Focus on Corrosion

News coming from Japan this week highlights the danger corrosion can cause to pipes and structures, and the importance of regular inspections and protection procedures. Mick Flounders, CSC Services’ Contracts Director explains more:

“CSC Services have been keeping a close eye on recent news about corrosion inspections at Japanese Power Stations.

Japan shut down its commercial nuclear reactors after the tsunami-triggered nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in 2011. This week the Japan Times claims that a thorough inspection of ventilation pipes at the currently idle Shimane 2 nuclear reactor revealed extensive corrosion and holes, including one that measured 30 centimetres by 100 centimetres, or about 3 square feet.

Corrosion has played a part in safety lapses before in Japan. At Fukushima, the same site where the 2011 tsunami led to meltdowns and radioactive releases, an incident took place in 1991 in which corrosion in pipes conveying seawater for cooling purposes led to a flood in the turbine building. Corrosion is a key concern for many of the power stations because they use seawater to cool their turbines.

The Japan Times claims that Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority plan thorough inspections of all of Japan’s viable commercial reactors and that corrosion may violate nuclear regulatory standards.

CSC Services specialise in refurbishment and protective coatings for UK Power stations, and are encouraged by the stance taken by Japan’s NRA. Corrosion protection coatings can not only significantly extend the life of an asset or structure but ensure its safety.”

Last year a corrosion control system was installed at Hinkley Point Power Station for EDF Energy.  Marine exposure and high chloride ingress had taken its toll putting the integrity of the structure at risk. This coating system specified offered protection against perforation from sand, stones and gravel, and will protect the structure for a significant period of time.

Cathodic Protection System was recently installed for EDF Energy at Hartlepool Power Station. This was to a corroded Drumscreen Chamber. Corrosion of the reinforced concrete structure had been caused by carbonation and contamination of concrete by sea salt which passes through the Drumscreen Chamber as part of the Power Station’s cooling process. The successful installation significantly increases the lifespan of this structure. Cathodic Protection offered a technically sound solution because it deals with the corrosion problem across the entire area treated. This cannot be achieved with conventional repair methods without removing all the concrete where salt or carbon dioxide has penetrated.

CSC Services have many years of experience in the installation of coatings to protect against corrosion to pipes and structures . For more information call 0191 410 3444.