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EDF commission Boulting to install HDPE piping at another one of its Power Stations

8th July

After benefiting from successful installations of High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) at Torness, Heysham 2 and Hinckley Point B, EDF British Energy has once again commissioned Boulting to upgrade the Reactor Cooling Water (RCW) system at a fourth power station.

Essential Works

Providing cooling water to safety related plant and equipment, the RCW system ensures that the nuclear plant operates both efficiently and safely. The current pipeline is subject to periodic problems due to failures of the existing Vylastic coating, including:

  • Delamination and breached lining caused by corrosion/thinning at the flange joints.
  • System blockage caused by pierced lining and resultant material driven downstream by flow.
  • Pipe bore caused by marine life attaching itself to the pipe wall.

In the worst case scenario this causes flooding and system malfunction, which can eventually lead to an entire reactor shut down.

To avoid such scenarios, existing buried cast iron pipeline - running between the Turbine Hall and Cooling Water Pump house - will be replaced.

Phase 1

Work commenced on phase 1 on the 4th April 2011 and includes:

  • Production of 3D contoured CAD Model to map the proposed routing
  • Internal and external topographical surveys to demonstrate optimum pipe route
  • Interrogation of existing services drawings
  • Outline design for concrete box culvert protection
  • Friction loss assessment

Following the completion of Phase 1 the proposal is to progress the design development to a level appropriate for approval by EDF British Energy.

This will require a slit trench to be dug in order to collect data for evaluating the risks of installation and substantiate the design.


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