Technology Reviews

Design and Technology Development Status and Design Considerations for Innovative Small and Medium Sized Reactors

[+] Author and Article Information
Vladimir Kuznetsov

 International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna A1400, Austria

According to the classification used by IAEA, small reactors are reactors with an equivalent electric power of less than 300 MW and medium sized reactors are reactors with an equivalent electric power between 300 MW and 700 MW.

The examples are the Republic of Korea, India, and Argentina.

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 131(6), 064001 (Jul 16, 2009) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3078786 History: Received August 14, 2008; Revised August 26, 2008; Published July 16, 2009

There is continuing interest in Member States in the development and application of small and medium sized reactors (SMRs), i.e., the reactors with an equivalent electric power of less than 700 MW. In 2006–2007, several distinct “families” of innovative SMRs comprising more than 50 innovative concepts and designs have been analyzed or developed by national or international programs involving Argentina, Brazil, China, Croatia, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Lithuania, Morocco, Russian Federation, South Africa, Turkey, USA, and Vietnam. Innovative SMRs are under development for all principal reactor lines. The target dates when they could be ready for deployment protrude from 2010 to 2030. The designers of innovative small and medium sized reactors pursue new design and deployment strategies making use of certain advantages provided by smaller reactor size and capacity to achieve reduced design complexity and simplified operation and maintenance requirements and to provide for incremental capacity increase through multiple plant clustering or multimodule plant construction. Competitiveness of SMRs depends on the incorporated strategies to overcome loss of economies of scale but equally it depends on finding appropriate market niches for such reactors, which generically include markets with limited investment capability potentially benefiting from reaching the targeted nuclear power station capacity incrementally, small electrical grids, off-grid locations, and nonelectrical applications of nuclear power.

Copyright © 2009 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Layout of the IRIS integral primary coolant system (international consortium led by Westinghouse, Pittsburgh)

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Figure 2

Modular layout of the KLT-40S reactor plant (OKBM, Russian Federation): (1) reactor, (2) steam generator, (3) main circulating pump, (4) control and protection system drives, (5) emergency core cooling system accumulator, (6) and (7) pressurizers, (8) steam lines, (9) localizing valves, and (10) heat exchanger of the purification and cooldown system

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Figure 3

Passive heat removal paths of PBMR (PBMR Ltd., South Africa)

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Figure 4

A generic scheme illustrating potential SMR economic factor advantages (Westinghouse, Pittsburgh).

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Figure 5

A generic scheme illustrating deployment potential of some innovative SMRs. Concepts to the left are described in detail in Ref. 3 and to the right in Ref. 4. The abbreviations for the SMR designs that currently show good progress toward advanced design stage or deployment are decrypted as follows: ABV—Russian abbreviation for water cooled modular power reactor, OKBM, Russian Federation; AHTR—advanced high temperature reactor, ORNL; AHWR—advanced heavy water reactor, BARC, India; CAREM—Central Argentina de Elementos Modulares, CNEA, Argentina; CHTR—compact high temperature reactor, BARC, India; HTR-PM—high temperature reactor—pebble bed module, INET, Tsinghua University, China; IRIS—International Reactor Innovative and Secure, international team led by Westinghouse; KLT-40S—Russian Federation—icebreaker type reactor 35 MW(e), OKBM, Russian Federation, a floating plant with two such reactors is under construction currently; NHR—nuclear heating reactor, INET, Tsinghua University, China; PBMR—pebble bed modular reactor, PBMR Pty., South Africa; RITM—Russian abbreviation—reactor integral type modular, OKB, Russian Federation (note that the first version will be an icebreaker propulsion reactor); SMART—system integrated modular advanced reactor, KAERI, Republic of Korea; 4S—super-safe small and simple reactor, Toshiba Corporation—CRIEPI, Japan; and SVBR-75/100—Russian abbreviation for lead bismuth fast reactor 75/100 MW(e), IPPE, Russian Federation.




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