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Success

Story Regularisation of the Supply


Indigenisation is an important rung of Combined Particulate
of rapid development ladder of
NPCIL. DOP and lodine filters for
and Iodine Filters
ventilation system are now at beck
and call after successful commission- the station technical specification re- sioning of Rajasthan Atomic Power
quirements. On installations of these Station (RAPS).
ing of its testing facility - its a suc-
filters into systems, the in-situ testing
cess story. As long as the yearly requirement of
is done to confirm the integrity of the
these filters was low, no problem was
filters. The above filters must have par-
faced by ACSS, WMD, BARC in timely

T
ticulate removal efficiency > 99.97%
he Combined Particulate and Io- supply of these filters to stations and
for particles down to 0.5 micron size
dine filters are provided in the re- their In-situ testing. However with the
(> 99.97% for particles down to 0.3
actor Building ventilation system commissioning of Narora Atomic
micron size when tested at vendor
to clean up the ventilation air. Some Power Station (NAPS) and Kakrapara
shop) and Iodine removal efficiency >
of these filters are provided in the En- Atomic Power Station (KAPS), require-
99% while in service.
gineered Safety systems of emergency ment of such filters increased substan-
ventilation systems viz. Primary Con- The responsibility of fabrication, test- tially and with lot of difficulties the
tainment Filtration and Pump back ing and supply of combined particu- timely supply of filters to stations and
system (PCFPB), Secondary Contain- late and Iodine Filters to stations and their In-situ testing could be arranged.
ment Re-circulation and Purge System their In-situ testing at stations was with This problem aggravate further with the
(SCR &P) and Primary Containment Air Cleaning Services Section (ACSS), commissioning of four new units at
Controlled Depressurization system Waste Management Division (WMD), Rajasthan Atomic Power Station
(PCCD). These filters need to be re- Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (RAPS)-3&4 and Kaiga 1&2.
placed once in every two years to meet (BARC), since the days of commis-

An International Journal of Nuclear Power - Vol. 15 No. 1 to 4 (2001) 59


Sampling Kit etc. for io-
dine testing of filters.

• Formation of test crews


at stations for filter test-
ing works.

• Providing training to
large number of station
personnel time to time
with the help of ACSS,
WMD, BARC.

• Identification and devel-


opment of a private ven-
dor for supply of Iodine
filters alongwith BARC
experts.
Due to constant persual,
technology was trans-
ferred for filter testing to
M/s. Industrial Filter,
Bharuch so as to meet
the NPCIL’s increasing
demand.
Due to the consistent and
untiring efforts, we are now in a posi-
tion to meet the increased requirement
Some of the reasons for difficulties in • Procurement of test equipment like of combined particulate and iodine fil-
timely supply of filter and their In-situ size selective Particle Counters and ters which is about 100 filters/year. The
testing were as follows: Aerosol Generators for carrying out above requirement will increase further
particulate removal efficiency tests with the commissioning of new NPPs
• Limited manpower at ACSS, WMD,
of HEPA Filters installations. like TAPS-3&4, Kaiga-3&4 and RAPS-
BARC
5&6 etc.
• Availability of limited space for fab- • Providing support to station in pro-
While transferring the technology to
rication of filters at their workshop curing the material like Glove Box, M/s. Industrial Filters, Bharuch, it was
• Increased requirement of NPCIL.
To resolve the above problems it was
decided to develop a private vendor
and slowly transfer the testing technol-
ogy to this company. It was also de-
cided to train the station personnel so
that station themselves will be in a po-
sition to carry out the in-situ particu-
late removal efficiency testing and io-
dine removal efficiency testing of Com-
bined Particulate and Iodine filters in-
dependently with an ultimate aim of
timely supply of Combined Particulate
and Iodine filters to station and their
timely in-situ testing. To achieve the
above goals following actions were ini-
tiated.

• Centralized procurement action of


combined filters at NPCIL-HQ for all Mr. B.K. Bhasin the then ED (O), presently Sr. Advisor (O), NPCIL observing the detailed setup
NPCIL Plants. and functioning of the test facilities.

