Aqueous system for nuclear parts cleaning

16 November 2017

Paul Fabrications has for a long time used both aqueous and solvent systems to wash machined, pressed and fabricated stainless steel components for its customer, Springfields Fuels Limited.

Paul Fabrications dispensed with solvent cleaning of nuclear components at the beginning of 2017, replacing it with a Turbex Pro 550 aqueous ultrasonic cleaning system.

The four-stage line is devoted to washing and drying all the nuclear components that support and hold the stainless steel tubes containing uranium fuel pellets in the core of advanced gas reactors in the UK.

The primary wash stage, which contains water and detergent at 60°C, is equipped with an oil skimmer and a dual frequency ultrasonic transducer that provides ultra-fine, high precision cleaning performance. The next tank, also ultrasonic, holds tap water at ambient temperature for a secondary wash, while the third, rinse stage contains demineralised water at 60°C. The last stage is a blow drying oven set at 120°C.

On receipt of the components and fabrications, Springfields Fuels visually inspects 20 per cent under magnification for cleanliness and also carries out dimensional checks to ensure that the drawing tolerances have been achieved.