Nuclear Power

Nuclear Power2018-04-04T15:56:23+00:00

Imperia’s Nuclear Power Services

Imperia is a premiere provider of engineering and technical services to existing nuclear facilities. We are project driven and know how to relate to our client’s needs whether it is operationally, financially, or strategically. As the energy industry continually changes, and the experience pool diminishes at existing nuclear facilities, our nuclear plants will need the services of an engineering & scientific company that values long-term partnerships and the success of their business.

At Imperia, we help our clients succeed in three ways:

  • Our combination of conceptual analytical studies that define the problem along with practical implementation expertise yield cost-effective solutions and give Imperia Solutions’ clients a complete consulting engineering source.
  • Our goal is to focus our entire company on being technical leaders while partnering with your company on all maintenance, specialty, emergent, and capital projects at existing facilities.
  • We become an extension of our client’s organization. This leads to long-term relationships that are built on trust and quality work. Our project teams are comprised of senior professionals whose sole purpose is to ensure that all of our clients succeed.

At Imperia, we have an unusual technical breadth that comes from the effective integration of disciplines, industry knowledge, and project resolution in the work we do for our clients.

Engineering Mechanics

Seismic Analysis

The Great Tohoku (M9.0) and Mineral, VA (M5.8) earthquakes demonstrated that while beyond design basis events were unlikely, they could still occur. These events, along with the development of updated design ground motion response spectra for the central and eastern US as part of the CEUS effort, have spurred plants to reexamine their seismic vulnerability.

This entails characterizing the new seismic event, comparing it with the existing design basis event, and assessing impact using probabilistic risk assessment. As a result of characterization, some systems, structures and components may require qualification for increased seismic loads.

Imperia engineers are experienced in seismic load development (time histories or response spectra), as well as structural analysis and code qualification of buildings/structures, piping systems and components, and mechanical and electrical equipment. As veteran engineers, we can bring to bear a deep understanding of plant SSCs, design codes and analysis methods. We focus on qualification with minimal field modifications; we do this by evaluating and removing existing conservatism, ensuring accurate design basis inputs, using sophisticated analyses if required and examining the impact of other loads, such as fluid transients.

Finite Element Analysis/Computational Fluid Dynamics

Imperia engineers use Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) to model complex structural, electrical, thermodynamic and fluid problems with greater detail and accuracy. We use our expertise and broad experience in structural analysis, fluids/heat transfer and materials to validate and understand FEA and CFD results. We can create visual simulations that illustrate system, structure or component behavior. Our materials laboratory allows us to verify material behavior with full-scale or scaled models.

FEA/CFD applications include:

  • Structural dynamic response: vibration, shock, seismic, impact
  • Non-linear materials: plasticity and large deflection
  • Mechanical and thermal stress analysis
  • Material fracture and fatigue
  • Thermodynamic analysis and heat transfer
  • Simulations
  • Fluid flow visualization and characterization; waterhammer and transients, vortex shedding
  • Acoustic analysis

Imperia engineers use ANSYS, ANSYS CFX, STAADPro, STRUDL, SAP, FLOTRAN, RELAP, NUPIPE and ADLPIPE commercial codes, as well as internally developed applications based on MathCAD and Visual Basic.

Heat Transfer

Imperia can provide fully integrated thermal performance evaluations by combining the expertise of its consultant engineers with the use of advanced scientific laboratory analysis in order to determine power and efficiency losses in your system. Maximizing the thermal energy conversion process will result in significant cost savings within a short turnaround time. Our engineers are highly experienced in all aspects of “megawatt hunting” and have direct access to Imperia’s in-house, advanced microbiological testing laboratory. These resources ensure a complete and comprehensive analysis of your power and efficiency losses.

Imperia’s Thermal Performance Evaluation is comprised of many phases and analyses including:

  • Core Thermal Power Analysis
  • Instrument Uncertainty Analysis
  • Integrated System Modeling (PEPSE Computer Modeling)
  • Overall Turbine Performance Evaluation, including pressure-ratio evaluation
  • First-Stage Turbine Pressure Analysis
  • Condenser Performance Analysis, which includes studies for Condenser Cleanliness, Evidence of Fouling and Scaling and Microbiological Water Sampling
  • Feedwater Heater System Efficiency Seasonal  Performance Evaluation
  • Cycle Isolation Component Analysis, including AOV, MOV and other valve leakage evaluations
  • Feedwater / condensate chemistry analysis (including radioactive sampling capabilities) for impact on component heat transfer characteristics and feedwater element fouling

This integrated evaluation and consultation can be completed in a short time period and can result in significant cost savings and increase in power output.

Piping/Support Design and Analysis

Since our inception, Imperia engineers have designed, evaluated and qualified nuclear and fossil plant piping systems using a combination of technical expertise, knowledge of industry codes and plant systems, as well as experience in the range of analytical methods. We can use span tables to hang new lines and hand calculations to qualify proposed modifications quickly and inexpensively; we can also model entire systems to analyze a number of loads and load combinations.

Analysis usually includes dead weight, thermal, seismic, anchor movements and dynamic events. Imperia has particular expertise in transient load formulation (e.g., waterhammer events) as well as seismic load development. Detailed evaluations are performed to qualify all types of integral welded attachments to piping components using the AltraLug™ program for simple lugs and ANSYS™ for complex attachments. We perform fatigue analyses for thermal and structural loads, and evaluations of equipment nozzles, penetrations, valves and flanges.

For nuclear safety-related systems, design and analysis services are performed under Imperia’s Nuclear Quality Assurance Program. Our QA program is compliant with 10CFR50, App. B and ASME/ANSI NQA-1, and has been audited by NUPIC. For non-safety related and non-nuclear systems, our work is prepared under the same standard of care.

