Printer Friendly

SECRETARY OF ENERGY AUTHORIZES RESUMPTION OF K-REACTOR RESTART ACTIVITIES AT THE SAVANNAH RIVER SITE

 SECRETARY OF ENERGY AUTHORIZES RESUMPTION
 OF K-REACTOR RESTART ACTIVITIES AT THE SAVANNAH RIVER SITE
 WASHINGTON, May 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Secretary of Energy James D. Watkins today announced the resumption of K-Reactor restart activities at the Savannah River Site.
 The power ascension test program was interrupted in December 1991 as a result of a small cooling water leak which contained tritium from one of the plant's 12 heat exchangers. Following this incident, Watkins directed a comprehensive series of reviews and corrective actions. The reviews have been completed, including a determination of the causes of the event and any environmental consequences of the tritium release.
 There was no health hazard to the public, and tritium levels in the Savannah River remained within drinking water standards.
 Watkins ensured that appropriate actions were completed prior to authorizing the resumption of restart activities. This includes: the replacement of the leaking heat exchanger as well as two other heat exchangers; improvements to operating procedures and personnel training; and significant upgrades in tritium monitoring and analysis equipment.
 Recently, the Savannah River Technology Center completed its review of an issue relating to the sensitivity of monitoring equipment -- specifically, axial power monitors -- in the core of the K-Reactor. After detailed scrutiny, Savannah River Site engineers and scientists are convinced, and the Department of Energy agrees, that this issue has been satisfactorily resolved and power ascension testing can recommence.
 As a result of the various corrective actions, the potential of a release of tritiated water from a comparable incident has been reduced by more than 90 percent.
 The Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board has been thoroughly briefed on the causes and corrective actions related to the heat exchanger incident.
 Watkins explained that the initial test period for K-Reactor power ascension will occur over approximately the next two months. In this connection, certain non-nuclear testing will commence within the next three to four days and last for about a week. This will be followed by precritical testing for several days. If all goes well with this testing, the department expects to take the reactor critical in about the third week of May at which time the power ascension testing will begin. After the two-month test period, the reactor will be shut down for an outage period; during this time, a cooling tower will be connected, safety rods will be replaced and other maintenance activities will be completed.
 Following the outage period and completion of all the work, K-Reactor will be operated for a period of about one year to demonstrate its capability as a reliable production source of tritium for maintenance of the nation's nuclear deterrent. K-Reactor will then be placed in a low cost standby mode until the nation is assured of a replacement production source of tritium early after the turn of the century.
 -0- 5/5/92
 /CONTACT: Fred C. Lash of U.S. Department of Energy, 202-586-5806/ CO: U.S. Department of Energy ST: District of Columbia IN: OIL SU:


KD-DC -- DC012 -- 6574 05/05/92 12:33 EDT
COPYRIGHT 1992 PR Newswire Association LLC
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 5, 1992
Words:501
Previous Article:CELL GENESYS AND MEDIMMUNE TO COLLABORATE ON NOVEL CELL THERAPY FOR AIDS
Next Article:N.Y. POWER AUTHORITY CHAIRMAN FLYNN TOUTS CONSERVATION TO EUROPEANS


Related Articles
Reactor troubles highlight safety concerns.
SECRETARY OF ENERGY AUTHORIZES ROCKY FLATS BUILDING 559 RESUMPTION
SECRETARY OF ENERGY AUTHORIZES RESUMPTION OF K-REACTOR RESTART ACTIVITIES AT THE SAVANNAH RIVER SITE
Westinghouse Team Wins $6 Billion, 5-Year Contract for Managing Savannah River Site
OPTELECOM, Inc. Provides Fiber Optic Video Links For Energy Department Perimeter Security

Terms of use | Copyright © 2016 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters