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Monday, April 24, 2006

Hydrogen cooled redux

Overtime on Sunday is usually pretty easy money. Yesterday however I earned it :) Unit 1 generator was ready to fill with hydrogen, so I started with that. While that was in progress a number of other jobs came up. I noticed a 5-10 gallon oil spill in the steam turbine containment - quite a bit of oil having seeped out of the explosion doors, so I sopped that up with absorbents, located some detergent, and washed it down.

The circulating water system repairs had cured (some two-part painting on a couple of corroded spots) was completed, so I closed the manway doors, and we filled it with water to see if the doors would leak.

I did the final walkdown and closed up the Unit 1 inlet plenum (where I'm squatting in one of the previous posts). This is one place where it's critical to find any loose items... a nut or bolt can get sucked into the engine's compressor, wreaking all kinds of havoc. There are 17 stages of rotating blades, all machined to 1/1000 inch tolerances. They spin 60 rotations/second. If anything besides air goes through, it can bounce around and batter the blades, knocking pieces of them off, creating a cascading effect that eventually leads to a rotor that looks like a well-gnawed corn cob.

Anyway, I found a small piece of welding slag from some repairs that were done on the inlet duct. I don't *think* it would have caused a catastrophic failure, but it wouldn't have done the blading any good. The airfoils are computer designed and machined, so they don't need any random dings.

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