News & Views, Volume 49 | Hydroelectric Penstock Inspection - Field NDE Services

News & Views, Volume 49 | Hydroelectric Penstock Inspection: Field NDE Services

News & Views, Volume 49 | Hydroelectric Penstock Inspection - Field NDE ServicesBy:  Jason Van Velsor and Jeff Milligan

Our talented experts, using the latest technology and methods, deliver unmatched value, actionable information, and engineering knowledge for the management of your most critical assets.

Many of the penstocks used in the hydroelectric power industry have been in service for over 50 years.  Often with older components, historical documents like, as-built drawings and proof of material composition no longer exist.  This information is critical for inspection, repair and replacement decisions.  SI has the expertise to assist hydro clients with everything from material verification, inspection, and fitness-for-service analysis to keep penstock assets in-service for many more years to come.

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News & Views, Volume 49 | Mission Critica-nApplications to Support the Mega-Rule

News & Views, Volume 49 | Mission Critical Applications to Support the Mega-Rule

News & Views, Volume 49 | Mission Critica-nApplications to Support the Mega-RuleBy:  Scott Riccardella, Bruce Paskett, and Steven Biles

On October 1, 2019, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published amendments to 49 CFR Parts 191 and 192 in the Federal Register, issuing Part 1 of the Gas Transmission Mega-Rule.  This new regulation is commonly referred to as the Mega-Rule since it represents the most significant regulatory impact on gas transmission pipelines since the original Gas Transmission Integrity Management Program (TIMP) Regulation was issued in 2003

The original Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) issued in April, 2016 was split into 3 Parts, with the first Part (Mega-Rule 1) including specific requirements to address congressional mandates in the 2012 Pipeline Safety Reauthorization, and other pipeline safety improvements, including:

  • Maximum Allowable Operating Pressure (MAOP) Reconfirmation (§192.624),
  • Material Verification (MV) (§192.607),
  • Engineering Critical Assessments for MAOP Reconfirmation (§192.632),
  • Analysis of Predicted Failure Pressure (§192.712),
  • Assessments Outside of High Consequence Areas (HCAs) (§192.710),
  • Additional Requirements to Evaluate Cyclic Fatigue (§192.917(e)(2)), and
  • Additional Analysis of Electric Resistance Welded (ERW) Seam Welds (§192.917(e)(4))

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News & Views, Volume 49 - PEGASUS- Advanced Tool for Assessing Pellet-Cladding Interaction

News & Views, Volume 49 | PEGASUS: Advanced Tool for Assessing Pellet-Cladding Interaction

By:  Bill Lyon, PE and Michael Kennard

News & Views, Volume 49 - PEGASUS- Advanced Tool for Assessing Pellet-Cladding Interaction

PEGASUS provides a fully capable computational environment to solve the unique, detailed 3D analyses required for the evaluation of PCI.

In the current economic environment in which nuclear units compete with less costly energy sources, a quicker return to full power correlates to more power generated and increased operating efficiency.  This may be achieved with shorter startup post-refueling or a quicker return-to-power following any number of plant evolutions including load follow, control blade repositioning, equipment outage or maintenance, testing, extended low power operation, scram, etc.  Such strategies to increase operating efficiency may enhance the risk of pellet-cladding interaction (PCI), a failure mechanism that occurs under conditions of high local cladding stress in conjunction with the presence of aggressive chemical fission product species present at the cladding inner surface.  These conditions can occur during rapid and extensive local power changes and can be further enhanced by the presence of fuel pellet defects (e.g., missing pellet surface, MPS).  Several commercial reactor fuel failure events in the last eight years, as recently as early 2019, suggest a PCI-type failure cause.  To safely manage changes in core operation, the margin to conditions leading to PCI-type failures must be determined prior to implementation of such operating changes.

