How BlackStarTech Supports Braidwood Generating Station with Reliable Emergency Power Systems


BlackStarTech Products Augment FLEX for Braidwood

Braidwood Generating Station, a nuclear facility in Braceville, Illinois, is part of a network of power generating stations which are owned and operated by Constellation in the U.S. This location provides northern Illinois, including the greater Chicago area, with carbon-free electric power. This station is equipped with two pressurized water reactors, and the facility generates a combined net total of 2,389 megawatts of power — the largest output in the state.

Safety and security are top priorities across all the nuclear sites operated by Constellation.

After the 2011 Fukushima incident in Japan, the nuclear industry developed an approach for adding diverse and flexible mitigation strategies, or FLEX. FLEX strategies increase defense-in-depth for beyond-design-basis scenarios to address extended loss of power (ELAP) and loss of ultimate heat sink simultaneously at all units on a site. BlackStarTech packages augment FLEX by providing rapidly deployable portable backup power, when and where it is needed most. Critical control room indications, core cooling and pressure control can be back up and running in 30 minutes or less.

In addition to their utilization in emergency scenarios, BlackStarTech packages — including battery backup power and emergency lighting units — can be deployed by nuclear stations undergoing routine or periodic maintenance of their electrical configurations (which requires temporarily removing normal bus power).

How BlackStarTech Enhances Infrastructure Resilience at Braidwood

Braidwood Generating Station uses the Genesis Sentinel Series Power Packs (120VAC/125VDC) from BlackStarTech. This has enabled Braidwood to provide AC power to a diesel-driven fire pump battery charger during a bus outage and also provide back-up battery power for added redundancy and outage risk reduction.

The Braidwood site has also used the Sentinel Power Packs to power a containment ventilation valve, which allowed it to be gagged after the bus was taken out of service. Using this lightweight emergency power pack helped prevent an outage delay.

Braidwood is using BlackStarTech Lightworks iSentient Smart Emergency Lighting units to replace existing required emergency lighting to illuminate the facility for potential power outage scenarios.

Additionally, the Lightworks iSentient Series gives Braidwood remote monitoring of the health and life of the battery. The predictive software provides the ability to remotely manage and communicate issues immediately to key individuals for increased awareness and ability to respond.

Braidwood Generating Station

Utilizing BlackStarTech Products to Improve Your Safety Culture

This is the scenario a nuclear facility needs to protect against: A local or regional power outage event with total loss of AC and DC power that disables key safety systems and components of a plant’s support systems. In this scenario, the reactor would continue to generate heat, creating a time-sensitive situation requiring operator action. Additionally, a lack of adequate lighting would increase risk of injury and minimize capacity for necessary action.

Through implementation of the BlackStarTech coping system protocols, the Genesis Series Emergency Power Systems can supply targeted power quickly and efficiently, restoring critical system indications, valve controls, core cooling and pressure control systems to stabilize the reactor and provide operator monitoring capabilities. These emergency power products are stored on site, are accessible in a matter of minutes, and are designed to provide a 30-day mission time.

The Genesis Series products utilize smart lithium iron phosphate batteries, combined with inverter and rectifier power delivery components configured to deliver targeted portable power directly to loads and applications where power is needed most. Genesis solutions provide a myriad of DC and AC supply power sources (including 3-phase 480VAC and beyond) to these key critical indications, controls, and essential emergency system components.

Lightworks Smart Emergency Lighting solutions meet all emergency and regulatory facility lighting requirements, and can replace existing lighting with the ability to illuminate a facility in the event of an outage. Our iSentient units utilize lithium iron phosphate batteries, which have more energy density and feature three times the life expectancy, while being more environmentally friendly than lead acid batteries. This excellent battery life combined with the predictive software of the iSentient units minimizes inspections and surveillance resources, while dramatically reducing maintenance and life cycle costs.

BlackStarTech Family Product Lines of Backup Power and Emergency Lighting

Discover More about How BlackStarTech Can Reduce Cost and Risk

To learn more about how BlackStarTech products are being applied in real applications to reduce nuclear station risk and cost, please contact us.

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