60 Nu-Power
ensured that not only we get good
quality filters in time but the cost of
filter fabrication and testing is also
reduced. Rig testing of Iodine filters
is carried out to evaluate its elemen-
tal Iodine and Methyl Iodide removal
efficiencies. The test method essen-
tially involves injection of a test
vapour lebelled with radio-Iodine at
the upstream of the filter and mea-
suring the proportion of the radio-
iodine in the test vapour at the down-
stream of the filter. Till December,
2000, Mr. K.G. Gandhi, Head, ACSS
and Shri S. Ramachandran, Waste
Management Division (WMD), BARC
were carrying out the testing for com-
bined particulate and iodine filters
at ACSS Shop.
BARC transferred the technology of
Rig Testing of Iodine Filters, devel-
oped by Waste Management Divi- Inauguration of Filter Rig Testing facilities by Mr. B.K. Bhasin the then ED (O), presently Sr. Advisor
sion to M/s. Industrial Filters, (O), NPCIL.
Bharuch in July, 2000. The firm has
since completed the installation of the Bharuch on 15th December, 2000 in With the absorption of technology for
test rig, required instrumentation and presence of Mr. N.K. Bhansal, Head, iodine testing of these filters, M/s. In-
has been authorised to handle I-131 WMD, K.G. Gandhi, Head, ACSS, dustrial Filters has now become fully
isotope, required for these testings by BARC, O.P. Goyal, CE (M&OM), A.K. capable for the fabrication and test-
December, 2000. Sinha, Dy. CE (MP) and Anil Kumar, ing of Combined Particulate and io-
Mr. B.K. Bhasin, ED (Operations), Dy. CE (IC) of NPCIL and other distin- dine Filters.
NPCIL inaugurated this facility at guished industrstrialist of Bharuch.
Subsequently the first lot of ten num-
ber of Combined Particu-
late and Iodine Filters
were successfully fabri-
cated and tested in this
facility in the month of
June, 2001 and so far 70
filters have been
successully been tested
and sent to different sta-
tions.
Twelve engineers/supervi-
sors from different oper-
ating stations like RAPS-
1&2, KAPS, Kaiga and
RAPP-3&4 and two QA
engineers also have been
trained at the supplier’s
premises during the test-
ing.
NPCIL is now fully geared
up to meet the increased
requirement of filters for
operating Nuclear Power
Plants as well as for in-
A detailed view of DOP and Iodine test facilities. coming plants in near fu-
ture.

An International Journal of Nuclear Power - Vol. 15 No. 1 to 4 (2001) 61


METHODOLOGY FOR IN-SITU out inside a Globe Box at the re- added to the generator bottle. Sub-
TESTING spective sites. sequent to this 10 ml of the Sulphuric
Acid is added to the generator bottle
The iodine filter contains high surface • Insitu generation of air borne io- and bottle is capped immediately with
area activated charcoal impregnated dine : The iodine setup is installed the bubbler unit. The system is allowed
with 2 wt % KOH & 2 wt % KI. A single inside a glove box, specifically to run for about 30 minutes. After
HEPA filter precedes the activated made for this purpose to prevent completion of the test, first the gen-
chsarcoal kept in trays in the iodine despersal of iodine vapour into the erator flow is stopped and after about
filter housing in order to take care of operating areas and to limit con- 10 minutes the sampling pumps are
the particulate removal. The charcoal tamination due to spillage. The put off.
is impregnated to provide good effi- whole assembly is kept very close
ciency for both organic and inorganic to the point of injection. The solution in the generator bottle is
forms of iodine. Organic forms of io- then neutralised using Potassium Hy-
The following is the chemical reaction
dine are removed by isotopic ex- droxide flakes or pellets.
involved in generation of iodine:
change with KI. Injection of the air borne iodine: The
2NaI + 2NaNO2 + 2H2SO4 = 2Na2SO4 +
The method of testing iodine adsorp- NOx I2 + 2H2O iodine injection point should be suffi-
tion system, insitu, consists of inject- ciently upstream of the filter so as to
The following chemicals are to be kept provide adequate mixing before it
ing selected source materials (molecu-
inside the glove box before start of the reaches the filter bank and the up-
lar iodine or methyl iodide) into the air
test. stream sampling point. The air borne
stream ahead of the charcoal bed and
finding out the filter’s removal efficiency a) Potassium Iodide - 10% aqueous solution iodine is spontaneously drawn into the
by measuring the proportion of the duct as it is under negative pressure
source material penetrating the adsor- b) Sodium Nitrite - 10% aqueous solution compared to the flask and the glove
bent by sampling the upstrem and box.
c) Sulphuric Acid - 50% dilution
downstream air and sending it through
Iodine Sampling: The upstream and
charcoal cartridges and subsequently d) Potassium Hydroxide - Flakes or pellets
downstream sampling points are to be
counting the activity in Gama
A 500 ml standard reagent bottle, located as to provide representative
spectometer. The complete testing ar-
which is used as a generator for io- samples. The sampling cartridges
rangement is shown in Fig. 1.
dine vapour is filled with 200 ml of DM used for this purpose should contain
TESTING ARRANGEMENTS AND water and upstream and downstream enough adsorbent to effectively retain
PROCEDURE : sampling sets are installed as shown all the iodine. This is confirmed by the
in the figure. last cartridge showing background
• Particulate testing : DOP testing counts in the Gamma Counter. Flow
is being carried out prior to iodine A flow of about 30 lpm is maintained meter and suction pumps are also a
test from the safety point of view. in a column of at least 100 mm of im- part of the sampling as shown in the
DOP test also ensures that the fil- pregnated activated charcoal during figure. Activated charcoal with high
ter installation is good. In-situ test- sampling. All the pumps and flow surface area (1000 m2 per g) impreg-
ing is to be carried out under am- meters are placed in such a manner nated with 2 Wt% KOH and 2Wt% KI
bient conditions at the rate of flow that all the important parameters can is used as the sampling medium. The
of the adsorber. be controlled, observed and recorded sampling charcoal beds are divided
• Procurement of I-131 : I-131 iso- with ease. into 3 parts of 40 cc each kept in se-
tope with required activity (2.5 mci ries; the total 120cc giving a residence
A blank run of the test setup is taken time of 0.36 secs.
to 10 mci) is procured from BRIT, with all the samplers filled with the re-
Mumbai. As the half life of I-131 is quired quantity of impregnated acti- Counting : After sampling run three
short (8 days), the procurement and vated charcoal and a generator unit parts of charcoal are counted indepen-
the arrangements to receive the iso- filled with approximately 200 ml of wa- dently. The last bed shows back-
tope should be done in time. ter. Air flow through sampling units of ground counts confirming that all io-
• Isotope Use : Isotope received around 30 lpm and that through the dine in the sampled air has been cap-
from BRIT is collected at the near- generator of around 6 to 8 lpm is ad- tured. These samples are typically
est airport - cargo and brought to justed. counted for 200 secs.
the site of the test. It is carefully 5 ml of Potassium Iodide solution and Health Physics personnel are made
opened using proper tools and 10 ml of Sodium Nitrite solution are available during all the above opera-
then transferred into a standard added to the generator bottle, having tions to measure the radiation level at
flask using minimum amount of 200 ml of water already in it and then all critical locations.
water for washing. This is carried required quantity of Iodine - 131 is

