13ft Emergency Hatch Door for Nuclear Containment Structures

The Challenge

A nuclear power plant operator came to MRD, Inc. with the design challenge of providing a quick install emergency bulkhead into the reactor containment vessel missile wall to be used during outages in the event the reactor showed signs of instability or boiling. The containment vessel opening was roughly 13 feet in diameter and was not completely round as the top and dbottom were flat to allow for supply vehicles to move critical maintenance components into the vessel.

We also had to devise a quick restraint system to account for back-pressure loading the bulkhead could see while installed (pressure due to reactor instability) and to prevent the uncontrolled release of radioactive elements after installation.

MRD, Inc. utilized their experienced engineering team and extensive design tool portfolio of solids CAD, proficient weld designers, and FEA analysis to put together a working model specification. MRD, Inc. worked with the plant operators and their engineers to determine a suitable and allowable installation procedure accepted, kicking off fabrication.

MRD, Inc. designed a quick adjustable restraint frame that eventually would bear on existing infrastructure around the reactor vessel entrance. Angle pads were used to bear on entrance corners to transmit pressure bearing load to the structure.

MRD, Inc. utilized its resources to machine and weld the bulkhead out of 6061-T6 plate and bar. In-stock high strength Sealfast® Inflatable seals were chosen to conform to the rough concrete wall surfaces and carbon steel base frame.

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