Starting in 2009, Alden has been working with a confidential nuclear power facility to determine the feasibility of monitoring cooling water intake flow rate. The work began with a feasibility study of available equipment and/or techniques that can be used to monitor the intake flow rate. A comprehensive list of available technologies that can be used to monitor intake flows was developed, along with brief descriptions of each technology. The list of available technologies or methods that were generated was evaluated to determine those feasible for implementation at the facility. Detailed assessments of the technologies selected for further evaluation were then conducted and were provided along with listed advantages and disadvantages associated with implementation. Alden then recommended a technology believed to be best suited for use at the facility compared to the other technologies further evaluated.In support of the feasibility study conclusions,
Alden has conducted pump performance testing in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015. A total of 10 circulation water pumps have been tested using the dye dilution method to determine flow rate. By injecting a known amount of dye upstream, and allowing for sufficient mixing, the dye concentration downstream will yield the flow rate (mass balance calculation). The dye dilution testing was conducted to determine the actual circulating water flow rates at different pump speeds and tidal conditions in order to address environmental regulatory questions about water usage.