AP1000 pump passes qualification tests

17 April 2012

The qualification testing of the reactor coolant pump (RCP) for the first Westinghouse AP1000 reactor, under construction in China, has been successfully completed in the USA. The first two such pumps will now be shipped to the construction site for installation.

 AP1000 pump (Curtiss-Wright)
Each AP1000 will use four of the massive pumps (Image: Curtiss-Wright)

The main pumps circulate the reactor coolant through the core, loop piping and steam generators. Each AP1000 employs four reactor coolant pumps, each almost seven metres tall and 1.5 metres wide and weighing some 91 tonnes.

Engineering company Curtiss-Wright, which manufactured the first such pump, performed the part's qualification at its Flow Control business segment's Electro-Mechanical Division (EMD) facility in Cheswick, Pennsylvania. The testing procedure included 50 service cycles and more than 500 total operating hours. The successful completion of the testing clears the way for installation of the pumps at the first of two AP1000 units under construction at Sanmen in China's Zhejiang province. Westinghouse said that the shipment of the first two RCPs for Sanmen 1 is will take place by the end of June.

Westinghouse is currently constructing four AP1000 units in China - two each at Sanmen and Haiyang in Shandong province. Curtiss-Wright was awarded a contract in 2007 by Westinghouse to produce 16 RCPs for the four Chinese units. These are to be produced at its expanded EMD facility in Cheswick.

Wang Binghua, chairman of China's State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation (SNPTC), said that the successful completion of the RCP qualification test has demonstrated that SNPTC, Westinghouse and Curtiss-Wright/EMD "have jointly overcome the challenges with the AP1000 RCPs, which are among the most critical components of the AP1000 design." He added, "We expect that the successful delivery of the RCPs will ensure that China’s first AP1000 unit at Sanmen will go online as projected in 2013."

In addition to the four AP1000s under construction in China, four more are being built in the USA: two at the Vogtle site in Georgia and two at VC Summer in South Carolina.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News