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Cummins Power Generation gensets for standby power plant

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article image Nuclear research reactor

Construction of a standby power plant for a new nuclear research reactor at Lucas Heights in Sydney, Australia, resulted in an exhaustive seismic analysis for generator sets from Cummins Power Generation.

The 2.5 MW standby power system was installed as a backup for the normal power supply that runs the research reactor at the Lucas Heights Science & Technology Centre.

The Replacement Research Reactor (RRR), which is less than 1/100th the size of a typical nuclear power reactor, is fuelled by low-enriched uranium and is capable of generating 20 MW of thermal power.

The Lucas Heights Science & Technology Centre is an international centre for scientists using high-energy neutrons to perform research into areas such as nuclear medicine and subatomic physics.

Although a geological fault has been discovered at the Lucas Heights site of the RRR, analysis of the fault showed conclusively that it has not produced any movement for at least five million years. The analysis of the standby power system centres around its ability to withstand a significant seismic event.

The Lucas Heights facility’s standby power system consists of three Cummins Power Generation PowerCommand 833DFHC generator sets, powered by the 30-litre, Cummins QST30 V12 engine. Each PowerCommand 833DFHC generator set has a standby rating of 833 kW. The PowerCommand Digital Master Control provides system status data to the reactor control and monitoring system using Cummins Power Generation networking technology.

Cummins Power Generation was chosen to design, construct, install, test and commission the standby PowerCommand 833DFHC generator sets and to run sophisticated tests to ensure reliability during a major seismic event.

Cummins has been involved in numerous major power generation projects; however, none has come close to requiring the analysis and documentation of the RRR application.

The Cummins PowerCommand 833DFHC gensets in their standard form came through the entire seismic analysis process efficiently. All connection points between the PowerCommand 833DFHC generator components and skid frame were analysed for integrity, while muffler bellows, fuel lines, electrical connections, the acoustic enclosures and dual-walled fibreglass fuel tanks were also subjected to seismic scrutiny.

Representatives from INVAP, the Argentinean construction firm in charge of the project, and its partner, the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation witnessed testing of the PowerCommand 833DFHC gensets and their control systems at the Cummins Power Generation manufacturing facility in Singapore. It reinforced their confidence in Cummins Power Generation’s quality procedures.

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