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News & Views, Volume 49 | Digital Elevation Modeling Support Pressure Tests Records and Reduce MAOP Reconfirmation Costs

News & Views, Volume 49 | Digital Elevation Modeling: Support Pressure Tests Records and Reduce MAOP Reconfirmation Costs

By:  Scott Riccardella, Bruce Paskett, and Eric Elder

§ 192.624(a)(1) of the Mega-Rule 1 requires MAOP Reconfirmation for steel transmission pipe segments if records necessary to establish the MAOP in accordance with § 192.619(a)(2) (e.g. pressure test), including records required by § 192.517(a), are not traceable, verifiable, and complete and the pipeline is located in a high consequence area (HCA) or a Class 3 or Class 4 location.

Part 192, Section 192.517(a) requires that natural gas pipeline operators shall make and retain, for the useful life of the pipeline, a record of the following information for any Subpart J Pressure Test (PT):

  1. The operator’s name, the name of the operator’s employee responsible for making the test, and the name of any test company used,
  2. Test medium used,
  3. Test pressur,
  4. Test duration,Pressure recording charts, or other record of pressure readings.
  5. Elevation variations, whenever significant for the particular test, and
  6. Leaks and failures noted and their disposition.

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News & Views, Volume 49 | Code Compliance and the Modular Construction Trend

News & Views, Volume 49 | Code Compliance and the Modular Construction Trend: What Manufacturers Need to Know to Comply with Building Codes

By:  Andy Coughlin, PE, SE

News & Views, Volume 49 | Code Compliance and the Modular Construction Trend

The modular construction industry is projected to grow globally at an annual rate of 6.9%, outpacing the growth of traditional construction.1  Modular construction has many advantages over traditional building methods, including improved quality control and shorter project durations. Factory-built systems are constructed in controlled environments with equipment and materials that are not feasible at congested job sites, and project schedules can be shortened when factory work and field work are performed in parallel.

However, modular projects may stumble without proper forethought: when fabrication takes place in a factory away from the jobsite, the building officials, inspectors, and engineers can have less oversight and less recourse to implement changes if issues are discovered in the field.  Code compliance may also be an issue when systems are designed by factory engineers rather than the engineer of record.  To mitigate these potential pitfalls, careful planning is required at the start of the project.

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News & Views, Volume 49 | Autobook- Nuclear Physics Automation Code

News & Views, Volume 49 | Autobook: Nuclear Physics Automation Code

News & Views, Volume 49 | Autobook- Nuclear Physics Automation CodeBy:  Sasan Etemadi, P.E. and Mark Drucker, P.E.

The AUTOBOOK code reduces human errors, increases efficiency, and streamlines the reload analysis process

AUTOBOOK facilitates plant operation by providing nuclear power plant Reactor Engineers and Reactor Operators with cycle-specific information about the physics characteristics of the reactor core in a core data book document. Structural Integrity has created the AUTOBOOK computer code to automate the creation of this document.

AUTOBOOK is a Quality Assured code developed under a licensee’s software quality assurance (SQA) program. SI provides a full complement of SQA documents, including a Software Requirement Specification (SRS), a Software Design Description (SDD), Verification and Validation (V&V) Plan and Test Report, a User Manual, and Software Installation Instructions (SII).

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News & Views, Volume 49 | The 4th Dimension- Lifecycle Assessment of Critical Structures

News & Views, Volume 49 | The 4th Dimension: Lifecycle Assessment of Critical Structures

By:  Dan Parker, PE

News & Views, Volume 49 | The 4th Dimension- Lifecycle Assessment of Critical Structures

By analytically simulating the steps in the construction process, including the sequence of concrete placements, and tracking the history of the material behavior starting from initial placement, the potential for cracking is evaluated by comparing the time dependent stress and strains to the concrete cracking resistance and capacity.

Aging Infrastructure Issues

The infrastructure in the United States is aging and, whether publicly or privately owned, significant resources are required to repair, replace, or modernize it.  Due to the high costs associated with these efforts, owners need to identify structures with high risk-of-failure consequences and find the most cost-effective solutions for rehabilitation.  High consequence infrastructure includes:

  • Highway and railway bridges,
  • Roadways for intra and interstate transportation,
  • Dams, locks, and levees for flood control and cargo transportation,
  • High rise business, apartment, and condominium towers, and
  • Power generation and distribution facilities for Nuclear, Fossil and Hydro utilities.
Structural Integrity Associates Appoints Anthony (Tony) W. Robinson as Senior Vice President & Chief Nuclear Officer

