Westinghouse develops emergency spent fuel pool cooling system

Pittsburgh, May 25, 2011 – Westinghouse Electric Co. developed an emergency fuel pool cooling system to keep spent nuclear fuel cool in emergency situations, including the loss of all plant power.

The system consists of a permanently installed “primary” cooling loop located inside the reactor building or spent fuel pool building, and a mobile “secondary” cooling loop. The secondary cooling loop is stored off-site and then located outside the nuclear reactor building for either emergency or pre-planned use.

This approach reduces the time required for system assembly and startup, which is especially important during emergency situations, and eliminates the need to enter the reactor building.

The EFPCS includes mobile diesel generators, air compressors, switchgear and other support equipment required to operate this stand-alone system.

The Westinghouse EFPCS is designed primarily to be a stand-alone backup system for the removal of decay heat from the spent fuel pool during site emergencies when off-site electrical power or emergency diesel power is not available. The system also allows for the addition of makeup water so that safe SFP water levels are maintained.

Design features of the Westinghouse EFPCS include: seismic requirements, environmental release limits, fuel pool temperature limits, supplemental cooling mode, remote operating interface, independent diesel power and SFP keep-fill system.

In addition to supporting plants during emergency situations, the Westinghouse EFPCS can be operated in the temporary cooling mode during refueling outage.

This mode is similar to Westinghouse’s patented temporary fuel pool cooling system. Operation of this system during refueling outages can reduce fuel movement delays (based on SFP decay heat) and improve refuel floor working conditions by reducing SFP temperatures.

Westinghouse, a group company of Toshiba Corp., is a global nuclear energy company and a supplier of nuclear plant products and technologies to utilities throughout the world. Westinghouse technology is the basis for about one-half of the world’s operating nuclear plants, including 60 percent of those in the United States.

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