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Armenian NPP Upgrading

#A-509.2


Development and Analysis Measures to Improve the Safety, Reliability and Operating Efficiency of Armenian NPP

Tech Area / Field

  • FIR-ENG/Reactor Engineering and NPP/Fission Reactors

Status
8 Project completed

Registration date
11.08.2003

Completion date
26.11.2008

Senior Project Manager
Latynin K V

Leading Institute
Yerevan State University, Armenia, Yerevan

Supporting institutes

  • Armenian NPP, Armenia, Metsamor

Collaborators

  • Brookhaven National Laboratory, USA, NY, Upton\nUniversity of Minnesota / School of Physics and Astronomy, USA, MN, Minneapolis\nUniversity of Central Florida / Department of Physics, USA, FL, Orlando\nEngineering Planning and Management, Inc., USA, MA, Framingham

Project summary

Introduction and review: The main objective of this project is:

- Reactor safety and reliability upgrading by means of neutron flux decrease to the Reactor Pressure Vessel (RPV). Neutron flux to the RPV results in brittleness of the latter, especially within the area of weld N 4 of RPV second and third shell;

- Enhancement of NPP operation effectiveness by means of implementation of partial load following mode of operation. NPP load following mode of operation is demand of Armenian energy grid. From the other hand, such mode of operation causes thermal cyclings on the RPV and fuel assemblies, the range and correspondent number of thermal cyclings is limited by technical specifications for their operation.

In order to obtain the specified goals the following problems should be solved:

- Development of design justified and document supported recommendations on WWER-440 type reactors core layout;

- Optimization of WWER-440 fuel cycle, taking into account the requirements of technical specifications for the reactor and fuel assemblies as well as the requirements of the energy grid.

Scientific competence of the project participants: The proposed project integrates the efforts of scientists of earlier experience in area of weapon technologies. Seven Doctors of Science and sixteen Candidates of Science and researchers, including reactor experts from Moscow Kurchatov Institute, VNIIAES and VNIINM, will participate in this project.

Expected results: Within the project proposed it is intended to carry out the fundamental and applied investigations in area of WWER type reactors’ fuel cycle optimization and the contributing effects.

Upon completion of the project the following results will be available:

1. Experimental values of nuclear physical characteristics of ANPP Unit #2 core after reloadings.

2. Updated/corrected neutronic constants used in calculation codes of WWER-440 core neutronic characteristics.

3. Methodology and recommendations to decrease the neutron parasitic absorption and neutron fluence to the RPV by means of optimum scheme for WWER type reactor core forming.

4. Recommendations on WWER-440 reactors’ power maneuvering without significant expensive reconstruction activities, meeting all requirements of nuclear safety.

5. Recommendations on optimal fuel use for NPPs operation at the end of operating campaign in compliance with requirements of nuclear safety.

ISTC Goals and Objectives Utilization: The project considers integration of scientists from CIS countries (Armenia, Russia) with their reorientation to peaceful activity.

The project includes conduction of fundamental and applied researches in area of nuclear energy generation with provision of nuclear safety. The results of the project implementation will promote the solution of complex problem of nuclear energy safe generation, which is quite important for the NPPs worldwide and, in particular, for Armenian NPP with WWER-440 type reactor of first generation.

Scope of activity: The project considers problems of high importance for NPP optimal management, namely: fuel cycle cost decrease by means of burn up increase, more complete use of neutron flux and the campaign elongation in full compliance with the safety requirements.

The project envelops the detailed examination of following tasks with conclusions and recommendations:

1. Experimental accurate measurements of: neutronic characteristics of the core such as, temperature and barometric coefficients of reactivity, boron coefficient of reactivity, differential characteristics of control group, integral characteristics both of control group and protection controls, fixation of the moment of criticality (MCL) attainment and fuel resource exhaust etc; monitoring of the fuel clad integrity;

2. Theoretical calculations of core neutronic characteristics by means of approximation to the experimental data, by updating/correcting the constants in the calculation codes;

3. Theoretical study of parameters sensitivity to neutron leakage and fluence decrease to the RPV by means of WWER type reactor core layout/scheme optimization and development of optimizing methodology;

4. Study of affecting parameters and development of strategy for WWER type reactors’ long-term fuel cycle selection and, in particular for Armenian NPP, development of schedule till 2004;

5. Study of maneuvering characteristics of WWER-440 from the point of view of technical specifications for RVP and fuel operation.

Role of Foreign Collaborators: Within the framework of the proposed project it is supposed to implement:

- Information exchange in the course of project implementation;

- Comments to technical reports;

- Consultations and information exchange on the advanced techniques/methods, which can be used in the project;

- Testing or equipment/technologies developed in the course of the project implementation;

- Assistance and financial support for the project participants when they visit international meetings, foreign organizations for familiarization with advanced techniques and methodologies technologies;

- Participation in the technical review of activity to be implemented under the project.

Technical approach and methodology: Considering the wide range of tasks to be implemented under the project, it is difficult to note common methodological approach. Upon solving of each problem there will be used all or a part of methods in different sequence, which are listed bellow:

- Familiarization with advanced experience of World Nuclear Community upon solving given problem, selection of acceptable direction and its adaptation to the requirements of project;

- Scientific and technical developments of the creative collective – project participants;

- Performance of precision measurements using advanced techniques/methods, their purchase and study (in case of their lack);

- Review of results, output of recommendations, methodologies and programmes, verification of their representativeness, effectiveness and economical expedience;

- Mathematical formulation, solving and development of calculation algorithms of the task;

- Development of programs for these algorithms implementation and obtaining the results.


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The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.

 

ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.

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