Nuclear plants are designed to quickly get to power and stay at power. In fact, that’s one of the benefits of nuclear energy – reliable, cost-effective baseload electricity, even in challenging weather conditions.
But when a reactor needs to shut down or change power levels, doing so safely, rapidly and reliably is of the utmost importance. That’s why more than 70 plants around the world have trusted Westinghouse to supply rod cluster control assemblies (RCCAs), with more than 40 years of demonstrated operational experience.
Building on the history and success of its Extended Performance Rod Cluster Control Assembly (EP-RCCA™) product, Westinghouse is introducing its Next Generation Rod Cluster Control Assembly (NG-RCCA™). The Westinghouse NG-RCCA maintains the basic configuration of a spider assembly and neutron-absorbing rodlets, but applies new developments in design and manufacturing techniques to make improvements to the spider assembly, rodlet connections and rodlet absorber geometry.
The result? Additional benefits, such as: increased component lifetimes; improved structural integrity; pinless connections that make the already remote possibility of rodlet separation from the spider assembly even more unlikely; and industrial hard-chrome plating of the cladding to provide protection against material wear for both the RCCA rodlets and the upper internals guide cards.
The NG-RCCA has an anticipated operational lifetime of twenty years, which, over the lifetime of a pressurized water reactor, will translate into fewer required replacements of the control rod hardware, thus contributing to a reduction in overall plant costs.