Nuclear plants dismantling assistance

Tasks of great importance during the service life of a nuclear plant that require adapting to a specific regulation to guarantee the viability of the structure as well as the safety of citizens and protecting the environment.


Timeline

2022-2023

Sector

Nuclear

Scope

Civil-structural design of tanks for dismantling nuclear plants.
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BACKGROUND

By participating in the designing of the radioactive waste building tanks, SOLUTE expands their area of knowledge within the nuclear sector with dismantling tasks. These tasks, which are very important during the service life of a nuclear plant, require being familiar with specific regulations to guarantee the viability of the structure as well as the safety of citizens and protecting the environment. 

The final objective of dismantling a nuclear plant is to ensure that the uses that can be made of the plant in the future do not entail an unacceptable radiological risk to the population or the environment as a whole. For this, we must carry out a proper civil-structural design of radioactive waste tanks that allows storing this waste safely for a long period of time.

When the tanks have been used for a first life cycle and need to be reused to contain new radioactive material, these must be made suitable in order to comply with current nuclear regulations during the plant dismantling phase.


RESULTS

The final objective will be to obtain all the necessary documentation for constructing the intermediate level solid waste building (ERMSA); in other words, detailed drawings and technical specifications. 

We will also need to prepare technical documentation that justifies the validation of the design. These documents must be technically sound and be sufficiently detailed to record all the methodology and regulations that are used as well as the final analysis and results that justify the structural viability of the building.


EXPERIENCE

Since the start of 2022 SOLUTE has been participating in providing assistance to the civil-structural design of tanks in intermediate level activity (ERMSA) solid waste buildings within the framework of dismantling a nuclear plant.

The interest groups are companies of the nuclear industry and public waste management agencies as well as maintenance companies of the sector.

The interest groups are companies of the nuclear industry and public waste management agencies as well as maintenance companies of the sector.Once the design has been determined, it is then structurally validated using Finite Elements Models (FEM) with tools like ANSYS and GTSTRUDL, as well as with analytical calculations. All of this based on the regulations and criteria recognised by nuclear regulators such as the NRC (Nuclear Regulatory Commission).

METHODOLOGY

After receiving the inputs and construction project drawings of the existing tank structure, the customer requirements are studied to evaluate the possible solutions for ensuring the structure is suitable, taking into account the rest of the installations and the operational development of the plant.

In addition to the design of new tank constructions, we must seek to standardise and optimise the phases of the project, which simultaneously include the demolition and new construction phases. 

Once the design has been determined, it is then structurally validated using Finite Elements Models (FEM) with tools like ANSYS and GTSTRUDL, as well as with analytical calculations. All of this based on the regulations and criteria recognised by nuclear regulators such as the NRC (Nuclear Regulatory Commission). 

Since this is a tank that has contained radioactive material for a period of time and which will also need to be made suitable to be reused, we must follow certain requirements and use the materials stipulated in the most stringent waste management regulation. With this, the aim at all times is to guarantee the safety of citizens and protect the environment.

To prepare and issue drawings, we must be assisted by a design team, who must be supported, guided and verified to ensure the result is consistent with what was calculated as well as be as detailed as possible so it can be subsequently built.

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