Nuclear power plants use cooling water to carry heat from the reactor core to the steam turbines and remove surplus heat from the steam circuit. But these aren’t the only cooling needs of these facilities. Just as with other commercial facilities, nuclear power plants also have heating, ventilating, and air conditioning requirements. Let’s take a look at the unique HVAC needs of the nuclear power industry.

The Role of HVAC in Commercial Applications

HVAC systems are designed to maintain stable temperatures, protect indoor air quality, and assure appropriate humidity levels. Although air conditioning is sometimes provided via a refrigerant-based system, for commercial applications, evaporative cooling is often the preferred option. Evaporative cooling uses chillers, refrigeration units specifically designed to remove heat from water. This chilled water is then circulated throughout the system and run through air-handlers located near the rooms being cooled. The water may be chilled using air-cooled chillers located outside the building or water-cooled chillers located inside. Generally speaking, chillers are quieter, more energy efficient and longer lasting than refrigerant-based systems.

The Unique Functions of HVAC for Nuclear Power Plants

HVAC plays an essential role in ensuring the safety and smooth operation of nuclear power plants. As in most commercial applications, HVAC in a nuclear power plant is used to maintain ambient conditions within acceptable limits of temperature and humidity, and control contamination. In addition, these systems help protect staff and equipment from specific risks inside the buildings, such as explosions or fire. Perhaps most importantly, these systems monitor the release of air from the controlled areas and contain any radioactivity that might be released in the event of a malfunction, failure, or accident.

AZZ Nuclear is the Industry’s Single Source Supplier

AZZ Nuclear is the largest third-party supplier of equipment solely for the nuclear power industry, as well as an OEM and manufacturer of other specialized components. The company has a dedicated 200,000 sqft state-of-the-art facility in Fort Worth, Texas to perform engineering, design, manufacturing, testing, and qualification.

In addition, AZZ Nuclear is the industry’s leading supplier of HVAC equipment, providing best-in-class options for nuclear plants. The company has industry-leading solutions for air-cooled and water-cooled chillers, axial and centrifugal fans, and state-of-the-art digital controls, as well as a full line of actuators, dampers and HVAC system controls. All equipment is engineered to address each plant’s unique requirements.

AZZ Nuclear provides all the equipment necessary to ensure the safe and smooth operation of nuclear power plants. The company’s mission is to provide the worldwide nuclear industry with critical and safety-related equipment, equipment maintenance, equipment qualification, and engineering services in an expeditious manner––at the lowest long-term cost. AZZ Nuclear supplies the nuclear industry with everything but fuel.


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