NuclearEnergy230x195

The importance of water chemistry

Nuclear power plants (NPP) generate nearly 20% of the total electricity in the U.S. and nearly 30% in the E.U. In NPPs, water in secondary and cooling systems controls the heat created from the fission of radioactive isotopes, to produce steam, which is used to generate electricity. NPP water chemistry is important for the maintenance of nuclear safety, major component reliability, and the overall economic viability of plant operation. Each nuclear power plant has a set of water chemistry matrices that are often specific for that plant and usually based on the water chemistry history and metallurgy of the plant. 

In general, the typical matrices are:

  • Pure water
  • Pure water with amine additives
  • Borated water
  • Closed cooling water (with high nitrite concentrations)
  • Environmental samples (effluents, soils, air, etc.)

Reagent-Free Ion Chromatography has been adopted in most NPPs due to its ease of use and improved detection limits, which make for a good fit with the typical matrices and analytes which need to be monitored in this industry. 

For more information


Pure water

For more information

Pure water with amine aditives

Borated water

For more information

Closed cooling waters

In NPPs, water in secondary and cooling systems controls the heat created from the fission of radioactive isotopes, to produce steam, which is used to generate electricity. Stress-corrosion cracking and flow-assisted corrosion in the NPP boiler, secondary, and cooling systems can cause increased maintenance time and cost, and loss of power generation. Therefore, it is important to minimize corrosion in NPPs to avoid or reduce these associated events. Ion chromatography is the method of choice for the determination of potentially corrosive ionic impurities that include fluoride, chloride, and sulfate.

For more information

Environmental samples

For more information

  • Download the application note: Determination of morpholine, ethanolamine, and hydrazine in simulated nuclear power plant wastewater
  • Download the application note: Determination of inorganic cations and ammonium in environmental waters by ion chromatography using the Dionex IonPac CS16 column