BRUSSELS – Westinghouse Electric Company announced that it has successfully completed the installation of a fully passive containment filtered venting system (PCFVS) at the Nuklearna Elektrarna Krško (NEK) Nuclear Power Plant located in Slovenia. This system enhances safety in the area of severe accident management and was required by the Slovenian Nuclear Safety Administration (SNSA) following the March 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station accident in Japan.
The PFCVS mainly consists of five aerosol filters inside containment, and an iodine filter inside the auxiliary building and various auxiliary components (such as valves and rupture disks) to ensure its fully passive operation during more than 72 hours. The PFCVS provides a significant reduction in the amount of radioactive materials that could be released if a Fukushima-type of accident were to occur, reducing the impact that such an accident could have on the surrounding communities.
Krško is the first European nuclear power plant to install this passive system following the Fukushima accident, showing a clear commitment to safety and nuclear industry recommendations. The first-of-a-kind design and installation was successfully completed in 15 months, allowing the power plant to rely on a compact and modular dry metal fiber filter to capture the aerosols instead of using a large water tank that other vent designs utilize. This innovative approach allows for significant flexibility on where the filter can be installed, and at Krško, part of the filter was installed in the containment building.
Factory acceptance tests performed on the installed filters positively surpassed levels required by regulatory authorities and by Krško. Installation of the system was started during normal operation of the plant for the components located inside auxiliary building, including the new plant stack anchored on the reactor building. Installation of the equipment inside the reactor building, including closing of the containment penetration, did not impact the outage's critical path.
"Our customers clearly recognize the cost and technology advantage of our dry-filtered method of containment venting since we are currently under contract for seven other units around the world," said Javier González, Westinghouse vice president and managing director, Southern Europe. "Since the design is modular, lead times can be much less than for other systems that require the construction of additional buildings."
The dry filter vent system that Westinghouse offers is the only maintenance-free system that does not require any auxiliary systems for chemistry control, heating, draining, and the like. The system is fully passive and does not require any external electric or other power sources during standby or in operational mode. Due to the system's modular design, plants can install the system in existing buildings.
Westinghouse has been steadily providing the Krško Nuclear Power Plant with myriad products and services ever since the Westinghouse-designed pressurized water reactor entered commercial operation at the beginning of 1983. More recently in 2012, Westinghouse was awarded contracts to provide this passive containment filtered venting system and a passive autocatalytic recombiner hydrogen-control system, which was successfully installed in October 2013.
Westinghouse Electric Company, a group company of Toshiba Corporation (TKY:6502), is the world's pioneering nuclear energy company and is a leading supplier of nuclear plant products and technologies to utilities throughout the world. Westinghouse supplied the world's first pressurized water reactor in 1957 in Shippingport, Pa., U.S. Today, Westinghouse technology is the basis for approximately one-half of the world's operating nuclear plants, including more than 50 percent of those in Europe.
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