Heat exchange equipment for nuclear power plants: current standards and procurement specifics

Heat exchange equipment for nuclear power plants: current standards and procurement specifics

NPP heat exchange equipment is part of the auxiliary equipment. With its help, heat is transferred between the circuits of the nuclear power plant. The pipe system is a coil with many entries and a complex design. It is a mandatory part of the station’s security system. In the event of an accident, the NPP heat exchange equipment will remove residual heat, cooling the reactor. Such equipment must withstand seismic shocks up to 8 points.

Main types of NPP heat exchange equipment

Thermal equipment is designed for heating, cooling and evaporation of liquids. Depending on the type of reactor and the coolant used, the design of the equipment can change dramatically. The system consists of one, two or three working circuits.

In its simplest form, the turbine equipment of a nuclear power plant separates thermal energy from the reactor and converts it from thermal to mechanical energy. More complex thermal schemes for two and three-loop systems with water reactors. Today it is the most common type of nuclear power plant.

Standard NPP heat exchange equipment includes:

Condensers are pipes with circulating water for cooling.
A steam generator is a container with boiling water, the steam from which is supplied to the turbine.
A heat exchanger is an intermediate circuit through which heat is transferred through the system.

The management of NPP equipment for heat transfer involves the planning and connection of pumping stations to almost every compartment of the structure. The devices are made of stainless steel, titanium and copper.

Problems and operation of NPP equipment today

The economic costs of NPP maintenance partly depend on the technical condition, wear and performance of heat exchange equipment. In practice, the system consists of hundreds of meters of pipes. The failure of one unit leads to millions in losses, up to emergency downtime.

Most often, malfunctions are caused by malfunctions in the start-up of mothballed equipment: corrosion of the steam generator, depressurization of heat exchange pipes, emergency failures.

NPP equipment management includes:

Compliance with the technological regime.
Maintenance and repair.
Replacement and modernization of capacities.
Forecasting scheduled repairs based on the actual technical condition of components.

It follows that the demand for maintenance, diagnostics of thermal and turbine equipment of nuclear power plants is steadily growing. The demand for new producers is also increasing. Dozens of tenders for domestic and foreign nuclear power plants are published annually.


Modern heat exchange equipment is highly turbulent, compact, and takes up little space. Literally 20 years ago, the Swedish company Alfa Laval was considered a monopolist in this area. But today the situation has changed and Russian suppliers have entered the market.

Over the past 2 years:

Uralkhimmash signed an agreement on the sale of heat exchangers for the Indian station Kudankulam.
Atomenergomash supplies thermal equipment as part of the Chukotka floating energy carriers project worth a trillion rubles.
The Finnish nuclear power plant Hanhikivi uses Russian heat exchangers.

To participate as a supplier of equipment at NPPs, plants or representative firms should register in the Rosatom Procurement system. An obligatory step is to pass a check on the site. Further, the participation procedure differs from each individual project.

Manufacturers of turbine and thermal equipment

New and experienced supply chain participants in the energy complex may face similar challenges. In addition to the customer’s technical assignment, which specifies the exact time for sending the equipment and the total amount, it often includes formal, permitting and documentary requirements.

When supplying NPP heat exchange or turbine equipment, the contractor must:

Develop design and technological documents.
Carry out testing and testing of equipment in the order established by the buyer.
Comply with the requirements for materials, equipment and other characteristics stated in the assignment.
Provide accompanying documentation along with the shipped equipment.

The TD-Group team is ready to provide advisory services at any stage of equipment production: certification, testing, adherence to quality plan programs. We adapt production to the current norms of Russian legislation. We conduct an audit, develop technical documentation.

We are ready to train your employees to participate and register in procurement for nuclear power plants. We have developed 4 types of courses aimed at managers, specialized specialists and product manufacturers. If desired, we will develop an individual course with a detailed analysis of a specific direction. Options for training in full-time and online modes.

You will find a lot of useful information on the topic of nuclear energy and work in this area in our blog, and also follow our news.

We also want to draw your attention to the fact that we train specialists and conduct trainings in the following areas: «Nuclear energy market», «Requirements for suppliers», «Employees and their knowledge», «Conformity assessment», and much more, you will find more detailed information in our academy.

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Tags: TD Group Company, Technical Decision Group, EOS-Quality, nuclear power plants, heat exchange equipment for nuclear power plants, NPP heat exchange equipment