Westinghouse completes testing of squib valves

11 August 2010

Westinghouse says it has successfully completed the final design review and prototype testing of AP1000 squib valves, which will be used in the AP1000 reactor’s passive cooling system. Manufacturing of the valves has also begun.

Representatives from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and AP1000 utility customers were in attendance during the final design review.

Twelve highly specialized squib valves will be found in each AP1000 nuclear power plant. Squib valves are already used in aerospace and defence applications, for example, in aircraft ejector mechanisms, missile firing mechanisms, missile fuel supply systems and fire extinguishing systems.

In the case of the AP1000, the squib valves are actuated by a gunpowder charge to release primary coolant in case of an overpressurisation. The valves are charged so that they will still actuate in the absence of offsite power.

The AP1000 squib valves are being manufactured by US-based SPX Corporation. SPX said in February that a contract to supply ‘up to’ twelve AP1000 reactors, including for two reactors each at Sanmen and Shandong, would be worth $100 million.

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