A previous paper  describes the key features of an innovative gate valve design that was developed to overcome seat leakage problems, high maintenance costs as well as issues identified in the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Generic Letters 89-10, 95-07 and 96-05 with conventional gate valves [2,3,4]. The earlier paper was published within a year after the new design valves were installed at the Pilgrim Nuclear Plant — the plant that took the initiative to form a teaming arrangement as described in  which facilitated this innovative development. The current paper documents the successful performance history of 22 years at the Pilgrim plant, as well as performance history at several other nuclear power plants where these valves have been installed for many years in containment isolation service that requires operation under pipe rupture conditions and require tight shut-off in both Pressurized Water Reactors (PWRs) and Boiling Water Reactors (BWRs). The performance history of the new valve has shown to provide significant performance advantage by eliminating the chronic leakage problems and high maintenance costs in these critical service applications. This paper includes a summary of the design, analysis and separate effects testing described in detail in the earlier paper. Flow loop testing was performed on these valves under normal plant operation, various thermal binding and pressure locking scenarios, and accident/pipe rupture conditions. The valve was designed, analyzed and tested to satisfy the requirements of ANSI B16.41 ; it also satisfies the requirements of ASME QME 1-2012 . The results of the long-term performance history including any degradation observed and its root cause are summarized in the paper.
Paper published with permission.