New Application for Proven Technology

Diagram of Passive Autocatalytic RecombinerNo matter the type of nuclear facility, management of hydrogen gas is crucial to safe operation. Framatome has extensive experience using passive autocatalytic recombiners (PARs) as a solution to the industry challenge of hydrogen management, installing over 160 PARs in commercial power plants. There, the PARs are used as a preventive measure, set to remove hydrogen from the containment of a nuclear plant after a potential accident.

Now Framatome U.S. Government Solutions (FUSGS) will deploy this technology in a new way at a United States Department of Energy site, designing, developing, and supplying three PARs for the purpose of depleting hydrogen generated in waste storage tanks. The PARs will be installed and tested inside the tanks to provide a possible long-term and cost-effective hydrogen depletion solution.

Technical experts from both Framatome and the federal site teamed up to further develop existing processes that fulfill necessary requirements for gas elimination that keeps concentrations below safety thresholds. Since the PARs will be installed inside a unique tank atmosphere, they will be equipped with hydrogen test gas lines and temperature instrumentation to allow for remote functional testing, as specified by the site.

Requiring no operator action, the PARs passively deplete ambient hydrogen based on the catalytic reaction of oxygen and hydrogen, with thin-plate technology that allows for fast startup of that reaction. Once the PARs achieve successful completion of long-term testing, the site will be able to duplicate the installation in other waste tanks and benefit from significant cost savings on compliant products.

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