Our engineers use special finite element analysis software such as ADLPIPE, AutoPIPE™, NUPIPE™, and ME101™ to model piping systems and perform code qualifications. These are enhanced with the use of AltraLug™ for local welded attachments, ANSYS™ for specialized components, and PD STRUDL™ and SAP for support evaluation and qualification. For characterization of fluid transients, we use a number codes including RELAPV, GOTHIC, ALGOR and CFX.

We can draw upon extensive code expertise, with experience in the use of ASME Boiler & Pressure Vessel Code Section III, Subsections NB, NC, and ND for Class 1, 2, and 3 piping, ANSI B31.1 Code for Power Piping, ANSI B31.3 Code for Process Piping, ANSI B31.1 Non-Mandatory Appendix VII for Buried Piping Design, as well as specialized ASME code cases for specialized applications such as cured-in-place pipe (CIPP) and HDPE piping.

Imperia engineers have participated in many industry groups that developed guidelines for qualification of piping systems including Welding Research Council Bulletin 316, “Technical Position on Piping Installation Tolerances,” and Nuclear Construction Issues Group NCIG-05 “Guidelines for Piping System Reconciliation.” An Imperia staff member authored the chapter on steam systems piping in the Piping Handbook, 7th Edition. Imperia engineers have also prepared criteria and methodology documents for piping stress analysis and pipe support qualification for use at several nuclear power plants.

Computer Modeling

Computer simulations are typically used to obtain a higher level of accuracy to solutions of complex problems as compared to simplified manual calculations. Imperia engineers capitalize on their knowledge of the fundamentals of physics and engineering principles to develop accurate models and make the right interpretation of the results. We appreciate the role of knowledge and experience in technical theory and computer modeling science and thus avoid pitfalls typically encountered by black-box users.

Computer simulations are used for a wide range of applications such as solid state mechanics, thermal hydraulic, open and close channel flow, state interaction, natural and forced convection problems. We take advantage of in-house test capabilities to benchmark simulations to achieve reliable numerical solutions

Pipe Repair & Rehabilitation

Imperia is a full service provider of Engineered Solutions for correcting degraded buried piping conditions at industrial and power facilities. Our staff has the capability to identify the root cause of problems, develop a recovery plan and implement any construction activities as necessary. Our comprehensive raw water and buried piping system assessments are specifically tailored to our clients’ needs. We know piping, coatings, joints and fasteners and know how to leverage the talents of our Materials Science & Engineering Center when a problem can’t be easily solved. Imperia’s approach and technical framework enables our clients to get to the solution faster before any failures occur.

In order to ensure our clients with the optimum resolution to any corrective actions required, Imperia is partnered with industry leaders in many different fields providing the most advanced technologies. Imperia provides global solutions that focus on the right fix rather than a specific product or service. This ensures our clients receive the best resolution for the situation while lessening the financial impact. Imperia provides engineering, materials and installation services for nuclear safety related applications per our approved 10CFR50 Appendix B Program.

CIPP Repairs

We are the industry leader in providing Cured in Place Pipe (CIPP) for the rehabilitation of nuclear power facility water piping systems. Our approach to CIPP installations provide our customers with a qualification package that starts with engineering, material dedication, physical mock up and installation procedures to assure minimal outage impact during installation, and to provide a long term trouble free operational life.

Imperia Piping Repair and Rehabilitation Services

All processes can be provided in accordance with the requirements of 10CFR50 Appendix B for Nuclear safety related applications.

Development of Corporate Program that includes:

  • Cost Benefit Analysis of Approved Methodologies
  • Procedures
  • Program Training for Staff
  • Documentation Requirements
  • Performance Indicators
  • Inspection Requirements & Frequencies
  • Acceptance Criteria
  • Development of Buried Pipe Program and Implementing Procedures
  • Risk Ranking and Inspection Prioritization
  • Inspection Services
  • Condition Assessments
  • Pressure Boundary & Structural Qualification Analysis
  • Aging
  • Short & Long Term Life Expectancy Predictions
  • Justification for Continued Operation
  • Predictive & Preventive Maintenance
  • Commercial Grade Dedication and Qualification of Repair Materials
  • Qualified to Perform Required Industry Standard Engineering Change
  • Assistance with Relief Request Preparation

Digital Engineering

Independent Software Verification & Validation

Digital I&C systems offer higher reliability, better plant performance and additional diagnostic capabilities. However, digital I&C systems require additional design and qualification approaches than are typically employed for analog control systems. Digital I&C control systems are fundamentally different from analog I&C systems in that minor errors in design and implementation can cause them to exhibit unexpected behavior.

The use of inspections, type testing, and acceptance testing of digital systems and components alone does not accomplish design qualification at a high confidence level. High confidence in the digital I&C system quality, however, can be obtained by using a high quality development engineering process that incorporates disciplined specification and implementation of design requirements. As part of the high quality engineering process, rigorous software V&V life cycle methodologies are necessary.

Life cycle methodologies are compliant with the IEEE Standard 1012-1998 which states that V&V is the process of determining whether:

  • Requirements for a system or component are complete and correct.
  • Products of each development phase fulfill the requirements or conditions imposed by the previous phase.
  • Final systems or components comply with specified requirements and their intended use.

The IV&V process assesses the software in the context of the system, including the operational environment; hardware; interfacing software, operators, and users.

