Nuclear Power Engineering

Interfacing Nuclear Power Plants with the Electric Grid


Power lines coming into the Callaway NPP

Nuclear power plants (NPPs) are connected to an electrical grid system to allow export of electricity; the electrical grid system also provides [offsite] electrical power to the NPP. The safe and economic operation of a nuclear power plant (NPP) requires the plant to be connected to an electrical grid system that has adequate capacity for exporting the power from the NPP and for providing a reliable electrical supply to the NPP for safe startup, operation and normal or emergency shutdown of the plant.. Experience in Member States has shown that careful attention must be paid to the performance of the electrical grid system and the interface between the NPPs and the grid, in order to avoid events that might challenge the safety and reliability of the NPP. Particular attention should be given to small power systems, where a single nuclear unit provides a large percentage of the total power generation of the system, and where tripping a nuclear reactor would cause a sizeable disturbance in the electrical grid.

Given the increase in the number of countries considering embarking on nuclear power and other Member States which are adding new NPPs to their existing nuclear programme, the IAEA introduced the program on interface of NPPs with the electrical grid systems. The program focuses on key areas of integration and operation of NPPs and electrical grid systems to their mutual reliability and benefit. It also addresses the grid-related needs of Member States planning the establishment or expansion of NPP projects.

Experience gained by experts on both the NPP side and the electrical grid system is shared in technical meetings, national and international workshops and consultancies. Supporting IAEA documents are being prepared on grid interface, stability and reliability required and needed for NPP operation.


Publications

  • IAEA Nuclear Energy Series NG-T-3.8 (2012) Electric Grid Reliability and Interface with Nuclear Power Plants

  • IAEA Nuclear Energy Series NP-T-3.23 (in print for 2017 – view Working Copy) Non-Baseload Operations in Nuclear Power Plants: Load Following and Frequency Control Modes of Operation

  • IAEA Nuclear Energy Series on Grid Reliability and Stability for Nuclear Power Plant Operations (to be published in 2018)


Other Related Documents

  • The 53rd IAEA General Conference (2009) - IAEA Nuclear Technology Review - Attachment 5 Interfacing Nuclear Power Plants with the Electric Grid: the Need for Reliability amid Complexity

  • IAEA Technical Reports Series No. 224 (1983) Interaction of Grid Characteristics With Design and Performance of Nuclear Power Plants: A Guidebook

  • IAEA Technical Reports Series No. 241 (1984) Expansion Planning for Electrical Generating Systems - A Guidebook

  • IAEA Technical Reports Series No. 271 (1987) Introducing Nuclear Power Plants Into Electrical Power Systems of Limited Capacity

  • IAEA TECDOC Series No. 1770 (2015) Design Provisions for Withstanding Station Blackout at Nuclear Power Plants

  • IAEA Safety Standards Series SSG-34 (2016) Design of Emergency Power Systems for Nuclear Power Plants Safety Guide

  • IAEA Safety Reports Series No. 91 (2016)Design of Emergency Power Systems for Nuclear Power Plants Safety Guide


Technical Meetings

  • Technical Meeting on Grid Stability and Off-Site Power Reliability, 20-22 September 2016, Zagreb, Croatia (Presentations)
  • Technical Meeting on Flexible (Non-Baseload) Operation for Load Following and Frequency Control in New NPPs, 6-8 October 2014, Erlangen, Germany (Presentations)
  • Technical Meeting on Flexible (non-baseload) Operation Approaches for Nuclear Power Plants, 4-6 September 2013, Paris, France (Presentations)
  • Technical Meeting to Further Develop NE Series Report on "Electric Grid Reliability and Interface with Nuclear Power Plants“,3-6 August 2010, Vienna, Austria
  • Technical Meeting on "Electric Grid Reliability and Interface with NPPs“, 4-6 August 2009, Vienna, Austria


Please contact NPP Operations -Contact Point if you have any questions