United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Air Intrusion into BWR Primary Systems

HPPOS-107 PDR-9111210254

Title: Air Intrusion into BWR Primary Systems

See the memorandum from J. E. Wigginton to R. R. Bellamy

(and others) dated April 15, 1983. The memo states that

high radiation in main steam lines is likely from resin or

amine injection from condensate demineralizers and not a

result of air intrusion. High main steam radiation levels

should prompt licensees to note changes in other parameters.

Several facilities had attributed increased main steam line

radiation levels to increased N-16 production from free

oxygen. The consensus opinion following informal

discussions with representatives from General Electric, the

Chemical Engineering Branch of NRR, and INPO, however, was

that the more likely cause for the increased radiation

levels could be resin and/or amine injection from

condensate demineralizers. Since a stagnant, offline

demineralizer can produce amines, General Electric

recommends a thorough rinse prior to returning an idle bed

online. An improperly regenerated resin bed could also be

a source of amines. High main steam radiation levels

should prompt licensees to note changes in other chemical

parameters (i.e., pH, chloride, conductivity) sensitive to

potential intrusions and not concentrate solely on fission

product analysis.

Regulatory references: None

Subject codes: 5.0, 6.2, 7.1, 10.2

Applicability: Reactors

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Thursday, March 29, 2012