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Pumps for Radiation Monitoring Help Make Nuclear Power Plants Safer

KNF diaphragm pump technology is used in nuclear power plants around the world to ensure that leaks are detected quickly and reliably.

More than 30 countries around the world use nuclear power plants to generate electricity. Regardless of their specific type or function, they all pose a potential risk of releasing radioactivity into the environment. As a result, they all require reliable monitoring systems to take appropriate action in the event of a contamination risk. KNF diaphragm pumps for radiation monitoring play a crucial role in minimizing risks and detecting potential contamination.

Air Monitoring – Cornerstone of Nuclear Safety

In nuclear power plants, the reactor contains radioactive material that can be released into the air. For this reason, nuclear power plants are divided into zones, with the most radioactive zones located in the innermost part of the reactor. From there, the zones move outward. Each zone has country-specific regulations. Most zones require air monitoring to detect elements that indicate radioactivity leakage, so air samples must be taken from the atmospheres of these zones and transferred to analyzers. This is where KNF diaphragm pumps for radiation monitoring come into play, including highly sensitive zones.

Pumps for Radiation Monitoring: Diaphragm Technology Ideal

The air pumps used to deliver air samples to an analyzer must meet high technical requirements. They need to be clean because the samples must not be contaminated. It is also critical that radiation monitoring pumps provide reliable gas tightness, as the samples may carry contaminants that must not be emitted. Finally, high reliability and little or no maintenance are critical. These demanding requirements make diaphragm pumps the technology of choice.

Nuclear Industry Requires Special Customization

To further increase the safety of diaphragm pumps for radiation monitoring, KNF pumps used in nuclear power plants are often equipped with a double diaphragm, also known as a safety diaphragm. The second diaphragm is located below the working diaphragm and provides a second airtight seal. In the unlikely event of a working diaphragm leak, the leaking air is contained by the safety diaphragm. Additional customization, such as specific electrical or pneumatic connection options, is available as with all KNF pumps.

Meeting Strictest Legal Standards

In addition to the demanding technical requirements, diaphragm pumps used in nuclear power plants must meet strict regulatory standards. One requirement, for example, is the use of raw materials documented by inspection certificates in accordance with standards such as EN 10204. If needed, KNF can provide this for the materials and components used in the pumps for radiation monitoring.

Working with Partners and Suppliers

For some work steps, some countries have specific regulations regarding the companies that are allowed to perform them. As a result, customers may need to provide KNF with the names of suppliers and service providers who are authorized to carry out these tasks. Thanks to KNF's decades of experience in the nuclear power plant sector, this is not a problem and collaboration is well-established. This also applies to the use of special motors from third parties that are specifically designed for use in nuclear power plants. If necessary, KNF can recommend suitable suppliers and service providers for all necessary components and work steps based on experience.

Long Availability of Pumps for Radiation Monitoring Necessary

Most nuclear power plants are designed to operate for decades. That's why spare parts and service are needed for that long period of time. The challenge is that installed systems cannot simply be replaced by modern new systems but must be identical to the original technologies. This also applies to spare parts. KNF is happy to discuss individual needs with customers.

Outstanding Pump Expertise in the Nuclear Sector

In the early 1970s, KNF established itself as a competent, reliable and innovative supplier of pumps for nuclear power plants. Since then, the portfolio has grown, the technology has been further refined and more application knowledge has been gained. Countries that rely on KNF diaphragm pumps for their nuclear power plants include Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, China, Czechia, France, Japan, Sweden, Switzerland and many others. This puts KNF in the unique position of being able to draw on a wealth of international experience in the nuclear sector to provide highly competent customer support and perfectly customized pump solutions.

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