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NEI 09-14 Buried Pipe Initiative Support
Posted on January 3rd, 2013

Radiation Safety & Control Services, Inc. (RSCS) has been supporting the nuclear power industry with the implementation of the Nuclear Energy Institutes 09-14 Underground Piping and Tank Integrity Initiative.

The initiative was developed to manage the performance of underground piping and storage tanks at nuclear power plants. In order to ensure safety and reliability of underground piping and tanks, a set of attributes have been designated for evaluation to assess the integrity and potential for failure of these subsurface systems. These attributes include specific design and usage characteristics for each system, such as age, flow rate, protective coatings, etc. In addition to these attributes, the need to evaluate soil conditions and chemistry to determine the potential for external corrosion on the underground piping and tank materials is necessary. 

In support of this initiative, RSCS has been performing subsurface soil and groundwater corrosivity evaluations in order to determine the potential for OD corrosivity on underground piping and tanks. Soil samples and subsurface geophysical characteristics are collected and analyzed for a set of parameters (pH, Soil resistivity, chloride concentration, etc.) to determine the likely external corrosion rates that are attributed to pipe-to-soil interaction. 

RSCS has teamed with a qualified lab to analyze all necessary chemical and physical characteristics of each sample and provides qualified personnel to perform all necessary subsurface sampling and geophysical characterization as well as data interpretation and reporting. 

RSCS owns and operates an AMS Powerprobe 9630 VTR-M, Direct-Push soil sampling rig. This method of subsurface exploration allows us to gather soil samples efficiently and effectively to depths of approximately 30-40 feet below grade in common backfill materials found at nuclear plants. This method of soil sampling is ideal for performing buried pipe inspections for the following reasons,

  • Relatively small piece of equipment – easy maneuverability, small footprint, has the ability to access tight areas and enter/exit common fence doorways including inside structures when necessary. 
  • Relatively light weight – has limited ability to damage underground plant utilities if unforeseen obstructions arise. 
  • Uses percussive force rather than rotary motion – lessens ability to damage unforeseen underground obstructions.
  • Small boring diameter – creates a < 5 inch diameter boring, very limited back fill required following sample collection. 
  • Precise sample representation – Limited subsurface disturbance provides a sample that best represents in-situ soil conditions, this is in large contrast to vacuum excavation methods that require large excavations and highly disturb the sample representativeness.
  • Low risk of generating/spreading contamination.

RSCS can provide a turn-key soil sampling and analysis program to support buried pipe corrosion inspections as well provide a wide array of subsurface environmental and geophysical solutions for a variety of applications.

Videos:

9630 VTR Mini

Sampling

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