NWT Corporation Serving our clients since 1974

PWR Operational Chemistry and Radiochemistry:
Problem Assessment and Diagnosis


The PWR Operational Chemistry and Radiochemistry course was developed by NWT to assist plant and corporate chemistry personnel in the following areas:

  • Identifying the presence of or trends toward abnormal chemistry conditions.
  • Diagnosing problem causes.
  • Developing timely and cost effective corrective actions.
  • Assessing methods used to control activity transport and buildup relative to meeting ALARA objectives.
  • Employing nuclide release distributions to assess fuel failure modes and estimate the number of fuel defects.
  • Assessing the radiological impact of the fuel failure mode.
  • Applying radiochemical measurements to quantify plant system performance.

This course has been developed by senior NWT personnel who have been involved in PWR and BWR water chemistry, corrosion, water treatment, and activity transport control for 30 or more years. Their experience base has been complemented by consideration of the underlying chemistry and engineering principles in each area of instruction. Because of the nature of the course, senior NWT personnel provide all instruction (see resumes).

The course is intended for PWR chemistry personnel involved in data review, problem identification and diagnosis, and development of corrective actions. It assumes that the student is familiar with the fundamentals of radiochemistry and has a knowledge of plant systems.



I. Steam Generator Corrosion and its Minimization
  1. Steam Generator Corrosion Considerations
    1. Design Features
    2. Industry Trends
    3. Intergranular Stress Corrosion Cracking/Intergranular Attack
    4. Denting
  2. Guidelines and Specifications for Corrosion Minimization
    1. Basis for Values
    2. Control Values and Action Levels

II. Impurity Transport Considerations

  1. Mass Balance Approach
    1. Ionic Impurities
    2. Oxygen
  2. Ion Exchange Considerations
    1. Ion Exchange Resins
    2. Mixed Beds
    3. Precoat Systems
    4. Selectivity Theory: Application to Ionic Leakage Estimation
    5. Resin Leakage Effects

III. Crevice Chemistry Prediction

  1. Hideout in Steam Generators
  2. Crevice Chemistry Inferences
  3. Hideout Return Evaluations
  4. Crevice Chemistry Modeling

IV. Corrosion Product Transport

  1. Industry Guidelines
  2. Measurement of Corrosion Product Transport
  3. Corrosion Product Transport Control
    1. Source Term Assessment
    2. Control Approaches

V. Primary System Chemistry Control

  1. Technical Justifications
    1. System Integrity
    2. Fuel Integrity
    3. Shutdown Dose Rate Minimization
  2. Chemistry Guidelines
    1. Bases
    2. Parameters/Values

VI. Activated Corrosion Product Transport

  1. Sources of Activated Corrosion Products
  2. Radiation Buildup Trends
    1. Shutdown Radiation Monitoring
    2. Isotopic Measurements
  3. Radiation Buildup Models
  4. Methods of Control
    1. Chemistry Control during Operation
    2. Zinc Addition
    3. Shutdown Chemistry Control

VII. Radiochemistry Fundamentals

  1. Decay Relationships
  2. Statistical Relations
  3. Decay Modes
  4. Interaction with Matter

VIII. PWR Activity Production and Transport

  1. Sources of Activity
    1. Water Activation Products
      1. Tritium
      2. Carbon-14
      3. Oxygen and Nitrogen Products
    2. Impurity Activation
    3. Corrosion Products
    4. Transuranics

IX. PWR Fuel Status Assessment

  1. Fission Product Distribution and Release
    1. Recoil
    2. Diffusion

  2. Fuel Failure Characterization
    1. Defect Models

    2. WANO (INPO) Fuel Reliability Index
    3. Source Term Distribution Plots

  3. Estimation of Maximum Shutdown Iodine Spike
  4. Cs-134/Cs-137 Ratio
  5. Trending of Activity Measurements for Fuel Status Assessment

X. Activity Measurement Requirements

  1. Standard Technical Specifications
  2. Dose Equivalent Iodine-131
  3. Gross Activity and E-Bar
  4. Dose Equivalent Xenon-133
  5. Effluents
  6. Lower Level of Detection
  7. Primary Coolant Leak Detection

XI. Applied Radiochemistry

  1. Letdown/VCT System Impact on RCS Activity Concentration
    1. Partitioning of Gases in VCT, Pressurizer, and Sample System
    2. Gaseous Activity Delay in VCT
  2. Noble Gas Buildup on Isolated Resin Beds
  3. Gas Waste Treatment System and Activity Release
  4. TRUs and 10CFR61 Considerations
  5. Steam Generator Leak Rate Determination


S. G. SAWOCHKA: Dr. Sawochka currently is President of NWT Corporation. He has been involved with consulting and R&D projects in the fields of water chemistry, water treatment, corrosion, and radwaste processing in BWR and PWR systems for over 40 years. Dr. Sawochka has authored numerous publications in the referenced areas and has been an active member of EPRI committees that have developed guidelines for BWR and PWR chemistry control.

H. R. HELMHOLZ: Mr. Helmholz began his nuclear industry career in 1951 at Hanford. He subsequently joined the Case Institute of Technology where he organized the radiochemistry program and taught courses in nuclear chemistry. After several years at KAPL and at NRTS at Idaho Falls, where he supervised the S5G chemistry laboratory, he joined GE-Vallecitos and assumed responsibility for design and performance of chemical test programs at operating BWRs. Since joining NWT in 1981, he has had responsibility for numerous projects in the chemistry and radiochemistry areas including development of radioanalytical procedures, training course development and presentation, and assessments of solid waste radioassay techniques, radwaste dose rate to curie conversions, ventilation monitoring, C-14 generation and transport, and fuel failure modes.



CLASS SCHEDULE: Classes will be held from 8:15 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday with one hour for lunch and 8:15 to noon on Friday.

ENROLLMENT: Course enrollments are limited to 12. Reservations can be made by phone 408-281-1100, fax 408-578-0790 or e-mail.

FEE: The $1,900 course fee covers the notebook, program materials, break refreshments, lunches (4) and one scheduled dinner. Lodging and other meals NOT INCLUDED. A Certificate of Participation is presented to each registrant.

REFUNDS AND CANCELLATIONS: If you cancel your registration at least four weeks prior to the class start date, your fee minus a $50 administrative fee will be refunded. If you cancel less than four weeks prior, you will be liable for the full fee. Unfortunately, there can be no exceptions to this policy. Enrollment substitutions may be made at any time.

NWT Corporation reserves the right to cancel classes within one month of start date if fewer than eight students are enrolled.

LOCATION/LODGING: Classes will be held at the NWT offices in San Jose or the EPRI offices in Palo Alto, California. Information on area hotels will be provided with enrollment confirmation.


Dr. S. G. Sawochka
at (408) 281-1100, fax (408) 578-0790 or
E-Mail: sawochka@nwtcorp.com



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