Westinghouse Electric Company has developed an emergency fuel pool cooling system (EFPCS) 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 (SFP) building, and a mobile ‘secondary’ cooling loop. The secondary loop is stored off-site and then located outside the 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.

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

The development of the EFPCS comes in response to the events at Fukushima Daiichi unit 4 spent fuel pools where fires broke out and hydrogen explosions occurred following loss of power at the site.

“Recent industry events have placed increased focus on the need to be prepared for every contingency,” said Nick Liparulo, senior vice president, Westinghouse Nuclear Services. “We are extremely pleased that we could apply our spent fuel cooling expertise and technology to develop this new product that will serve to provide an added layer of safety for nuclear plants around the world.”

FilesReactor-by-reactor Fukushima Daiichi summary, 26 May from JAIF
Fukushima Daiichi parameters as of 25 May by JANTI