effectively deployed to support plant’s asset management and inspection programs in accordance with the NEI initiative and to comply with the NRC Interim staff guidance on license renewal (LR-ISG-2011-03 and draft LR-ISG-2015-01).

As part of this project 32 anodes and 5 Smart Stacks were installed to protect and monitor buried pipe assets. Confined working locations, buried cofferdams and other subsurface assets made the design considerations and installation technically challenging. RSCS has considerable experience developing comprehensive sample and instrument installation plans which meet the guidance established by EPRI to perform soil corrosivity assessments to support system, structure and component (SSC) risk ranking associated with the NEI 09-14 Initiative.  This experience helped overcome unexpected issues in the field.

By collecting data from the test stations the site can determine the effectiveness and the performance of the existing cathodic protection system, and assess the likely condition of buried assets and therefore adjust predicted service life and risk-rank within the station’s asset management database. From this information the site can monitor the current pipe environment and corrosion rates to predict future service life of the buried assets, or use it to plan and budget for future asset replacement.

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