Components of small and medium sized HLMC reactor plant circuits
Small and medium sized lead and lead-bismuth cooled reactors currently under development in Russia are reactors of generation IV. This paper presents a review and new science and technology solutions in line with the evolution of small and medium sized heavy liquid metal cooled (HLMC) reactor plants.
The growing interest in small and medium sized reactors for transpolar applications, as well as in regional and other nuclear power plants, including the emerging trend for the replacement of coal-fired boiler stations with small reactor units initiates the R&D activities on new design and operating concepts of fast-neutron HLMC reactors. Such concepts are based on the unique domestic experience in building and operating ground prototype facilities and series reactors with lead-bismuth coolants, as well as on the experience of building nuclear power units for different applications. The solutions in question improve the qualities of advanced HLMC reactors, primarily in economic and safety terms, as compared to other small and medium sized reactor facilities. Low, nearly atmospheric, reactor circuit pressure (0.1 – 0.5 MPa), small thickness of the circuit walls, high temperature of the HLMC (up to 500 – 550°C) and the generated steam (400 – 500°C) with a pressure of 4.0 to 24.0 MPa, high unit efficiencies (up to 45%), a twocircuit reactor design, use of nitride fuel and other advanced solutions provide for qualitatively improved and more competitive economics of these units.
Theoretical and experimental work was performed at Nizhny Novgorod State Technical University (NNSTU) to justify a small and medium sized reactor plant with horizontal heat exchangers (BRS-GPG). Nonconventional science and technology solutions were considered for improving the effectiveness and safety of HLMC power units, including the localization of a potentially hazardous severe accident of the “steam generator intercircuit seal breakdown” type. The paper presents the results of an analysis and an integrated research to support nonconventional designs for the BRS-GPG reactor plant (reactor circuit circulation patterns, steam generator type, reactor circuit heat removal in standby and emergency modes, etc.).
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