Imperia can develop your IV&V program to ensure system safety and minimize unnecessary trips. We can:

  • Perform independent design review and verification of the followings to ensure system/software requirements are correct, complete, consistent, and accurate; and designed and implemented correctly:
    • System requirements specification
    • Software requirements specification
    • Software detailed design description
    • Application software logic functional diagrams
    • Application software source code
  • Develop Requirements Traceability Matrix (RTM); perform requirements tracing, and analyze traces to ensure requirements are traceable, implemented and tested completely; and to facilitate design change process.
  • Perform various analysis tasks to ensure that your project risk is minimized as early as possible.
  • Develop and execute test plans, and test specifications/procedures to ensure that the system/software requirements are completely and correctly validated.
  • Recommend and plan/perform additional system testing based on the simplified typical application under the configured hardware platform in order to confirm the principles of operation and obtain confidence in the system.
  • Perform a response time test to validate throughput and response time analysis.
  • Provide an IV&V Report summarizing the findings and outcomes from the IV&V process.

Utilizing this IV&V process can ensure high confidence and safety in the digital I&C systems while saving the power plant Owner from unnecessary unit trips. These unit trips result in thousands of dollars lost, and wasted precious time when trying to expediently come up from the maintenance outage.

Digital Upgrades

Our San Francisco Office (SFO) is the Center of Excellence for Digital Control Systems Upgrade Consulting. Our comprehensive capabilities include Planning, Implementation, and Installation as well as experienced in completing successful upgrades, on time and on budget.

Planning

Using our Control Systems Upgrade Advisor (Advisor) software tool set, we’ll prioritize your I&C systems, enabling plant owners to establish a rational, defensible, long-term risk versus benefit assessment process. The process combines generic and plant-specific considerations derived from Standard Review Plan, INPO AP-913, expert panel input and pilot implementation lessons at several plants.

We’ll assist you in developing your overall Strategic Plan followed by the Conceptual Design and Functional Requirements Specification, which includes the I/O list, for each system. Since we’re a participant in the EPRI Diversity and Defense in-Depth (D3) Working Group, we are up to speed on acceptable licensing methods to address digital Common Cause Failures (digital CCFs). We work with you on the development of control system hardware and HMI standards to help insure that multiple, incremental upgrade projects avoid proliferation of one-off computing equipment and HMI but fulfill D3 requirements. This standardization is critical to managing downstream maintenance and training costs and ensuring a simple and consistent environment for plant operators.

Imperia will develop guidelines for the planning and implementation of DCS upgrade projects as well as validation, training and assistance with the implementation of reviewed and revised design procedures. We’ll also develop the total job cost.

Implementation

Our 10CFR50 Appendix B QA program enables us to develop and implement Design Change Packages (DCPs) and includes assistance with preparation of 10CFR50.59 safety evaluations. We’ve integrated our QA program with plant procedures so we can produce DCP deliverables in plant-specific formats.

Imperia has personnel whose expertise includes System Development Life Cycle (SDLC) processes related to design and implementation of DCS projects as well as V&V oversight, FAT/SAT and post-installation test procedures and Configuration Management plans.

We offer a complete range of independent review services as well training on development and implementation of design procedures. We also offer a global training program on digital control systems in nuclear plant applications. And our design and implementation generally includes consideration for spare parts, calibration, hot-swap or planned off-line maintenance, and the impact of maintenance intervals on system operability.

Installation

We offer post-installation testing support for digital control systems and component upgrade projects and we complete the process by offering comprehensive project close-out services that include compilation and review of documents, drawings, databases, etc., that are part of the client-specific design change processes.

Cyber Security

In nuclear facilities, many monitoring, control and protection systems are linked to digital networks that extend across the plant, performing safety, security and emergency preparedness functions. Protecting these critical digital assets from sabotage or malicious use is called cyber security. All power reactor facilities licensed by the NRC must have a cyber security program.

All nuclear power plants are required by 10CFR73, Section 54, “Protection of Digital Computer and Communication Systems and Networks” to protect digital computer and communications systems and networks performing the following categories of functions from those cyber attacks that would act to modify, destroy, or compromise the integrity or confidentiality of data and/or software; deny access to systems, services, and/or data’ and impact the operation of systems, networks, and associated equipment.

  • Safety-related and important-to safety functions
  • Security functions
  • Emergency preparedness functions, including offsite communications
  • Support systems and equipment which, if compromised, would adversely impact safety, security, or emergency preparedness functions

Imperia has the necessary experience to assist you in accomplishing this endeavor. Currently, we are working on PGE Diablo Canyon Power Plant’s cyber security implementation project. In addition, we have worked on several digital I&C projects, such as feedwater control, turbine control, reactor protection systems, Plant Process Computer (PPC) replacements, and Safety Parameter Display System (SPDS) replacements. We have extensive experience in the plant data network (PDN) design and emergency facility data systems.

The requirements set forth in 10CFR73.54 require the installation of a data diode to provide a deterministic boundary device between the PDN and the Plant “business network”. This addition may force changes to the existing systems that support plant engineering; emergency facilities (EOF and TSC); and the simulator.

Imperia’s cyber security experts are experienced and are aware of the current evaluation processes with regard to NEI 08-09, Revision 6, the newer NEI guidance in NEI-10-04, 10-08 and 10-09, as well as NRC Regulatory Guide 5.71 and NRC Regulatory Guide 1.152, Revision 2 and Revision 3 (draft).

Imperia can develop your cyber security program to be compliant to 10CFR73.54 regulation. For your cyber security program we can develop, implement, and maintain your:

  • Physical Protection Program
  • Cyber Security Controls
  • Defense-In-Depth Protective Strategies
  • Ongoing Monitoring and Assessment Program
  • Addition & Modification of Digital Assets
  • Attack Mitigation and Incident Response
  • Cyber Security Contingency Plan
  • Cyber Security Training and Awareness Program
  • Policies and Implementing Procedures
  • Roles and Responsibilities Matrix
  • Cyber Security Program Review Process
  • Document Control and Records Retention and Handling Program

Aging Management

Aging degradation and obsolescence of plant structures, systems, and components are two significant factors affecting plant reliability, a chief concern for energy companies.

