AREVA and Exelon sign contract to implement cavitation peening

Areva's cavitation peening was selected as the method to increase functionality and lifespan of nuclear reactor components.
Areva's cavitation peening was selected as the method to increase functionality and lifespan of nuclear reactor components. | Courtesy of Areva

A contract between AREVA and Exelon that would implement a process that will extend functionality of nuclear reactor parts and components was signed on Monday.

The process, called cavitation peening, uses highly pressurized jets of water to extend the components functionality and reverse or lessen the effects of aging parts in a nuclear reactor. This process will be demonstrated for the first time at Exelon's Byron and Braidwood plants in Illinois.

“Developed as part of AREVA’s Forward Alliance program, this technology offers utilities an economical and innovative solution to reinforce the safety of nuclear components and to extend the lifetime of their operations,” President and CEO of AREVA, Inc., Gary Mignogna said.

AREVA said this method combats common causes of water stress corrosion and cracking. These include tensile stresses incurred at the manufacturing stage and a corrosive environment from high pressure and high temperature water sources.

AREVA said that there is no risk for damage using this method. The method is effective in cases where space is limited and that utilizing this method, reactor facilities could have fewer inspections.

AREVA, which specializes in reactor design and maintenance, is considered a global leader in nuclear power.

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