AREVA group produces reactor coolant pumps (RCP) for nuclear power plants (NPP) worldwide. AREVA and partners aim at improving its mechanical performances in agreement with the lifetime extension politics of NPP. Initially made by casting and machining, the RCP impeller could be now obtained by forging and machining. Despite it brings an improvement of mechanical characteristics, this solution requires machining 80% of a 4 tons ingot.
HIPPI project aims at developing the manufacturing sequence and elaborating large dimension impellers by implementing powder metallurgy and HIP. It also aspires at acquiring sufficient data to justify the introduction, in a NPP, of a new super-austenitic steel grade enhancing mechanical properties and corrosion resistance of impellers. Moreover, a specific NDE tool is being developed to simultaneously check the health of the part and get its full dimension inside the container. Finally, an economic study is engaged to assess the interest of this solution.