Main Directions of Russian Developments of Prospective Structures of Water-Cooled Supercritical Pressure Reactors

I. G. Sharaevsky, N. M. Fialko, A. V. Nosovskyi, L. B. Zimin, T. S. Vlasenko,
G. I. Sharaevsky

Institute for Safety Problems of Nuclear Power Plants, NAS of Ukraine,
12, Lysogirska st., Kyiv, 03028, Ukraine



 An analytical review of the evolution of attempts to create, schematic and constructive solutions for energycooled nuclear reactors with nuclear steam overheating and supercritical parameters of the working fluid in the conditions of the former USSR and the Russian Federation was made. A comparison of a number of major technical and economic characteristics of main developments of tube and tank reactors is made, the available information on the results of experimental and industrial operation of AMB reactors structures is considered, their advantages and disadvantages are evaluated in terms of technical perfection, reliability, technical and economic performance as well as environmental safety. The expected reduction in capital costs of 40% during the transition of nuclear power units with a capacity of 1,000 MW to single-circuit promising SCWR reactors is achievable only if the steam temperature rises to 625 °C, which has not yet been mastered even in traditional power engineering. The specific energy intensity of reactor’s active zones promising Russian developments under the SCWR program is in most cases extremely high, which will have a negative impact on the characteristics of nuclear safety. The conclusion is made concerning the high probability of a significant increase in the accident rate of the SCWR reactor cores, due to the insufficient study of the heat transfer process characteristics on the heat transfer surface of the TVEL under the conditions of supercritical parameters of the coolant, in particular, such phenomena as pseudo film boiling and thermoacoustic vibrations. In general, insufficient level of completeness of the latest Russian developments and lack of final conceptual projects were noted, which does not provide sufficient grounds for choosing promising schematic and constructive decisions necessary for making reasonable forecasts about the possibility of using supercritical parameters of the coolant in the modern nuclear power industry in the near future.

Keywords: water-cooled nuclear reactor, supercritical parameters of coolant, technical and economic characteristics.


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