62 Nu-Power
Calculation of efficiency : The removal Results and discussion : Particualte and Iodine filter procure-
efficiency is calculated as ment and insitu testing for the same.
This standardised testing procedure
N = [(Cxi-Co)/Ci]x100 has given us the confidence in carry- He has also played crucial role in TAPS
Where ing out the same in safest manner pos-
feedwater replacement programme and
sible. Our experiencee on the data
Ci = Counts per unit volume of upstream MAPS inlet moderator rehabilitation
available for efficiency of removal has
shown that all the filters were provid- programme.
Co = Counts per unit volume of down-
stream ing the desired efficiency for molecu-
He has also served as a member of
lar form of iodine - 131.
The range of test parameters normally Steering Committee of Nuclear Mainte-
employed for evaluation are : nance Application Centre (NMAC)
USA and co-ordinated with all stations.
Activity as I-131:2.5 to 10 mci.
Mr. A.K. Sinha, a
Mr. Sinha has presented more than 45
Injection time : 30 minutes (Genera- Mechanical
techncial papers in various national
tion is normally complete in less than Engineering
20 minutes). and international conferences and
Graduate from
organised several conference and
Sampling Volume rate : 30 lpm Bhagalpur College
maintenance training programme for
of Engineering,
Sampling time : 30 minutes plant enginers.
joined NPCIL in
Improvements made over the years : 1983 and also did Diploma in System He is also General Secretary of Indian
Management (DSM) from Jamnalal Institute of Plant Engineers,
Over the years of experience of iodine Bajaj Insitute of Management, Mumbai. Maharashtra Chapter. He has recently
filter testing, we have been able to in- Presently, he is working as Dy. Chief received “Bharat Jyoti Award”
corporate some modifications in the Enginner (Maintenance Performance) Conferred by Indian International
test procedue for overall improvement
in the Directorate of Operations, HQ. Friendship Society.
towards operational simplicity and ra-
diological safety. A few of them are He has been involved in many creative
listed below. works of maintenance like development
and introducing Maintenance Perfor-
The DOP efficiency should be main- mance Indicators (MPI), successful
tained well above the specitfications Mr. Anil Kumar is a
implementation of Ferrography
of the site. This ensures that the leak- B. Tech. in Chemical
technique (Wear Partial Analysis),
age path are minimum for particulates,
implementation of RCM (Reliability Technology from
thus the efficiency for the iodine re-
H.B.T.I., Kanpur. He
moval provides the performance of the Centred Maintenance) as pilot study.
charcoal filter. Repetition of test can He also co-ordinated for development has diploma in
be avoided. of standard maintenance procedures Computer Applica-
for Mechanical, Electrical, and C&I. tions from NITIE,
All the chemicals are mixed in proper Mumbai. He worked as Performance
proportions before taking them inside He designed and developed a Bolted
Joint Performance he demonstrated Engineer (RAPS) for about five years at
the glove box. This simplifies the work
NPCIL-HQ and has also been respon-
in side the glove box. Units for training of making leak free
joints. sible for monitoring the performance of
A modification was done while impreg- ventilation and heavy water recovery
nating the charcoal by way of com- Presently he is looking after the systems. He is presently working as
pletely immersing the absorbent in ex- development of special manipulators Deputy Chief Engineer (International
cess solution and drying them later. and special toolings required for SG Co-ordination) at NPCIL-Head
This ensured uniform and proper im-
and Heat Exchanger tube inspection, Quarter, Mumbai.
pregnation of KOH and KI on charcoal.
cutting and removal, leak test and
Advantage should be taken while car- burst test.
rying out incative run, to check whether
all the arrangements are in order and He is also putting efforts in making all
leakage if any in the complete setup. station self reliant in combined

An International Journal of Nuclear Power - Vol. 15 No. 1 to 4 (2001) 63