The maintenance programmes in nuclear generating plants follow strict timetables with only certified contractors permitted to provide products and services, so when it comes to high-voltage motors and generators, it is important to ensure that any repairs are going to make the grade.
Nuclear power generation makes up an important part of meeting the global demand for energy, with 31 countries across the world using over 430 nuclear power plants to meet close to 14% of global electricity demand, a similar proportion to that developed by the hydro industry. With so many people relying on the nuclear industry, it is essential that it operates faultlessly, which means strict adherence to maintenance programmes.
The typical nuclear power plant is segregated between the conventional island and the nuclear island, with the former containing the steam turbine generator and water-cooling systems, which require large high voltage motors to ensure the huge volumes of cooling water are successfully circulated around the plant.
As with any large rotating machine, condition monitoring offers a very useful insight into the performance status as well as the expected service life of the equipment.