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Latest News Foreign Material Exclusion in the Nuclear Industry
Foreign Material Exclusion in the Nuclear Industry

Foreign Material Exclusion in the Nuclear Industry

Foreign Material Exclusion (FME) is the process of preventing outside debris into an area or areas where that debris poses an economic risk or safety hazard. FME is practiced across the nuclear power generation community to increase nuclear safety and reduce power plant down time.  


Nuclear Power Plants in the USA conduct maintenance on their Nuclear Reactors every 12-18 months during planned shutdowns (or outages) in the Fall or Spring seasons. During routine maintenance, Foreign Material Exclusion (FME) programs are used to prevent debris and foreign objects from entering components such as nuclear power generators. Preventing foreign debris is important in nuclear power plants because the presence of debris can cause outages, damage equipment, and increase the risk of worker injuries. 


Airport and airline operations utilize the same concepts to keep airfields clean and prevent debris from entering vital aircraft components. During construction projects, overhead workers employ FME procedures and equipment to protect those employees working below them. 

FME nuclear EDM machines are used to create (FME) holes in pipes throughout the nuclear power plant for the installation of vent valves and other components.  The holes are a critical factor in the operation of nuclear reactors because they alleviate gas accumulation that causes an interruption of water flow through the pipes. 


Outdated nuclear processes use a power drill hole saw to drill the holes, which must then be vacuumed to remove burrs and metal debris that can damage nuclear fuel rods. It is important to have a portable Nuclear EDM Machine that provides a clean, burr-free solution and delivers precise drilling with efficient, water-based cleanup.   

Heavy-duty nylon covers are some of the most frequently used covers in Foreign Material Exclusion. These standard nylon FME covers provide a cost-effective way to prevent foreign material intrusions. Patent pending vented FME covers allow pressurized systems to be covered more safely than with non-vented covers. Nylon FME barriers of all sizes are a convenient way to maintain foreign material control. 


FME tarps help ensure that machines and parts that are important, sensitive or valuable do not get contaminated or damaged by foreign objects. This often involves extremely tight tolerances and precise measurements. 


Reef Industries, Inc. offers numerous fire retardant materials to meet environmental compliance or safety requirements for critical equipment and work areas. From lightweight to heavy-duty products, Reef Industries can meet your requirements with a fire-retardant cover material specifically tailored to your application. All fire retardant covers are fire rated and pass NFPA 701 Large Scale "Standard Methods of Fire Tests for Flame-Resistant Textiles and Films" and most have Class I / Class A Flame Spread rating per UBC-42 and ASTM E-84.