Effective management of the effects of aging and obsolescence is a necessary requirement for maintaining plant reliability.

Imperia provides a diverse range of materials testing, condition assessment, engineering analysis, benchmarking, and training services designed to aid our clients with development and/or implementation of effective aging and obsolescence management programs with the following objectives:

  • Enhance structure, system, and component reliability and avoid significant component failures
  • Enhance generation reliability and cost reduction
  • Optimize outage time
  • Address specific regulatory concerns

We focus on the root cause of the problem and the most effective mitigation techniques to optimize aging degradation and obsolescence management programs.

FAC Manager

FAC Manager is the most advanced Flow Accelerated Corrosion (FAC) program management tool in North America.

What is FAC Manager?

FAC Manager is a web-based application providing data management and analytical functions to plant engineers enabling them to reduce the risk of piping failures in power generation facilities. This fully integrated platform has been designed by FAC engineers with years of experience. The web-based interface requires no local software installation and provides access from any computer with internet connectivity.

Benefits

The most obvious benefit of implementing FAC Manager is an immediate cost reduction of up to $275K per outage through inspections elimination or deferral. Additionally, FAC Manager’s streamlined processes and intuitive user interface minimize data entry and analysis time. Our software has proven to be the Industry leader in data management and inspection trending.

Other Benefits Include:

  • Efficient Program Management and Implementation
    • Streamlined inspection scope selection tools
    • Easy cyclical updates of Susceptibility and Risk Ranking data
    • Fast return-to-service decisions during outage
    • Reduced travel due to web access to all data
  • Low-Risk
    • Secure design to meet cybersecurity requirements
    • The largest FAC user community in the world, including over half the US nuclear fleet
    • In service since 1996 means over 20 years of field testing and experience
    • Rigorously tested and battle-driven through thousands of hours of use
  • Unmatched Ability to Share with Colleagues
    • FAC Manager is the only package specifically designed to help you collaborate and share information with peers at your utility
    • Dedicated link to FACnet to collaborate with over 200 FAC professionals world-wide
    • Share, track, and disposition FAC Operating Experience using our purpose-built OE Manager function
  • User-Approved Functionality and Support
    • Avoid double-entry of NDE data to trending tool and CHECWORKS™ SFA
    • Industry leading UT Analysis capability
    • Tcodemin calculator
    • Dedicated Inspection Scope Builder
    • Maintenance Package includes free updates, technical support, and annual user training
  • Competitive Pricing
    • Initial setup fee plus annual maintenance
    • Fleet and multi-site discounts available

Engineering Programs

Imperia’s Engineering Programs group provides a full spectrum of services to our clients. Our processes and management style leverage our diverse range of expertise and training to enable our team to deliver high value services ranging including initial program development, program assessments, cyclic program updates, inspection scope development and optimization, and many other services. We are aligned to support utilities and other industrial related companies with the following programs:

  • Flow Accelerated Corrosion (FAC)
  • Mechanical Erosion Programs
  • Underground Pipe and Tanks Integrity (UPTI)
  • Raw Water/Service Water
  • NRC GL89-13/Heat Exchanger
  • Microbiological Induced Corrosion (MIC)
  • 10CFR50 Appendix J
  • ASME O&M Code
  • Inservice Testing for Pumps and Valves (IST)
  • Risk Informed Inservice Testing
  • Snubbers
  • Check Valve Condition Monitoring
  • Air Operated Valves (AOV)
  • Motor Operated Valves (MOV)
  • ASME Section XI
  • InService Inspection (ISI)
  • Risk Informed Inservice Inspection
  • IWE/IWL Containment
  • Appendix J
  • Repair/Replacement
  • Coatings and Linings
  • Snubbers and Piping Supports
  • Welding Administration

Flow Accelerated Corrosion

Flow Accelerated Corrosion (FAC) is the dissolution of the normally protective oxide layer on the inside surface of carbon and low alloy steel piping. The iron oxides that naturally form on the exposed surface of the pipe are removed by mass transfer to the de-oxygenated water flowing over the pipe inside surface at elevated temperatures. This results in thinning of the pipe wall, which in turn can lead to leaks and potential catastrophic ruptures that adversely impact both personnel safety and plant reliability. The FAC process is influenced by several factors including, flow rate, pH, oxygen content, temperature and geometry of the piping system. There is a significant temperature and oxygen sensitivity. FAC is most severe at approximately 300oF—far below where many fossil plant piping programs investigate piping integrity. This phenomenon can also cause degradation of other plant equipment such as heater shells, tanks, and other vessels.

As the leading provider of FAC solutions, Imperia has provided FAC related engineering services to over 100 nuclear plants and over 150 fossil or combined cycle plants in the United States. Additionally, Imperia has provide the FAC services for several of the international Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs). Imperia has been involved in addressing FAC since it was first identified as a major issue in the late ’80s. Imperia offers a methodical approach. The objectives are to minimize cost to the utility and to help ensure that worn components do not escape detection. Imperia engineers understand the plant operations and work closely with plant personnel, soliciting input and valuable insights from system engineers, operations, maintenance and NDE personnel. Our approach and experience has enabled us to be successful in identifying locations of significant thinning.

Imperia offers a comprehensive approach to assist the utilities with mitigating FAC damage to the plant’s susceptible systems and components. We can show you how to measure the effectiveness of your FAC programs to assure plant safety and reliability.

To identify susceptible systems and components, Imperia uses a combination of analytical modeling software such as EPRI’s Fossil FAC Advisor™ or CHECUP™, our utility experience combined with engineering design-based staff, and our evaluation methodology.

