Many nuclear stations do not incorporate deaerators in their feedwater heating systems. To attain high turbine cycle performance without a deaerator, a drain pumping system is widely used for returning hot drains from the high-pressure heaters to the feedwater system. With a greatly increased feedwater flow for nuclear units, together with the drain pumping system being moved to a higher extraction point, the heater–drain tank system will be subject to a rapid pressure decay under turbine load rejections. In addition, the drain pump suction flow reduces considerably, thereby increasing the suction pipe resident time. It is these critical changes in operating conditions that should receive careful consideration in drain pumping system design. This paper presents an analytical approach for determining drain tank pressure decay, drain pump suction pressure decay, and transient behavior of the heater–drain tank system based on analysis of closed feedwater heater performance and the varying feedwater temperature entering the heater under turbine load rejections. The emphasis is placed on adequate and optimum design of a drain pumping system, including a discussion of some design criteria to be followed, as well as sizing of the pressure equalizer between heater and drain tank. All mathematical equations required for determining the design parameters are derived. Finally, some example calculations are given to illustrate the application of the developed analytical approach to system design.

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