Save and be safe

Small parts can have a big impact. This is especially true when it comes to nuclear energy. Plant constructors and operators alike must take every action possible to support safety and viability of nuclear reactors.

This logic applies to all component selection in nuclear power. Durable, high-quality materials must be used to minimize degradation and maintenance – even for the smallest parts.

One example: electrical penetrations in the containment structure can be sealed with polymers.

However, polymer-based seals are made of organic material. They can wear down from aging and require replacement in as little as 10-20 years. This type of maintenance and upkeep can necessitate plant shutdowns, costing upwards of $1.3 million per day.

More significantly, polymer seals are not designed to withstand extreme temperatures and pressure. In the case of the Fukushima disaster, they were a leak point for hydrogen. The resulting explosions worsened the situation.

12,000 PENETRATIONS IN OVER 100 NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS GLOBALLY

Electrical penetrations sealed with glass – like those from SCHOTT – don’t have these weak points. They do not degrade over time because they are made of inorganic specialty glass and metal. These seals are able to withstand severe accident conditions like those at Fukushima, even decades after their installation.

Eternaloc® connectors and feedthroughs have incredible strength because of the compressive forces utilized in the manufacturing process that form a hermetic, vacuum-tight seal between the glass and metal.

The hermetic seal maintains a barrier surrounding the feedthrough areas of the reactor walls to deliver strong protection.In case of a severe accident scenario, it prevents gases (such as hydrogen) and radioactive material from escaping.

SMALL COMPONENT. BIG IMPACT.

Imagine, a nuclear reactor built with safer components that requires less maintenance and, as a result, less cost.

Even replacing something as simple as polymer seals every 20 to 30 years can cost an extra 51 million dollars or 40 million pounds over the lifetime of a nuclear reactor, inflating the TOTAL COST OF OWNERSHIP of the plant and making nuclear energy more costly.

Eternaloc® glass-to-metal sealed components, on the other hand, are sealed with inorganic and non-aging material. They provide safety over 60 years – the complete typical lifespan of a nuclear reactor.

60-YEAR MAINTENANCE-FREE LIFETIME

60-YEAR MAINTENANCE-FREE LIFETIME

TEMPERATURE TESTED TO WITHSTAND 400°C

TEMPERATURE TESTED TO WITHSTAND 400°C

PRESSURE TESTED TO 400 BAR

PRESSURE TESTED TO 400 BAR

Contact

Kevin Waxman
Electronic Packaging
SCHOTT North America

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