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Self-protection of Reactors

#0685.2


Nuclear Safety and Inherent Self-Protection Investigations for Modular High Temperature Gas-Cooled Reactors (HTGR-M)/Experimental Demonstration in the ASTRA Facility of the Inherent Safety Characteristics of HTR's

Tech Area / Field

  • FIR-NSS/Nuclear Safety and Safeguarding/Fission Reactors
  • FIR-REA/Reactor Concept/Fission Reactors

Status
8 Project completed

Registration date
15.01.2002

Completion date
25.08.2014

Senior Project Manager
Kirichenko V V

Leading Institute
Kurchatov Research Center, Russia, Moscow

Supporting institutes

  • Experimental Designing Bureau of Machine Building (OKBM), Russia, N. Novgorod reg., N. Novgorod

Collaborators

  • CEA / DEN, France, Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex\nNRG an ECN KEMA company, The Netherlands, Petten\nAREVA / Framatome ANP, France, Paris

Project summary

The main objective of the Project is obtainment of experimental benchmark data on temperature effect intended for validations of computer codes and substantiation of criticality safety and inherent safety of high temperature gas-cooled reactors (HTGR-M) developed within the Generation IV program.

Activities under the Project include measurement of reactivity temperature effect and its components (core and reflector) at the ASTRA critical assembly simulating high temperature gas-cooled reactor when heating up to 600...850 C. Preliminary experimental program provides obtainment of experimental data for about 5...6 critical configurations at room temperature and for about 20 hot critical configurations.

The main efforts within the Project are:

Development of computational models for investigation of HTGR-M safety and inherent self-protection, including neutron-physical, thermophysical and dynamic models.

Development and substantiation of programs of experiments at the modified ASTRA critical facility, RRC KI for validation of HTGR-M safety and inherent self-protection, including measurement of temperature effects of the reactor reactivity with the critical assembly heated from 20C to 600-850 C, measurement of the temperature reactivity effect constituents and of the worth of control rods as a function of temperature.

Development of a design and implementation of the ASTRA facility modifications to provide for heating of the critical assembly simulating the HTGR-M physics peculiarities within the temperature range from 20C to about 600-850 C.

Performance of the first series of experiments with heating up to high temperatures in the critical assembly with uranium fuel.

Performance of analysis of experimental and calculational investigations aimed to validation of nuclear safety and inherent self-protection of the uranium fuelled HTGR-M.

Preparation of proposals for experiments at the modernized ASTRA facility with heating of plutonium fuelled critical assemblies up to high temperatures as plutonium-based compacts are fabricated.

Under the ISTC Project # 0685.2, a large number of critical experiments with heating will be performed at the ASTRA facility for the annular reactor core, which will ensure representativeness of the obtained results for the Generation IV reactors.

Main Project Activities and Expected Results:

I Activities on substantiation of experiments at the ASTRA facility with heating up to high temperatures

  • Development and improvement of computational models (neutron-physical, thermophysical, dynamic) for study of the HTGR-M nuclear safety and inherent self-protection.
  • Development and substantiation of a detailed list of neutronics experiments with heating of critical assemblies simulating the HTGR-M at the ASTRA facility up to high temperatures.
  • Development and substantiation of general programs of experiments and working programs for specific experiments at the ASTRA facility with heating of critical assemblies up to high temperatures.

II Modernization of the ASTRA facility for experiments with heating up to high temperatures
  • Development of a detailed design and technical documentation for the modernized ASTRA critical facility allowing neutronics experiments with heating of critical assemblies up to high temperatures.
  • Purchase of materials, equipment, components, and fabrication of nonstandard equipment for the modernized ASTRA critical facility. Erection, adjustment and commissioning of the modernized ASTRA critical facility.

III Performance of two series of experiments at the modernized ASTRA facility mainly with heating of critical assembly core, and performance of calculations. Totally about 20-25 critical states are planned.
  • The first series is preliminary experiments with cold core for verification of methods (5-6 critical states with different configurations);
  • The second series will be neutronic experiments with heating up to high temperatures in the uranium fuelled critical assembly, related to four-five targeted sub-programs for heated zone: with measurement of temperature reactivity effect, critical position of control rods versus zone (or/and its parts and reflector) temperature, reactivity margin, etc. - totally it should be above 20 critical states (4-6 states per each task). During each critical state the full number of representative measurements, describing reactor physics, will be done. Each critical state will be studied for several temperature sub-states. All measurements will be accompanied by relevant calculations with different data and codes.
  • Based on results of the experiments performed at the ASTRA facility, verification of computational methods, codes and models designed for analysis of nuclear safety and inherent self-protection of the uranium fuelled HTGR-M.
  • Issue of scientific and technical reports under the present project for the ISTC, preparation of publications, holding of seminars, working meetings, presentations, etc.

Preparation of proposals for follow-on experimental investigations at the modernized ASTRA facility with heating of plutonium fuelled critical assemblies up to high temperatures as plutonium-based compacts are fabricated.


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