Structural Integrity Associates Appoints Anthony (Tony) W. Robinson as Senior Vice President and Chief Nuclear Officer

Structural Integrity Associates | Anthony (Tony) W. Robinson | Senior Vice President & Chief Nuclear Officer

Structural Integrity Associate, Inc. (SI) is pleased to announce that Anthony (Tony) W. Robinson will be joining Structural Integrity as the Senior Vice President and Chief Nuclear Officer, effective January 4, 2021.  Tony spent more than 25 years (collectively) at Framatome (formerly AREVA, Inc. and predecessor companies), and most recently was the Senior Vice President of Products and Engineering.  He previously held roles of Senior Vice President Customer Accounts & Government Affairs, Vice President New Builds North America, and Vice President New Builds Business Development.  Additionally, he was the Vice President US Nuclear Services for BWXT from 2013 – 2016.

“With nearly 30 years of progressive executive leadership in diverse areas of nuclear energy, Tony brings a wealth of industry knowledge and experience, and we are very excited to have him join the SI Team, commented Mark Marano, SI CEO.  “I have had the opportunity to work with Tony in the past and his collaborative leadership skills along with his ability to work closely with both customers and partners to ensure lasting and mutually beneficial relationships meet our preferred partnership objectives”.

Tony holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Akron, attended the Executive MBA program at Kent State University, and is a licensed Professional Engineer (PE) in the state of Ohio.

Structural Integrity Associates, Inc. is an employee owned specialty engineering and services company providing structural integrity assessment insights and services to achieve asset management excellence across multiple industries including Nuclear, Fossil, Oil & Gas, and critical infrastructure.

Structural Integrity Associates Food and Donations Collection for Angels & Sparrows

Structural Integrity Associates Food and Donations Collection for Angels & Sparrows

Structural Integrity Associates Food and Donations Collection for Angels & SparrowsThis past Holiday Season, the Charlotte office of Structural Integrity collected donations for Angels and Sparrows Soup Kitchen, whose mission is to fight hunger in Huntersville and the surrounding area.

Structural Integrity Associates Achieves Milestone with Pegasus Code Development

Structural Integrity Associates Achieves Milestone with Pegasus Code Development

Structural Integrity Associates | Structural Integrity Associates Achieves Milestone with Pegasus Code Development

Structural Integrity Associates | Structural Integrity Associates Achieves Milestone with Pegasus Code DevelopmentOn October 28th, the Structural Integrity (SI) Nuclear Fuel Technology Team achieved a major milestone in completing the first Verification & Validation phase in the development of its nuclear fuel performance and behavior code Pegasus©.  “This is a significant step by the SI Team” commented Vick Nazareth, SI Fuel Director.  “We have been developing Pegasus© since 2017 to incorporate cutting edge computational technology and four decades of fuel behavior modeling and analysis expertise into a software program”.  The code addresses a need for deeper fuel integrity insights within the nuclear industry to achieve next level fuel performance and licensing.  Dr. Joe Rashid, Scientist and Senior Technology Developer of the code added “this code will analyze fuel behavior through the entire fuel cycle from initial startup to used-fuel storage”.

SI announced the development of Pegasus© in the SI newsletter in 2019, Introducing Pegasus: State-of-the-Art Nuclear Fuel Behavior with the objective of enhancing the fidelity of fuel behavior and performance in support of advanced fuel technologies.  The Pegasus© code will go through additional validation testing over the next several months to meet a production roll-out in early 2021 in support of fuel performance behavior analysis across a broad spectrum of light water reactor and advanced reactor fuel designs.

” I am proud of the SI Fuel Team”, said Mark Marano, SI CEO.” This milestone exemplifies our ability to provide innovative structural integrity solutions for clients across structures, systems, components, water chemistry and nuclear fuel.”

Structural Integrity is an employee-owned specia­­lty engineering and services company providing innovative engineering solutions and services to achieve asset management excellence across multiple industries including Nuclear, Fossil, Oil & Gas, Renewables, and Critical Infrastructure.