Our approach is to assist the utilities with mitigating FAC damage to the plant’s susceptible systems and components. We can assist you how to measure the effectiveness of your FAC and Corrosion programs to assure plant safety and reliability. Imperia engineers understand the plant operations and work closely with plant personnel, soliciting input and valuable insights from system engineers, operations, maintenance and NDE personnel. Our approach and experience has enabled us to be successful in identifying locations of significant thinning.

To identify susceptible systems and components, Imperia uses a combination of analytical modeling software such as EPRI’s CHECWORKS™ or CHECUP™, our utility experience combined with engineering design-based staff, and our evaluation methodology. Within the framework of this approach, we offer the following services:

Imperia FAC Services include:

  • Plant FAC System Susceptibility Evaluation (SSE)
  • EPRI Fossil FAC Advisor modeling and model updates
  • EPRI CHECUP™ modeling and model updates
  • EPRI CHECWORKS™ Steam/Feedwater Application (SFA) modeling and model updates
  • Development of risk ranking methodology based on susceptibility and consequence of failure
  • Development of Susceptible Non-Modeled (SNM) programs
  • Experienced based evaluations of susceptible piping systems
  • Inspection location selection
  • On-site outage support for FAC activities including Ultrasonic Testing data analysis and component structural qualification, and remaining life evaluations
  • Structural qualification and remaining life predictions
  • Water chemistry studies / material improvement engineering
  • Self-assessments/independent reviews of existing FAC Programs

Mechanical Erosion

As the plant ages, there is a growing concern with the overall health of the plant piping and equipment. The license renewal/extension process is governed and informed by Generic Aging Lessons Learned (GALL) Report,” U.S. NRC NUREG-1801, Rev. 2, December 2010. “Draft License Renewal Interim Staff Guidance LR-ISG-2012-01 Wall Thinning Due to Erosion Mechanisms” revises Chapter XI.M17 of the GALL Report to emphasize the requirements for managing erosion mechanisms such as cavitation, flashing, droplet impingement, and solid particle impingement. This document further identifies erosion mechanisms as fundamentally different and requiring alternate analysis and tools. Erosion programs are required in order to maintain plants to be consistent with current licensing basis. This document identifies industry-wide operating experience as the driver for an erosion mechanism program development.

Erosion, as it applies to power plants, is defined as the removal of material by mechanical means. Due to its occurrence across a wide variety of plant systems, mechanical degradation has proven to be a serious problem. It has caused numerous instances of accelerated wall thinning, leaks, and significant ruptures resulting in unplanned shutdowns and repairs.

Imperia has set industry standards by developing first in kind programs for Erosion and Mechanical Degradation. We have developed the first in kind fleet-wide Erosion assessment and was the first industry consultant to develop an erosion program for a nuclear unit with our work on the Erosion in Piping and Components (EPC) Program.

Underground Pipe and Tanks Integrity (UPTI)

Underground and Buried piping and the effects of general and/or specialized corrosion create a hidden liability for commercial, industrial and all types of power generation facilities.

Using the latest industry standards, Imperia provides the programmatic and technical expertise necessary to determine the condition of our customers buried piping and provide cost effective solutions as needs arise. Imperia specializes in developing piping inspection, monitoring and maintenance programs to provide our customer with the tools he or she needs for maximizing piping system life.

Imperia’s Buried and Underground Piping and Tanks Integrity programmatic services includes:

  • BPWORKS™ Expertise
  • Program Management
  • Asset Management Plans
  • Condition Assessments
  • Inspection Location Selection
  • Program Assessments
  • Procedure Development.

Imperia personnel authored the EPRI documents “Balance of Plant Corrosion-The Underground Piping and Tanks Reference Guide” and EPRI’s “Guidance for the Development of Buried and Underground Piping and Tanks Asset Management Plans.” Imperia personnel were selected by EPRI to author these reports based on our breadth of knowledge in buried and underground pipe topics and expertise in Buried and Underground Pipe Engineering Program management.

For our nuclear customers, Imperia integrates its buried piping capabilities with its Life Cycle Management program abilities thus providing the necessary support to our customers seeking operating license extension.

We have provided services in all areas related to corrosion monitoring and mitigation, including predictive modeling using the EPRI CHEC™ family of codes, modeling and conversions, procedural review, independent assessment, root cause determination for all types of corrosion mechanisms, and the development of full engineering programs for many utilities. Our program related work has included analytical modeling, training, system susceptibility screening, procedure development, risk ranking, inspection data analysis, inspection point selection, specialty software development, and staff assistance in program implementation.

Raw Water/Service Water

Many of the nuclear and fossil plants have recognized the impact of raw water systems can have on overall plant reliability and performance. Both safety and non-safety related systems require a significant amount of mitigation, monitoring, and maintenance to prevent costs due to down powers and lost production, in addition to the regulatory requirements per NRC GL89-13 at the nuclear utilities. To make the task more difficult, raw water system designs, water chemistry, and local environmental restrictions vary widely from plant to plant so a “one size fits all” solution for plants is typically not feasible. Imperia personnel have collaborated with utility engineers to develop site specific algorithms to risk rank raw water and closed cycle cooling water systems. The resultant analysis identifies priority areas for inspection based on flow conditions, water chemistry, and physical configuration.

Our team has assisted EPRI in the development of the Service Water Piping Guidelines. Additionally, our staff developed and delivered the EPRI Service Water Piping Guidelines training program. Members of our staff have completed the required EPRI Service Water Engineer and Microbiological Corrosion training programs. Our senior staff includes several former utility and plant engineering program managers.

NRC GL89-13

Microbiological Induced Corrosion (MIC)

ASME O&M Code

Imperia’s staff possesses extensive experience in ASME OM Codes for managing periodic Inservice Testing (IST) of pumps and valves. Our team of professionals includes former utility IST Program Managers, and personnel active in Code activities and/or with systems and operations experience at all PWR and BWR designs. Our staff also includes certified SROs (PWR and BWR) that can ensure that actual system operating conditions, component functions and requirements are appropriately considered.

