NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS
Currently, 104 nuclear power- plant reactors are working in the
United States, and all of them have
operating environments that are
extremely challenging. Of those 104
plants, 35 are classified as boiling
and 69 as pressurized water reactors.
THE THOUSANDS OF ACTUATORS USED
IN A NUCLEAR PLANT FACE SOME
PRETTY TOUGH CONDITIONS AS WELL
AS RIGOROUS TESTING.
BY PETE KUNDIN
STRICT GUIDELINES AND
The actuator pictured right operates a main
steam isolation valve for General Electric’s
boiling water reactors. It is a pneumatic
cylinder in tandem with a hydraulic speed
control system. While the hydraulics are self
contained, there is a small piston
accumulator that accounts for thermal
expansion of fluid in the plant.