Generation IV supercritical water cooled nuclear reactors. Real prospects and research program
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The Generation IV International Forum (GIF-IV) established in January 2000 has set a goal to improve the new generation of nuclear technologies in the following areas: stability; safety and reliability; economic competitiveness; proliferation resistance and physical protection.
The purpose of this publication is to prepare a discussion of one directions of development of fourth-generation NPPs, which already have a large reserve in thermal power engineering in various countries. The number of annual publications on this topic is the largest among other similar topics dedicated to nuclear power plants of the fourth generation.
Based on operating experience of existing nuclear power plant with water as a coolant, it should be assumed that the tendency of building water-cooled nuclear power plants will continue in the next 30 to 50 years. At this stage the task of developing other types of reactors will be only a demonstration of their capabilities and applicability for future power engineering and the needs of society.
The project of supercritical water-cooled reactor is based on the operating experience of VVER, PWR, BWR reactors (more than 14,000 reactor-years); many years of operating experience accumulated in the fossil thermal power plants (more than 400 units, 20,000 block-years using supercritical water steam (25 MPa, 540°C) and super-supercritical (35 – 37 MPa, 620 – 700°C). In Russia more than 140 supercritical pressure units are operating now.
Knowledge accumulated over the last 10 years in the world allows: to clarify the previously developed concept; to develop a plan for specific priority researches; to compile a design specification for small-power reactor VVER SKP-30 (30 MW th.).
The scope of problems that are to be solved to substantiate a VVER-SCP reactor and commence designing of an experimental reactor with a thermal capacity of 30 MW is the same as that in developing any type of reactor: physics of reactor core; material related matters (primarily concerned with the reactor pressure vessel, fuel, and fuel rod claddings); thermal hydraulics in rod bundle in the near- and supercritical areas; water chemistry at super critical pressure; corrosion of materials should be carried out both in static conditions and in water flows under radiation conditions; development of safety systems
The absence of an approved program with appropriate funding in Russia for a long time and the maintenance of such a state for next two or three years will lead to the fact that Russia will hopelessly lag behind in the development of SCWR technology.
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GIF-IV program supercritical water reactor (SCWR) prospects for nuclear power development advantages of the VVER-SKD concept problems of developing the VVER-SKD proposals for cooperation number of publications