Imperia’s consultants are cognizant of relief requests that can reduce the scope of IST testing in areas such as containment spray pump testing, safety injection check valve testing, and skid mounted positions, to name a few. Our diverse knowledge and experience enables us to help clients establish an IST program that addresses the concerns of regulatory agencies as well as internal plant customers (e.g., systems engineering, operations, maintenance, etc.).

Imperia provides a full range of services in support of a utility’s Inservice Testing (IST) Program:

  • IST Program Plan Updates including:
  • Pump and Valve Tables/Descriptions
  • Deferred Test Justifications
  • Technical Positions
  • Relief Request Reviews and Development
  • IST Design Basis Reviews and Updates
  • Check Valve Condition Monitoring Program Updates/Development
  • IST Database Software Updates/Development
  • NRC/Licensing Interface
  • IST Testing Procedure Upgrades
  • IST Administrative Procedure Reviews
  • Operator/Staff Training

AOV/MOV’s

The nuclear industry’s “operating experience” has recognized the need for the development and sound implementation of both Motor Operated Valve (MOV) and Air Operated Valve (AOV) Programs. These programs have been recognized to improve plant availability through the process of validating design basis parameters and enhancement initiatives of maintenance practices. MOV Programs are regulatory enforced.

Imperia’s broad range of extensive AOV/MOV Program backgrounds combined with the relationship and knowledge that comes from working with numerous plant AOV/MOV Programs allows the Imperia team to bring the industry’s “lessons learned” and trends to your station’s AOV and MOV Program.

Imperia maintains a team of in-office and field valve engineers. These engineers may be called upon to support field personnel to address emergent valve issues as they arise. In this way, Imperia provides the best combination of both field and office engineering support to effectively meet and exceed our clients’ needs and budget expectations.

Imperia offers the following AOV/MOV program development and implementation services:

  • MOV/AOV Design Basis Calculations
  • System Design Basis Reviews
  • Procedure Development
  • Self or Third-Party Assessments
  • Margin Improvement Initiatives
  • Generic Letter 96-05 Periodic Verification Impact Response
  • Calculation Reconciliation (i.e. feedback of test data or new/revised industry data)

The Imperia Engineering Programs team specializes in the development and implementation of solutions to utility specific challenges. The combination of our experience and client-focus enable us to apply the best resources in the most efficient manner to achieve client success. In addition to supporting the operating nuclear utilities, Engineering Programs is designed to support the development of the required programs for the new build reactors. These programs are currently required based on regulatory requirements (NRC), ASME Code, or state/insurance requirements. Imperia provides services, software, and personnel to assist utilities extend the safe and reliable operation of their generation assets. Our success has been built on:

  • Experienced Staff
  • Industry Leadership
  • Effective Project Management
  • Strong Customer Relationships
  • Industry Leading Engineering Program Management Software

Experienced Staff

Imperia’s Engineering Programs Group staff is comprised of engineers with a wide range of experience and backgrounds. Included on our staff are former utility engineering program owners. Their experience and understanding of the utility needs and environment enable us to provide solutions that achieve technical, financial, political and regulatory success. Imperia’s World Class FAC engineering team has several experienced engineers with over 25 years’ of expertise within all the phases involved in the complex determination of wear, wear rates and remaining service life for the aging piping systems of both nuclear and fossil power plants.

Industry Leadership

Imperia provides technical and programmatic leadership to the nuclear and fossil industry. Many of our experts participate in ASME, NACE International, and INPO committees and working groups. Through our participation in industry forums and our work in developing industry leading engineering program process and tools, Imperia provides our clients with the most effective and cost efficient approaches to their engineering program related problems. Our experts have authored or contributed to multiple industry leading documents including EPRI, ASME, NACE International, and INPO reports and position papers.

Effective Project Management

Imperia offers solutions to mitigate the exorbitant costs associated with the implementation of Engineering Programs. We offer former utility engineers and highly trained and experienced analytical engineers with proven solutions. We recognize the wide range of plant designs and operating histories requires flexibility and creativity in solution development. Our staff of industry-leading expert’s partner with utility personnel to design and implement innovative solutions customized to each unique situation.

Strong Customer Relations

Our personnel provide a wide spectrum of services to assist our clients in their program implementation and updates by optimizing state of the art analysis. The Imperia Engineering Programs team specializes in the development and implementation of solutions to utility specific challenges. The combination of our experience and client-focus enable us to apply the best resources in the most efficient manner to achieve client success.

Program Management Software

We provide the industry leading engineering program management software to allow our clients to efficiently manage the enormous amount of data required in today’s engineering corrosion programs. FAC Manager is the flagship software utilized in both domestic and international FAC programs. With almost 20 years of field experience, FAC Manager is the best known and most widely-used FAC analysis tool in the US with over half of the U.S. nuclear fleet using FAC Manager today.

Technical Training

On-Site Training

Imperia is a nationally recognized engineering firm of highly skilled professionals and has been providing services to the utility and commercial industries since the mid-eighties.

Due to our vast experience in a variety of areas, we are able to bring the knowledge and skills to you. As your success depends on your ability to address day to day problems and issues, Imperia offers a number of in plant courses in our core areas that were developed for the plant engineer, technician, operations, or maintenance individual. These courses are designed to provide you the skills and knowledge needed to become more effective in your job. Some of the classes being offered are described below.

Protective Coatings Training

Imperia offers a three-day comprehensive protective coatings training course intended for personnel assigned technical responsibility for the plant’s protective coatings and linings program. It is equally useful to personnel with job responsibilities associated with specification, application, and inspection of protective coatings in the plant. This course also can be used to support certification as a Protective Coating Inspector to the requirements of ASTM D 4537. In addition to addressing protective coating basics, the training is customized to address the requirements of the respective power plant by integrating an applicable plant-specific safety- related coating specification and safety-related coating application procedure into the training.

