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Cooling towers at a nuclear power plant

Cooling things down in nuclear facility

Client: Nuclear power station

Location: Michigan, USA

Sectors: Utilities

The Challenge

Cool a turbine building during a heatwave

With record-high temperatures outside and the shutdown of air conditioning systems inside, the situation in a turbine building at a nuclear power station in Michigan was dire. It was too hot to work. Yet the workers had to get planned modifications done, or the air conditioning could not get switched back on. It was a classic catch-22.
To bring the inside temperatures down to a level that safety managers would be happy with, the project team called our cooling specialists. 

Key Facts

Duration of project 34 days
Hoses and ducting > 2,600 feet
Elevation change in turbine 60 feet
Cooling solutions for the military ship

The Solution

Temporary cooling meets unique needs of turbine facility

Cooling down a turbine facility at a nuclear plant is no easy task. In Michigan, space was limited inside the three-storey building. We were dealing with about 60 feet of elevation change and 300 feet of horizontal movement of air and water. 
To fix the space problem, we put the chillers and pumps outside. Then, to move the cold air around the vast building, we used more than half a mile of hose and ducting plus air handlers and booster blowers on each floor. It was an efficient system that brought temperatures down to safe working levels.

“You just can’t work in temperatures like those in the turbine facility. Fixing the problem helped the nuclear station avoid further costly shutdowns.”



The Impact

Cool conditions get maintenance back on track

From the moment we took the call, it took just 34 days to get the job done – to the relief of the project team. We cooled down all the areas within the turbine building in which people needed to work, so they could get on with the job of maintenance and repair. The planned shutdown took place safely and on schedule.

Nuclear Power Station