Steam generator tubes act as a barrier between the primary and the secondary loop of a pressurized-water reactor. With a wall thickness of approximatly 1 mm, they are a safety-critical part of nuclear power plants.
The function of steam generator tubes is to transfer heat from the primary to the secondary loop. This heat turns the water inside the steam generator tubes into steam that runs the turbine. There are several heat exchangers in a nuclear power plant and each has more than 10,000 steam generators tubes, adding up to a total length of 200 to 600 kilometers (depending on the design of the nuclear power plant).
Throughout the 60-year life of a nuclear power plant, steam generator tubes must retain their resistance to intergranular corrosion induced by radioactive water from the reactor. They are operated under extreme conditions involving high pressures (>250 bar) and temperatures (>200°C). The tubes are regularly inspected during the maintenance shutdown period to ensure that the nuclear power plant complies with the operating rules and regulations of the relevant safety authorities.
Valinox Nucléaire has earned an outstanding reputation for itself in the nuclear energy sector. Drawing on 40 years of experience in pressurized water reactors of all types, the company contributes decisively towards safety and efficiency in nuclear power plant engineering.