Digital Engineering Fundamentals

These courses provide students with an overview of digital engineering fundamental knowledge:

  • Life Cycle Process Overview (4 hrs)
  • Platform Technology (4 hrs)
  • Human Factors Engineering Fundamentals (4 hrs)
  • Application Support Concepts (4 hrs)
  • V&V / Testing Concepts (4 hrs)
  • Network Technologies (10 hrs)

Digital Instrumentation Fundamentals

This one-day course, designed for engineers with an understanding of analog control systems provides students with an overview of the knowledge necessary to upgrade analog control systems to digital control systems. This course reviews the difference between analog and digital systems, as well as outlining the benefits and concerned associated with changing from an analog control system to a digital control system.

Flow Accelerated Corrosion

Imperia offers a range of training options from single day introductory/overview courses to five day in-depth workshops. Imperia also offers programs customized to meet a client’s specific needs. Our instructors are recognized as industry experts and have provided FAC training for multiple domestic and international utilities.

Our FAC training offerings include:

  • Introduction to Flow Accelerated Corrosion (Non-Program Owner) – 1 Day
  • Introduction to FAC and CHECWORKS™ SFA – 3 Days
  • Advanced CHECWORKS™ SFA and Program Implementation – 3 Day
  • Advanced FAC Program Owner Training – 5 Day
  • Introduction to FAC Manager

Erosion Program Training

Imperia offers training programs for personnel involved in Erosion/Mechanical Degradation programs. Our offerings range from single day introductory/overview courses to five day in-depth workshops In-depth programs utilize EPRI’s CHECWORKS™ SFA erosion functionality and introduce the FAC Manager Erosion Bundle. Imperia also offers training programs customized to meet a client’s specific needs.

Our Erosion/Mechanical Degradation training offerings include:

  • Introduction to Erosion/Mechanical Degradation (Non-Program Owner) – 1 Day
  • Introduction to Erosion and CHECWORKS™ SFA – 3 Days
  • Advanced CHECWORKS™ SFA and Erosion Program Implementation – 3 Day
  • Advanced Erosion and FAC Program Integration Training – 5 Day

Failure Analysis

This course, geared toward System, Component, and Design Engineers, provides the basic concepts of component failure analysis, supplemented with case studies and samples of actual failures. Included is a description of how to recognize degradation mechanisms, indicators, and stressors as well as fundamentals of analytical techniques. These failure analysis concepts provide a foundation for failure prevention strategies.

DC Systems

DC power is essential to the operation of utility substations and generating plants. DC power is supplied to microprocessor based relays, SCADA RTUs, indicating lights, auxiliary relays, interposing relays, circuit breaker trip coils, circuit breaker closing coils, and circuit breaker charging motors, motor operated valves, emergency pumps, annunciators, and other components. This course is designed to demonstrate the process used to size lead acid batteries and battery chargers. This course includes evaluating DC load profiles and DC system performance during normal system operation, during loss of AC conditions, and during design base conditions with and without concurrent AC system events.

Course Outline (1-day course)

  1. Introduction
  2. Stationary Batteries
  • Flooded Cell
  • Valve Regulated
  1. Battery and System Voltage
  • Normal (float operation, normal battery voltage)
  • Discharge (low voltage, minimum battery voltage)
  • Equalize (high voltage, maximum battery voltage)
  • System Voltage
  1. Battery Load
  • Continuous Loads
  • Non-continuous Loads
  • Momentary Loads
  • Defined Loads
  • Random Loads
  1. Battery Load Profile
  2. Battery Sizing Calculation
  3. Battery Chargers
  4. Battery Charger Sizing Calculation
  5. Fuse Ratings
  6. Load Characteristics
  • Microprocessor Based Relays
  • Lockout Relays
  • Circuit Breaker Trip Coils
  • Circuit Breaker Charging Motors
  1. DC System Performance
  • Normal Conditions, Battery in Float
  • Momentary Load, Battery almost Fully Discharged (Low Voltage)
  • Continuous Load, Battery Charger in Equalize Mode (High Voltage)

Protective Relaying for Power System Protection

Protective relaying is essential to the continued operation of electric transmission systems. This three day course focuses on protection of electrical transmission systems and components vital to the continued operation of the integrated power grid. The course will include perspectives gained from working with a wide variety of clients throughout the United States, including investor owned utilities, independent power providers, regional transmission operators, and equipment suppliers.

Course Outline:

  1. Introduction
  2. Basic Electrical Theory and Abnormal System Conditions
  3. Instrument Transformers
  4. Protection Fundamentals
  5. Protective Relaying Applications
  6. Case Studies – Discussion of Significant Events

Motor Theory and Applications

Motors are used in numerous applications in power plants and industrial facilities. This course presents material applicable to induction motors, synchronous motors, DC motors, and variable frequency drives. This includes basic electrical theory, such as equivalent circuits, and practical application data, such as breakdown torque.

Materials Consulting/Failure Analysis

Materials Science and Engineering Center (MS&EC) for Energy

Since 1986, Imperia’s materials expertise in the Energy Sector has supported customers in Industrial/Institutional, Nuclear Power, Oil & Gas, Power Generation, Power Delivery and Renewable services.

Our interdisciplinary team of engineers, scientists, and technical specialists matched with a top-notch laboratory provides us with unique capabilities that go beyond standard laboratory analyses in order to tackle challenging problems. The MS&EC team holds expertise in metallography, chemistry, polymer science, mechanical & electrical assessments and more.

