The construction of nuclear power plants involves the planning, design and control of up to 3 water-steam cycles. Steel tubes and pipes in a wide range of materials and dimensions are among the key components for the proper operation of these power plants. For example, steam generator tubes have to operate in extreme conditions involving high pressures and temperatures; they play an important safety role because they constitute one of the primary barriers between the radioactive and non-radioactive sections of the plant.
No matter which part of a power plant you look at – there are bound to be tubes with either water or steam flowing through them. Like veins, they ensure safe and reliable power plant operation and thus contribute decisively to reliable energy supplies.
Modern power plants achieve higher efficiency through ever higher process temperatures and pressures. This benefits the environment and helps to keep energy costs in check. On the technical side, this means continuously increasing demands on the materials used for tube and pipe production.
As the No. 1 producer of tube and pipe for the energy market, Vallourec is heavily involved in the development and launch of new materials. We are already working at full steam on the next generation of materials to safeguard tomorrow's energy supplies.