Over the last decade, the Author’s company (Alstom Power) has retrofitted the steam turbines in 34 nuclear units on a diverse range of half and full-speed machines, powered by Pressurised and Boiling Water Reactors. Some of those projects have been described in other papers, with an explanation of the novel laser measurement and fast-track installation techniques that have been developed to meet the onerous demands of nuclear plants and authorities.

The ageing global nuclear fleet has suffered reduced levels of reliability and performance due to effects such as Stress Corrosion Cracking (SCC), moisture erosion and shaft line torsional faults. Alstom has developed a range of steam turbine retrofit solutions that are resistant to SCC and erosion, have extended maintenance intervals and deliver high levels of efficiency. A portfolio of rear stage blades is available, from which an optimum design can be selected to suit each project.

This paper focuses on the improvements in thermal performance and reliability of a number of recent nuclear steam turbine retrofits. It outlines the existing designs and some of the challenges faced by the plants concerning reliability, operation and efficiency and then describes the approach to addressing those issues by retrofitting with modern designs. The paper describes the blading design and the techniques which are used to evaluate exhaust performance. It will also show the methods which have been used to integrate longer Last Stage Blades into existing LP frames.

The paper concludes by presenting the experience, in terms of performance and installation, of some of the projects.

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