The Materials Science and Engineering Center laboratory services lead failure investigations, root cause development, support process and materials changes, vendor changes, manufacturing outsourcing and product quality. Our services provide valuable advice for design, qualification, failure mitigation and prevention such as modifications, materials selection, operations, maintenance, or environment. Imperia’s technical services are compliant with 10CFR 50 Appendix B.

Our MS&EC services include:

  • Failure Analysis
  • Testing and Simulations
  • Product Development Support
  • Radioactive Materials Handling
  • Materials Consulting
  • Corrosion/Degradation Assessments
  • Mechanical Testing

Failure Analysis

The MS&EC offers high end analysis and laboratory based testing services that focus on performing investigations and solving problems for our clients.  We emphasize a methodical approach that focuses on root cause analysis. Failure Analysis requires broad-based engineering skills, fundamental materials knowledge, forensic experience, and scientific objectivity. With our integrated engineering and laboratory capabilities, we offer a uniquely large expertise. Our team understands the necessity of a timely and responsive result to support tight deadlines and crisis management.

Where radioactive materials are utilized, the MS&EC is licensed to handle radioactively contaminated samples.

Testing and Simulations

Testing with custom made mock-up simulations are often used to solve complex engineering problems or to assess a material, system, structure or component.  This can be performed on-site or executed in the MS&EC laboratory. Our testing and analysis laboratory allows us to perform a wide range of laboratory testing including:

  • Customer setups
  • Prototype testing
  • Accelerated aging
  • Laboratory Investigations on a Wide Range of Materials—metals, polymers, bio-materials, composites, glass and ceramics, coatings, lubricants

Product Development Support

Designing or redesigning a product requires a thorough understanding of materials, components, and systems. Our experience with failure mechanisms for a multitude of products and materials in various industries gives our clients the edge to successfully develop their next product.  Whether the product is a critical spacecraft component or a toaster oven, safety, reliability, function and cost containment are critical issues designers and manufacturers must face. Our engineering and laboratory-based analytical tools allow us to effectively investigate these issues, provide independent assessments, appropriately simulate the product life cycle and develop focused recommendations. We offer:

  • Custom setups and prototype testing
  • Analysis of product failures or degradation
  • Design of experiments for robust evaluations
  • Comparative product analysis and testing
  • Material selection, evaluation of components and systems
  • Development of quality control setups and prototype testing
  • Finite element stress, functionality, and system analyses
  • Material  and  product qualification
  • Complete design consulting services

Radioactive Materials Handling

Imperia’s Radioactive Materials Lab allows us to offer the full services of Imperia Laboratories to projects involving radioactive material. We are able to examine, test, analyze and investigate radioactive samples without requiring prior decontamination that could alter materials or remove evidence valuable to the analysis.

Materials Consulting

Decisions in the area of materials selection, usage, and processing are impacted by design, technical, and economic factors.  In order to be genuinely effective with these materials it is necessary to consider all of the components which affect your business.  Imperia has the experience, staff, and tools needed to help you make optimal materials decisions and to put your team on the path to better decision making.

We deliver the right combination of our strong, well-rounded engineering and scientific team together in the work we provide for our clients. A critical component of our problem-solving ability is our internal laboratory that allows us to integrate the material, design, and operational aspects of a problem, as well as to conduct testing and simulations.

Imperia brings to bear:

  • A diverse range of experience in corrosion engineering and materials degradation, relying upon on-site field services and laboratory investigations.
  • Broad-based engineering skills, integrated with materials knowledge and forensic techniques.
  • A strong foundation in materials: ferrous and nonferrous metals, concrete, ceramics, elastomers, polymers, coatings, and lubricants.
  • Testing components and materials during the design phase to avoid costly and time-consuming operational or product failures.
  • Training and educating our clients in materials-related subjects, including corrosion, material selection, reliability improvement, aging assessments, and failure prevention.

Corrosion/Degradation Assessments

From failure analysis to materials selection, Imperia provides a diverse range of corrosion engineering and testing services. Imperia’s electrochemical capabilities enable the performance of tests such as polarization resistance, cyclic polarization, potentio-dynamic polarization, and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy under a wide range of environmental conditions.

Corrosion problems are a fundamental issue across all industries. Imperia’s extensive capabilities include:

  • Electrochemical testing capabilities enabling the performance of tests under a wide range of environment conditions
  • Customized tests to simulate process or field conditions
  • Pilot scale or in-service studies for on-site evaluations.

Mechanical Testing

Imperia has the ability to develop fully customized fixtures for the evaluation of standard or non-standard samples and component testing. We have extensive experience in evaluating various sized and non-standardized prototypes, samples and components, designing unique customized tests with computer control and data acquisition, monitoring in-progress testing with details playback, and performing testing under a controlled temperature using an environmental chamber. Our mechanical testing capabilities include tensile, compression, bending, peel, burst, stress relaxation, fatigue, hardness testing and more.

Selected Analytical Tools

We have unmatched experience in condition and aging assessment, life extension, and materials testing and evaluation using tools such as:

  • Metallography
  • Polymer thermal and mechanical analysis
  • Mechanical testing (low and high temperatures)
  • Corrosion analysis and testing
  • Electrical testing
  • Scanning electron microscopy (SEM)
  • Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS) analysis
  • Optical microscopy
  • Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy
  • Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC)
  • Chemical analysis
  • Hardness and microhardness testing
  • Polymer characterization & testing
  • Product performance testing
  • Specialized test fixtures
  • Thermal aging

Staff Materials Expertise

  • Materials selection and engineering
  • Failure analysis
  • Corrosion engineering
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Adhesives
  • Formulation
  • Research and Development
  • Intellectual Property
  • Mechanical testing
  • Electrical insulation materials
  • Coatings
  • Stress analysis
  • Fracture mechanics
  • Fractography
  • Material and component degradation
  • Electrical components