Nuclear Plant Feedwater Heater Replacement

Barnhart utilized its engineering and rigging expertise in the recent removal and replacement of two feedwater heaters at nuclear power station in the Midwest US. The power plant feedwater heaters are being replaced to extend the plant's operating life by an additional 20 years beyond the currently scheduled closing date of 2013, pending approval of a license renewal application by the NRC.

As part of the replacement program, Barnhart Crane was contracted by the manufacturer of the heat exchanger to remove two 25-ton heaters. The difficulty of the job was due to location of the units and the plant's area floor not being designed to accommodate such heavy loads. The removal and replacement was further complicated by tight spaces between existing structures within the plant.

Barnhart provided complete technical review of the plant structural steel, developed shoring details and load path reinforcement to facilitate the move of the heaters. The work of moving the heaters was accomplished by utilizing a custom hydraulic slide system that is easily handled by two men in the restricted areas of operating plants. In addition, Barnhart provided other custom rigging gear to lift the heaters with low overhead clearance, rotate the heaters during sliding operations and jack the units out and into position.

All of the work was performed as part of the plant's refueling outage and Barnhart successfully planned and managed the operation to meet the aggressive critical path schedule.

Equipment Used in this Project