Emergency Diesel Generator
Photo by J.A. Gonyeau
|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.
Copyright © 1996-2004. Joseph Gonyeau, P.E.. The Virtual Nuclear Tourist. All rights reserved. Revised: March 15, 2001.