Investigations for the substantiation of high-temperature nuclear power generation technology using fast sodiumcooled reactor for hydrogen production and other innovative applications (part 1)
Neutronics and thermal physics studies of BN-VT reactor installation with 600-MW thermal power demonstrated the possibility in principle to achieve the required parameters of high-temperature fast reactor for production of large quantities of hydrogen on the basis, for instance, of one of thermal chemical cycles or high-temperature hydrolysis with high thermal efficiency of use of electric power. Relatively small dimensions, the type of coolant, selection of fissile material and structural materials allow developing nuclear reactor with particular inherent properties (exclusion of prompt-neutron reactor power excursions, removal of decay heat in passive mode) while ensuring enhanced nuclear and radiation safety.
Composition of BN-VT reactor facility includes sodium-cooled fast reactor, three cooling loops for emergency heat removal and three sets of equipment of the secondary cooling loop for heat transfer from the reactor to chemical installations generating hydrogen or to gas-turbine plant for supplying chemical equipment with electric power.Composition of each of the cooling loops includes intermediate heat exchanger arranged inside the reactor vessel, centrifugal pump and pipeline for removal and re-introduction of sodium in the reactor core. Contemporary requirements on the safetyand financial performance of future generations of nuclear reactors were taken into consideration in the development of the reactor under study. Implemented calculation studies demonstrated that penetration of hydrogen within the limits of permissible allowances produce practically no effect on the neutronics and safety parameters of the reactor. Solution of the problem of fuel pin stability was mitigated due to the selection of low thermal load on fuel pins. Application of EP-912-V-D steel as a possible optional structural material was examined.
Continued studies of heat-resistant materials and their behavior under irradiation are required.
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