Emergency Diesel Generator and Support Systems

Every nuclear power plant has emergency power supplies, which are often diesel-driven. These generators provide power only when needed to special safety electrical distribution panels. These panels in turn supply power to those emergency pumps, valves, fans, etc. that may be required to operate in the event of the postulated catastrophic event - a simultaneous total loss of outside power and a major break in the reactor coolant system.

Emergency equipment is redundant with totally separate emergency electrical power supplies. The premise in nuclear power is that emergency equipment must be single failure-proof. This should guarantee that at least one channel (or "train") of emergency equipment will function. In a few cases, a plant may have 3 redundant trains of equipment for some emergency systems.

Diesel generators usually require compressed air for starting. Support systems for the diesel generators include - (1) starting air, (2) air for ventilation dampers, instruments, and air operated valves, (3) lubricating oil, (4) diesel jacket cooling water, (5) air radiators or cooling water for ultimate cooling, (6) oil cooling, and (7) turbochargers.

The diesel generator building page provides additional description.

<<< Diesel Generator showing support system skid on closest side
Air intake for combustion air >>>
<<< Support system skid showing jacket, water, and oil cooling system piping with heat exchangers
Diesel exhaust piping and generator >>>
<<< Air intake missile shield protects air intake from missiles generated by tornadoes
Side view of diesel showing exhaust manifold along top and access to individual cylinders >>>
<<< Alarm, control, and relay panels

Copyright 1996-2006.  The Virtual Nuclear Tourist. All rights reserved. Revised: February 5, 2006.