Framatome, an international leader in nuclear energy, needed a blast room built to refurbish and recondition nuclear coolant pump motors. The motors help move coolant around the primary circuit of a nuclear reactor core to prevent overheating.
The new blast room had to meet very stringent specifications due to its interaction with hazardous radioactive material.
Previously, a driver would back the rear section of a specialized tractor trailer into the old blast room in order to unload the oversized motors with an overhead crane, then forklift the motor into the blast room.
However, the blast room first had to be thoroughly cleaned so that the tractor trailer didn’t get any hazardous waste on its tires. This proved to be an extremely time-consuming and costly process.
Framatome wanted crane access into the blast room so that the use of the tractor trailer and forklift could be eliminated.
The new blast room would also be replacing an eight-year old blast booth that was meant to be used on a temporary basis. As you can see from the photo, Framatome was ready for a serious upgrade.
Titan resolved the challenge by strategically relocating the blast booth to an area served by the overhead crane, while keeping the dust collection equipment in the original area due to very tight space constraints.
Titan added a custom HEPA filter to the outlet of the dust collector, elevated 12 feet above the floor to avoid stirring up hazardous dust from the floor. Accompanying the HEPA filter was a Photohelic® gage, used to measure differential pressures of air; a light tower and an alarm will activate in the event of an emergency condition.
The design/build of this blast room was quite tedious due to the space constraints. The Titan team worked closely with Framatome to ensure that the new blast room met all of their requirements.
According to Tony Wood, Pump & Motors Operations Manager at Framatome, “Refurbishing motors for nuclear reactors is a tricky business, and every piece of equipment used in the process has to perform exactly as planned,” he explained. “That includes the blast room, which plays such an integral part in the overall operation. From every perspective – safety, functionality, and quality of the finished product – our Titan blast room has been up to the task.”
Framatome has refurbished in excess of 100 reactor coolant motors across the nuclear fleet.