ClydeUnion Pumps and GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy Convene Utilities to Witness Important Test
Five utilities companies were united this February by ClydeUnion Pumps (an SPX brand) and GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) to witness the successful submergence tests of the CUP-TWL. A turbine-driven safety pump, the CUP-TWL offers significant safety advantages for both Pressurized Water Reactors (PWRs) and Boiling Water Reactors (BWRs).
Each of the two submergence tests were conducted over an eight-period in Glasgow, UK, in a purpose built tank to simulate flood conditions at SPX’s 76,000 sqm facility. The tests successfully proved that a hot running pump is capable of running under simulated flooding conditions for a full test period without sacrificing performance or damaging to the pump.
"The CUP-TWL is already established as an excellent safety related pumping solution due to its ability to function without the need for external services such as lubricating oil and AC/DC power. The results of these tests leave little doubt that this type of cooling pump is capable of enhancing nuclear reactor safety in that, in the rare event where the pump may become flooded, it is specifically designed to continue to work submerged," says Ranald Patrick, Chief Engineer for SPX's ClydeUnion Pumps.
The CUP-TWL was initially flooded with cold water to simulate design steam conditions; while submerged, the pump underwent a series of performance tests and an emergency stop/start. The unit continued to operate as the tank was drained, allowing the pump temperature to stabilize with a steam supply of 290°C (554°F) before being again flooding the tank with cold water. A second performance test consisted of submerged operation for eight hours without reduction in performance or pump integrity.
"Enhancing reactor safety is a priority for GE Hitachi and the entire industry. We were very pleased with the results of the submergence tests with the ClydeUnion Pumps CUP-TWL," says Richard Rossi, GEH's VP for Asset Management. "GEH is currently offering this safety enhancement to several customers, as part of our Alternate Cooling Injection System, to improve submerged startup and operating capability."