Research Papers: Nuclear Power

Design, Development, Testing and Qualification of Diverse Safety Rod and Its Drive Mechanism for a Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor

[+] Author and Article Information
R. Vijayashree

Department of Atomic Energy, Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research, Kalpakkam 603 102, Indiarviji@igcar.gov.in

R. Veerasamy, Sudheer Patri, P. Chellapandi, G. Vaidyanathan, S. C. Chetal, Baldev Raj

Department of Atomic Energy, Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research, Kalpakkam 603 102, India

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 132(10), 102921 (Jul 09, 2010) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4001059 History: Received August 12, 2009; Revised October 20, 2009; Published July 09, 2010; Online July 09, 2010

Prototype fast breeder reactor is UPuO2 fueled sodium cooled pool type fast reactor and it is currently under construction at Kalpakkam, India. Prototype fast breeder reactor is equipped with two independent fast acting and diverse shutdown systems. A shutdown system comprises of sensors, logic circuits, drive mechanisms, and neutron absorbing rods. The two shutdown systems of prototype fast breeder reactor are capable of bringing down the reactor to cold shutdown state independent of the other. The absorber rods of the second shutdown system of prototype fast breeder reactor are called as diverse safety rods (DSRs) and their drive mechanisms are called as diverse safety rod drive mechanisms (DSRDMs). DSRs are normally parked above active core by DSRDMs. On receiving scram signal, the electromagnet of DSRDM is de-energized and it facilitates fast shutdown of the reactor by dropping the DSR into the active core. For the development of prototypes of DSR and DSRDM, three phases of testing, namely, individual component testing, integrated functional testing in room temperature, and endurance testing at high temperature sodium, were done. The electromagnet of DSRDM has been separately tested at room temperature, in furnace, and in sodium. Specimens simulating the contact conditions between electromagnet and armature of DSR have been tested to rule out self-welding possibility. The prototype of DSR has been tested in flowing water to determine the pressure drop and drop time. The functional testing of the integrated prototype DSRDM and DSR in aligned and misaligned conditions in air/water has been completed. The performance testing of the integrated system in sodium has been done in three campaigns. During the third campaign of sodium testing, the performance of the system has been verified with 30 mm misalignment at various temperatures. The third campaign has qualified the system for 10 years of operation in reactor. This paper presents design, development, testing, and qualification of the prototype DSR and DSRDM. Salient design specifications for both DSRDM and DSR are listed initially. The conceptual and detailed design features are explained with the help of figures. Details on material of construction are given at appropriate places. Test plans and criteria for endurance testing in sodium for qualification of DSRDM and DSR for operation in reactor are briefed. Brief explanation of test setups and typical test results are also given.

Copyright © 2010 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Shutdown mechanisms of PFBR

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Figure 2

Core plan of PFBR

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Figure 4

Schematic and vertical section of DSRDM

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Figure 5

Sodium test facility for electromagnet

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Figure 6

Lifting capacity of the electromagnet

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Figure 7

Testing of DSR in flowing water

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Figure 8

Comparison of theoretical and experimental pressure drops

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Figure 9

Lift force on mobile DSR

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Figure 10

Displacement versus time

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Figure 11

Variation of free fall time and braking time

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Figure 12

Friction force versus translation cycle number




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