Power-independent cooling system for a high-power research reactor

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by

Vitaly Uzikov, Lead Ingeeneer, JSC “SSC RIAR” (Russian Federation)
Irina Uzikova, Nuclear Safety Engineer, Assystem E&OS (France)

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Abstract
This paper presents the results of the analysis of a universal system for cooling of the research reactors core. The cooling system based on the passive principle of natural convection of the coolant. This cooling system develops the concept of a reactor plant presented in [1]. This Chapter presents à three-dimensional model, technological and design diagrams of a reactor unit. The examples of the numerical assessment of transients during operation in normal and accident modes are shown to substantiate the possibility of using such system in research reactors of medium and high power, providing a neutron flux of more than 1 × 1015 cm-2/s.
A fundamental feature of the presented passive heat removal system is the absence of active elements in the cooling circuits, such as circulation pumps, shut-off and control valves, as well as the presence of an intermediate circuit with a non-radioactive coolant, made according to the principle of operation of a heat pipe (thermic syphon). Such design excludes the release of the radioactive coolant into the surrounding environment for any depressurization of the circuits. The cooling circuits include only vessels, piping and heat exchangers. The absence of elements with mechanical moving parts can significantly reduce the equipment failures probability and increase the reliability of the cooling system while reducing its cost.
The versatility of the proposed system allows using it for different reactor plants of a wide power range, designed for various nuclear research areas.
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