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SCHOTT Eternaloc® Electrical Penetrations New Requirements of Innovative Twin High-Temperature Reactors

Photo by SCHOTT AG

SCHOTT, a leading international technology group in the areas of specialty glass and glass-ceramics, is proud to announce a partnership with Chinergy Co., Ltd and Jiamusi Electric Machine Co., Ltd to help support the safe and cost-efficient operation of the Shidaowan twin-reactor high temperature reactor (HTR) through the use of ETERNALOC electrical penetration assemblies (EPAs). SCHOTT’s electrical penetrations made with glass-to-metal sealing technology are the single solution of their kind that can be used in the primary loop of an HTR due to their ability to withstand the high temperatures and pressures of the environment.

The key function of EPAs in nuclear power plants is offering the pass-through for power, control and instrumentation cables to the thousands of instruments, control panels, electric motors and many other electric and electronic devices within. Due to the pivotal importance of this role, EPAs must be held to high standards of reliability and safety. SCHOTT’s glass-to-metal sealing technology provides the safe conduction of electricity through the fire-protective, pressure-resistant and hermetically sealed containment walls of nuclear power plants.

Furthermore, Small Modular Reactors (SMRs), such as the Shidaowan twin-reactor HTR facility, differ from regular small reactors in the way that they demand components to be manufactured or replicated in-plant for fast replacement and greater cost-efficiency in the long run. Leveraging decades of experience in the nuclear sector, SCHOTT’s experts provided technical support as they worked in close collaboration with the teams at Chinergy Co., Ltd and Jiamusi Electric Machine Co., Ltd. The result was the achievement of a tailored solution that supports the unique installation requirements and can withstand the harsh environment of the HTR’s primary loop. For the Shidaowan facility, SCHOTT’s EPAs are manufactured using specialized processes that make them far more robust than counterparts made with organic materials.

Thomas Fink, General Manager, Nuclear Safety Division of SCHOTT, comments: “The incorporation of glass-to-metal sealed EPAs in the primary loop of HTRs is a promising step forward for shaping the future of next-gen nuclear power. Glass-sealed EPAs already represent a superior solution for ‘traditional’ nuclear power plants. They maintain uncompromised seal integrity for a qualified lifetime of 60 years. In comparison, polymer-based seals are organic and age naturally, resulting in degradation and the need for replacement over time. This presents both a cost burden and safety risk. In HTR applications, glass-sealed EPAs are the only viable feedthrough option for the primary loop as polymer can become compromised and fail under the extreme environmental stress.”
Glass-sealed EPAs becoming a standard in next-gen reactors are a forward-thinking example for the industry as a whole. The concept of using small components of superior quality is a highly cost-effective means of increasing the overall safety of an entire nuclear power plant.

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