RSI provides consulting services and products in the areas of chemistry and radiological controls to the nuclear industry and has experts in the following areas:
- Water Chemistry
- Radiation Mitigation and Control Technologies
- Liquid and Solid Waste Management and Minimization
- Gamma Spectroscopy
RSI has a long-term proven record of success in the areas of nuclear plant chemistry, low-level waste processing/handling (liquid and solid), and occupational radiation exposure control. Additionally, as a result of our consulting activities, a large number of unique products, processes, and services have been developed for the nuclear industry in the United States and abroad. As a result, RSI has an excellent reputation and rapport with utilities and industry related agencies.
RSI takes great pride in its ability to provide practical solutions to extremely complex problems. This is made possible by:
- A highly experienced and skilled staff
- Extensive R&D background in nuclear technologies
- Ongoing direct contact with nuclear plant operators
- In-house laboratory and manufacturing facilities
In addition to the numerous items in our product line, ranging from sampling equipment to advanced water and waste processing hardware, RSI has recently developed several innovative techniques and systems for improved plant performance and reduced operating costs. These include:
Steam Generator Blowdown Sample Panel
RSI designed and fabricated a state-of-the-art steam generator sampling system to replace obsolete plant equipment. The design incorporated the latest in instrumentation with digital output and is monitored and displayed on a touch-screen HMI. The data stream is forwarded to the plant PI computer system for archiving.
Isotope Selective Media
RSI was instrumental in development of the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) CoSeq® cobalt sequestering media. RSI participated in development of the product from inception to full-scale commercialization.
PWR Zinc Addition System
RSI designed and built numerous zinc addition systems. These systems allow for metering precise and reproducible amounts of depleted zinc acetate to the primary loop for radiation dose control and for Primary Water Stress Corrosion Cracking (PWSCC) mitigation.
Dispersant Addition System
RSI developed (with Exelon Nuclear) a dispersant injection system. This system is designed to add a precise and reproducible amount of dispersant to the secondary side of a PWR. The dispersant keeps corrosion products in suspension where they can be removed by mechanical filtration. This minimizes the amount of corrosion products deposited in the steam generators.
Standardized Smear Sampler
RSI developed a tool to collect consistent and reproducible smear samples. These samples can then be used for comparison data for single plant outages, comparison between plants for multiple unit sites, and between sites in a fleet.
On-Line Fuel Leak Analysis
On-line fuel analysis is a methodology for identifying light boiling water reactor failed fuel while the plant is on-line. This has been especially valuable to utilities operating with minor fuel failures. The technique provides an attractive alternative to the costly and tedious off-line fuel "sipping" methods currently practiced by most utilities. In one application a 1,050 MWe reactor effectively isolated leaking fuel assemblies, and the reactor returned to full power for the remaining fourteen months of its fuel cycle. This precluded a loss of generating revenue due to operation at an 80-85% power level, and saved approximately $12 million by avoiding a fuel-sipping outage.
Fuel Deposit Sampling
Fuel deposit sampling equipment for analyzing corrosion product transfer has been provided to both U.S. and Japanese utilities. The system is designed to take samples from fuel cladding surfaces of fully spent fuel, as well as fuel that will be returned to the core. Particular attention is paid to sampling the corrosion products on the fuel cladding without destruction of the clad integrity.
Advanced Precoating Systems
Upgraded modified filter/demineralizer precoat systems were developed, which enable operators to produce a more uniform precoat by applying the precoat slurry to the septa at a low concentration over an extended period of time. This process minimizes the potential for precoat cracking, increases run length, septa life, and improves filter/demineralizer effluent water quality. The system is skid-mounted and is easily retrofitted into existing plant facilities.
Advanced Ion Exchange Media Test Program
The testing program developed by RSI focused on a wide range of advanced ion exchange resins and absorbents for liquid radwaste discharge applications. A test system was designed to mimic nuclear plant radwaste demineralizer systems. The test apparatus allowed an evaluation of new materials in a variety of arrangements using an actual radwaste stream. This work enabled the plants to optimize the performance of the liquid waste system in terms of minimizing radioactivity being released and material cost.
BWR Core Shroud Noble Metals Sampling
RSI has developed tooling and a method to collect corrosion product samples from the outside diameter of a BWR core shroud. This allows the utility to assess noble metals deposition (Pt and Rh) directly from the area of interest instead of relying on coupons from a side stream sampler. This process also saves on worker exposure by eliminating entries into high radiation areas for coupon changeout.
Current Projects of Special Interest to the Nuclear Industry
Hydrazine Addition System
RSI designed and fabricated replacement hydrazine addition systems for each of the three Palo Verde PWR sites. The identical systems were engineered to eliminate loss of injection pump suction and provide added flexibility for the plant operations personnel. Since installation in all 3 units, Palo Verde has had no further problems with loss of hydrazine feed, removing hydrazine addition from the site top 10 issue list.
Noble Metals Sampling
RSI, in conjunction with the EPRI BWR Vessel and Internal Program, has developed and demonstrated a noble metals chemistry sampling system. This system allows for determination of noble metals concentrations for plants that do not have a Durability Monitor (DM) or a Mitigation Monitoring System (MMS) installed or are experiencing high variability in the deposition and depletion data. This system has also been used to collect samples from fuel bundles, other in-core artifacts, and directly from the core shroud.
Component Pretreatment Assessment
RSI assisted TVA Browns Ferry Unit-1 restart specialists with identification of high priority items to pretreat for dose rate control and mitigation. This assessment included identification of replacement components that could be pretreated prior to installation such as reactor recirculation, residual heat removal, reactor water cleanup piping; reactor recirculation system and reactor water cleanup system valves, and heat exchangers. Some large components that were thought to be too difficult to treat have been successfully processed.
Advanced Resin Cleaner
RSI has provided major domestic and foreign utilities with an innovative ion exchange resin cleaning system which has greatly improved reactor water quality and significantly reduced plant radioactive liquid waste volumes. The system is extremely efficient for removal of both insoluble corrosion products and anion/cation resin fines. The system also generates significantly less waste water than other cleaning methods.
DOE Fuel Pool Cleanup and Water Quality Project
RSI was selected by the United States Department of Energy to cleanup and maintain the water quality for the fuel pool at Nyongbyon, North Korea. This project was part of an overall international program to remove weapons grade nuclear fuel from the region.
Partial list of clients
AMERGEN Energy Co., LLC
American Electric Power
Babcock & Wilcox Canada
Bechtel Group, Inc.
Burns & Roe, Inc.
Chicago Bridge & Iron Company
Dow Chemical Company
E G & G Idaho
Electricity de France
Electric Power Research Institute
Entergy Nuclear Operations
Exelon Nuclear Corporation
First Energy Corporation
Florida Power & Light Company
General Electric Company
Iowa Electric Services
Ishikawajima Harima Heavy Industries
Japan Atomic Power Company
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
Monterey Bay Aquarium
Nebraska Public Power District
Omaha Public Power & Light Company
Ontario Power Generation
Pacific Gas and Electric Co.
Public Service Electric & Gas
Sacramento Municipal Utility District
Sentry Equipment Company
Southern California Edison Company
Southern Nuclear Operating Company
Stone & Webster Engineering
STP Nuclear Operating Company
Taiwan Power Company
Tennessee Valley Authority
Ultrapure Water Treatment
U.S. Department of Energy
Westinghouse Hanford Company
Wolf Creek Nuclear Operating Corporation