Curtiss Wright introduced the first Normally Open NozzleCheck valves to the nuclear power industry nearly 20 years ago. This passive valve design was developed to address reoccurring maintenance and reliability issues often experienced by various check valve types due to low flow conditions. Specifically, premature wear on the hinge pins, bushings and severe seat impact damage had been discovered in several applications while the systems were in steady state operating conditions.

Over the last two decades, Curtiss Wright has continued to improve upon the design of the valve, with the latest generation coming most recently in support of the Westinghouse AP1000 design and similar Generation III+ passive reactor requirements. This entirely new valve is designed with minimal stroke, ensuring quick closure under specified reverse flow conditions which no other check valve design could support. Additionally, features such as first in kind test ports, visual inspection points, and the ability to stroke the valve manually or with system fluid in line have resolved many of the shortcomings of previous inline welded flow check valves.

Most importantly, advanced test based methodologies and models developed by Curtiss Wright, allow for accurate prediction of NozzleCheck valve performance. This paper presents the development of Curtiss Wright’s advanced Normally Open NozzleCheck Valve for Generation III and III+ nuclear reactor designs. The Valve performance was initially determined by using verified and validated computational fluid dynamic (CFD) methods. The results obtained from the CFD model were then compared to the data gathered from a prototype valve that was built and tested to confirm the performance predictions. Curtiss Wright has fully tested and qualified the Normally Open NozzleCheck valve, which is specifically designed for applications that require a high capacity in the forward flow direction and a closure at low flow rates with short stroke to minimize the hydraulic impact on the system.

Paper published with permission.

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