Technicians are testing the components of the supercritical water oxidation system, known as SCWO, in preparation for Blue Grass main plant operations.
“The commissioning process checks, inspects and tests every operational component, including pipes, pumps, valves, instruments and reactors,” said Bob Kistler, SCWO plant manager, Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass. “The testing will be done until operational conditions are satisfactorily established and we are confident the system will perform safely and efficiently.”
Before operations, SCWO piping will undergo hydrostatic testing and then be flushed. Pipe testing began in late May and will continue into September, Kistler said. The three identical reactor vessels will also undergo pressure tests. Digital systems, such as controllers that send signals to the SCWO control room, and analog systems, equipment such as gauges and instrumentation that must be directly read, are checked and tested as well.
“We will execute standard operating procedures using simulated waste streams and processing conditions,” Kistler said. “The SCWO system will then go through a short period of shakedown, when all operational parameters will be used, but we will process a simulated hydrolysate solution.”
In operations, the SCWO system will process hydrolysate, the product of the chemical weapons neutralization process, using a high-pressure and -temperature process, with water, carbon dioxide and a brine solution as the end result.