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Nuclear Standby Power

Nuclear Standby Power

At Fairbanks Morse Engine we design, manufacture, and test our medium speed diesel engine generator sets to comply with all Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) requirements. Today there are over 100 diesel engine power generators standing by to ramp up in seconds and supply emergency power to nuclear power plants across the U.S. We back our emergency power diesel generator sets for the nuclear industry with world-class service, factory-direct engineering services, diesel engine inspection programs and quality Fairbanks Morse Engine OEM parts.



What is an Emergency Diesel Generator set?In a commercial nuclear power plant, an Emergency Diesel Generator (EDG) set is required to supply electrical power to safely shutdown the nuclear reactor in the event of a loss of normal offsite power, loss of coolant accident, or other operational anomaly. Typically installed in groups of two or more for redundancy purposes, the Emergency Diesel Generator Sets are designed to the same stringent requirements as the other safety systems in the plant.

What is a Station Blackout Generator set?Nuclear power plants are designed to shut down safely in response to electrical grid disturbances by using power generated on-site by the Emergency Diesel Generator Sets. However, an extra level of redundancy is required in the event that the Emergency Diesel Generator Set cannot generate sufficient power to maintain a safe condition. A completely separate Station Blackout (SBO) diesel generator set provides this necessary power until safe operating conditions are restored.

Why choose medium speed diesel engines?Within the industry, diesel engines are categorized by their rotational speeds as high, medium, and low speed. Medium speed diesel engines used in electrical generators operate between 500 to 1000 rpm, and are optimized to provide rapid response to load changes. Medium speed diesel engines provide much greater durability, reliability, and decreased down time in comparison to higher speed engines — all essential requirements for nuclear service.

How many Fairbanks Morse Engine generator sets are in nuclear service?As of spring 2012, there are 106 Fairbanks Morse engine generator sets in service in nuclear stations throughout the Americas.

Why is a proven track record especially important in the nuclear industry?Quality, reliability and durability are essential when supplying safety-related systems to the nuclear power industry. For these reasons, developers of the first commercial reactors turned to Fairbanks Morse, the engine manufacturer already known for supplying dependable power to the U.S. Navy's emerging nuclear fleet. As construction of nuclear plants expanded, Fairbanks Morse remained the industry leading supplier of diesel generator sets. Currently, over 60% of owners and operators of nuclear power plants in the United States depend on the Fairbanks Morse line of Colt-Pielstick, ALCO and Opposed Piston engines. With the next generation of plants expected to produce electricity for over 60 years, the industry requires a proven engine manufacturer that can design, build and test engines to strict U.S. NRC requirements.

What is ASME Section III, Class 3?The United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the agency responsible for issuing construction permits and operating licenses for US nuclear power plants, requires conformance with certain American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Codes and Standards in its regulations. ASME created a committee to review design standards necessary to assure safe operation of commercial nuclear power plants. This effort resulted in what today is available as Section III of the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code. Today, ASME Section III covers an array of nuclear components, with Class 3 relating to diesel generator sets. Fairbanks Morse has been a supplier of diesel engines to both the U.S. Navy and the civilian nuclear power industry since the earliest development of the technology.

What are IEEE323 and IEEE344?The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers maintains standards for qualifying safety related equipment supplied to nuclear power plants. IEEE 323 defines the methods for equipment qualification with regard to the temperature and humidity environment in which that equipment must operate. IEEE 344 defines the qualification methods to be used to assure equipment will remain operable following exposure to the effects of earthquakes.

What is IEEE 387?The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Standard IEEE 387 describes the criteria for the application, testing and qualification of complete diesel engine generator sets as Safety Related Class 1E emergency diesel generators installed in commercial nuclear power plants.


What is 10CFR50 Appendix B and ASME NQA-1?Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 50 Appendix B lists 18 quality assurance criteria that suppliers of equipment for nuclear power plant service and nuclear plant operators must meet as required by the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). ASME NQA-1 provides supplemental information and methods for implementing a quality system that satisfies the requirements of 10 CFR 50 Appendix B.

Does Fairbanks Morse Engine provide Parts and Service support?Fairbanks Morse Engine maintains a commercial-grade nuclear dedication program, approved by the Nuclear Utility Procurement Issues Committee (NUPIC), and also satisfies the requirements of 10CFR50 Appendix B and 10CFR21. Fairbanks Morse has been supporting the nuclear power industry since 1968, and currently services over 100 engines at nuclear power plants throughout the Americas.

What is a Nuclear Utility Procurement Issues Committee (NUPIC) audit?NUPIC was formed in 1989 by a partnership involving all domestic and several international nuclear utilities, with the purpose of evaluating suppliers of safety-related components and services to nuclear utilities. The NRC relies on the NUPIC joint utility audit process for evaluating the implementation of quality assurance programs of suppliers. To learn more, visit

What about engineering services?Factory-direct engineering services are available to meet the needs of nuclear utilities throughout the life of the power plant.

Does Fairbanks Morse Engine offer training?Owners and operators of Fairbanks Morse equipment are supported by factory-direct training programs from experienced instructors, either at our newly renovated factory training center or at the customer location. Hands-on training utilizing complete engines, major components, and advanced training aids assures that personnel are competent in all aspects of diagnostic troubleshooting, routine maintenance and minor engine repair. Training is available through regularly scheduled classes or customized programs developed to meet your individual needs. For more information, visit our training page.


Is Fairbanks Morse Engine involved in the next generation of reactor construction?Fairbanks Morse has been supplying dependable power to the industry for over 40 years, and will remain the industry leader as new nuclear plants are designed and built. Future plant operators will come to depend on the same high level of quality that has distinguished Fairbanks Morse since the earliest development of nuclear technology. For details on our current nuclear projects, visit our news page.

How much lead time is required for new orders?Many factors go into determining production timelines, however Fairbanks Morse Engine has a proven track record of on-time delivery and remains committed to meeting the scheduling demands of every nuclear customer. To discuss the details of your potential project, contact our sales team.

Are your engines manufactured under license?The Opposed Piston and FM/ALCO engine lines are the proprietary property of Fairbanks Morse Engine. Colt-Pielstick and FM-MAN engines are manufactured under license from MAN Diesel.

What if I have more questions?Please contact Ted Stevenson, Manager Nuclear Sales. Email:,
Tel: +1.608.364.8424.


Installed Nuclear Locations

Canada Parts & Service Seattle Service Center Houston Parts & Service Center Diablo Canyon 1/2 San Diego Parts & Service Center Wolf Creek 1 Prairie Island 1/2 Duane Arnold Callaway Fairbanks Morse Engine Headquarters Arkansas Nuclear 2 Palisades Fermi 2 Farley 1/2 Beaver Valley 2 Constellation Hydro Quebec Seabrook 1 Vermont Yankee Pilgrim 1 Milestone 2/3 Indian Point 2/3 Three Mile Island 1 Peach Bottom 2/3 Limerick 1/2 Salem Nuclear Plant 1 Hope Creek 1 Calvert Cliffs 1/2 North Anna 1/2 Norfolk Parts & Service Center Robinson 2, H.B. Summer Hatch 1/2 Crystal River 3