Pump course in the Netherlands strengthened the Nordic nuclear power competence

On October 24–26 2023, Energiforsk's program Vibrations in Nuclear Applications organized a pump course at the company Flowserve in Etten-Leur, in the Netherlands. A total of 15 employees from Swedish and Finnish nuclear power plants participated in the course, where the aim was to increase competence on vibration-related disturbances in pump circuits.

– In addition to an educational course, we have also had the opportunity to network and exchange experiences with colleagues from other power plants, says Lena Skoglund from Ringhals nuclear power plant, who is part of the steering group for the programme Vibrations in nuclear applications.

Producers and consulting companies in the nuclear power industry have identified a need for increased knowledge regarding vibrations in nuclear power pumping systems. The reason why is the crucial importance of the pumps for functionality and safety, and also because vibrations can create disturbances and lost income from electricity production.

Therefore, on October 24–26, Energiforsk's programme Vibrations in Nuclear Applications organized a pump course at the company Flowserve in Etten-Leur in the Netherlands. Flowserve is one of the largest suppliers of pumps and valves to the nuclear power industry. During the course, they shared their experiences.

– The majority of the course was held in a classroom and we had an appreciated "lab" in one of their workshops, where flow and suction pressure for a pump was varied to induce cavitation (steam bubbles that form at low pressure and collapse at increased pressure, which can cause damage to the pump). Since the pump house was made of plexiglass, the entire cavitation stage could be followed, and by using a stroboscope you could see when the steam bubbles started to form, which was very good, says Lena Skoglund.

A total of 15 people from both Swedish and Finnish nuclear power plants participated.

– I appreciate that we were given the opportunity via Energiforsk to design a course that suited our purposes and hope more colleagues will have the opportunity to take it, says Lena Skoglund.

About Energiforsk's program Vibrations in nuclear power

When vibrations occur in nuclear power plants, it can cause disruptions and lost revenue. However, there is a lack of knowledge and competence in the area of vibration among manufacturers and consulting companies. The research within the programme focuses on conducting investigations and experiments with a focus on vibrations in pipes, turbines, and generators.

Results and new knowledge from the programme are used to reduce problems related to vibrations in generators and turbines in nuclear power plants. The knowledge is also useful in the nuclear power plants' decision-making process and also for investments.

Read more about the program here. Subscribe to the programme newsletter to receive results and invitations to conferences by registering here. Communication and dissemination of results from the research is in English.