^ The Kakrapar Atomic Power Plant has been fitted with isolation valves and three-valve manifolds from Bell-O-Seal. Main image attribution: DAE (GODL-India), https://twitter.com/DAEIndia/status/1285845442475913216
Article by David Sear
In a nuclear power plant, isolation valves and three-valve manifolds are used to shut off flow in high pressure heavy water instrument lines. Previously, when such valves were required for the Indian nuclear power programme, they would have been imported from European sources because of the need for assured reliability and safety. However, in recent years Indian Government and Nuclear Power Corporation Of India Limited (NPCIL) have been keen to develop such import substitutes through local vendors, the idea being to retain the excellent quality matching with international nuclear safety standards and reliability whilst reducing the considerable costs of the imported valves.
Enter M/s Bell O Seal Valves Private Limited which, having emerged as one of the important vendors, was selected to work on this program. Indeed, during a span of about four to five years, the company has developed a number of these valves and other types of valves which have very successfully been installed into the Indian nuclear industry. Comments Mr. Ashok Kumar (Director Technical): “it has always been our endeavor to ensure that our company will always be supporting our customers by supplying our quality and custom-made products against their orders. These valves were indigenously manufactured for the first time in India by us for such a huge capacity reactor. This is also in line with the ‘Make in India’ campaign and the notion to become ‘vocal for our local products and make them global’ as addressed by our Hon. Prime Minister.”
It is understood that these valves have been designed and analyzed as per ASME -BPVC Section III NB and undergone various stringent tests starting from raw materials to finish product. This process also involved developing various sub-vendors to make quality products matching to nuclear standards.
Further discussing the steps required to successfully develop valves for nuclear applications, Mr. Ashok Kumar comments: “we developed new welding procedures and qualified welders as per ASME sec IX, hydro and pneumatic followed by helium leak test. We also ran endurance tests at high pressure and temperature, Cv tests, plus pre-seismic, seismic and post-seismic tests. Our valves successfully passed all the stringent tests and their performance was on par if not better than that of imported valves.”
“These valves were indigenously manufactured for the first time in India by us for such a huge capacity reactor.
The company is reportedly delighted to have delivered the valves within a very short span of time after getting the clearance for the bulk manufacturing from concerned authorities. “As we have supplied good quality valves meeting with all stringent requirements of the international codes and standards, we are expecting good business in this domain domestically and internationally. You will also find our valves in the Rajasthan Atomic Power Station (7 & 8), which incidentally was the first facility in India to operate with Pressurized Heavy Water Reactor technology,” concludes Mr. Ashok Kumar.