Special Section Papers

Development of Technologies and Safety Systems for Pressurized Heavy Water Reactors in India

[+] Author and Article Information
S. Banerjee

Bhabha Atomic Research Center,
Mumbai 400085, India
e-mail: sbanerjee@barc.gov.in

H. P. Gupta

Bhabha Atomic Research Center,
Mumbai 400085, India
e-mail: hpgupta@barc.gov.in

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received July 18, 2016; final manuscript received December 7, 2016; published online March 1, 2017. Assoc. Editor: Thambiayah Nitheanandan.

ASME J of Nuclear Rad Sci 3(2), 020902 (Mar 01, 2017) (13 pages) Paper No: NERS-16-1072; doi: 10.1115/1.4035435 History: Received July 18, 2016; Revised December 07, 2016

The technology of pressurized heavy water reactors (PHWRs) which was developed with prime objectives of using natural uranium fuel, implementing on power fuelling, utilizing mined uranium most effectively, and achieving excellent neutron economy has demonstrated impressive performance in terms of high capacity factors and an impeccable safety record. The safety features and several technology advancements evolved over the years in which Indian contributions that are considerable are briefly discussed in the first part of the paper. Unique features of PHWR such as flexibility of fuel management, distribution of pressure boundaries in multiple pressure tubes (PTs), and a large inventory of coolant-moderator heat sink in close proximity of the core provide inherent safety and fuelling options to these reactors. PHWRs, in India have demonstrated to have the advantage of lower capital cost per megawatt even in small size reactors. Low burn up associated with natural uranium fuel, higher level of tritium in the heavy water coolant, and a slightly positive coolant void coefficient in present generation PHWRs have all been addressed in the design of advanced heavy water reactor (AHWR). The merit of adopting closed fuel cycle with partitioning of minor actinides in reducing the burden of radio-toxicity of nuclear waste and of deploying light water reactors (LWRs) in tandem with PHWRs in the evolving nuclear fuel cycle in India are also discussed.

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Fig. 1

Schematic of secondary shutdown system (SSS) for 220 MWel PHWRs

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Fig. 2

Schematic of automatic liquid poison addition system (ALPAS) and gravity addition of boron (GRAB) for 220 MWel PHWRs

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Fig. 3

Schematic of liquid poison injection system (LPIS) for 220 MWel PHWRs

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Fig. 4

Schematic of zone control units, shut down system (SDS)-1 and shut down system (SDS)-2 for 540 and 700 MWel PHWRs

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Fig. 5

Schematic of containments of (a) RAPS, (b) KAPS, (c) Kaiga standardized 220 MWel PHWR, and (d) Crane putting steam generator through containment opening

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Fig. 6

Schematic of containment spray system of 700 MWel PHWR

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Fig. 7

(a) Calandria with support rods and (b) calandria-end shield integral assembly

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Fig. 8

(a) Fuel handling system and (b) schematic of passive decay heat removal (PDHR) system of 700 MWel PHWR

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Fig. 9

Schematic of coolant channel and associated moderator of 540 MWel PHWR (axial view)

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Fig. 10

Flow diagram of accident analysis

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Fig. 11

Normalized power as function of time for loss of coolant accident (LOCA) benchmark problem

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Fig. 12

Relative power versus time in loss of regulation accident (LORA) of 540 MWel PHWR

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Fig. 13

(a) Emergency power supply scheme in a nuclear power plant and (b) fault tree for emergency power supply system in a nuclear power plant (courtesy P. V. Varde, BARC)

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Fig. 14

(a) Simplified illustration showing event tree approach for accident sequence and core damage frequency (CDF) evaluation for off-site power supply failure scenario and (b) core damage frequency (courtesy P. V. Varde, BARC)

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Fig. 15

Availability and capacity factors [26] (Courtesy NPCIL, India.)

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Fig. 16

Variation of fissile inventory of U235 and U233 in gm/kg as function of burn-up when 3% enriched UO2 and ThO2 is used in PHWRs [34]




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