Nuclear Reactor and Worldwide Installations




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Chapter 5 : Nuclear Reactor and Worldwide Installations



Nuclear Reactor arrow_upward


  • A Nuclear Reactor is a system that contains and controls sustained nuclear chain reactions.
  • Reactors are used for:
    • Generating electricity,
    • Moving aircraft carriers and submarines,
    • For cancer treatment.


    Types of Nuclear Reactors arrow_upward


  • Pressurized Water Reactor,
  • Boiling Water Reactor,
  • Gas-cooled Reactor,
  • Pressurized Heavy Water Reactor,
  • Light Water Graphite Reactor,
  • Fast Neutron Reactor.

  • Main Components of Nuclear Reactors arrow_upward


  • Fuel
    • Nuclear fuel is a material that can be 'consumed' by fission or fusion to derive nuclear energy, by analogy to chemical fuel that is burned for energy.
  • Example:
    • Uranium 235 (235 U) and Plutonium 239 (239 Pu).

  • Moderator
    • It is a medium that reduces the speed of fast neutrons, thereby turning them into thermal neutrons capable of sustaining a nuclear chain reaction involving uranium-235.
  • Example: Graphite
  • Control Rods:
    • Used to control the chain reaction.
    • Materials that have larger cross-sections than fuel.
  • Coolant:
    • It is the material that passes through the core, transferring the heat from the fuel to a turbine.
    • It could be water, heavy-water, liquid sodium, helium or something else.
    • In the US fleet of power reactors, water is the standard.
  • Steam Generator:
    • Steam generators are heat exchangers used to convert water into steam from heat produced in a nuclear reactor core.
    • They are used in pressurized water reactors between the primary and secondary coolant loops.
  • Turbine/Generator:
    • It transfers the heat from the coolant to electricity, just like in a fossil-fuel plant.
  • Pumps:
    • It is a specific type of pump used to pump feed water into a steam boiler.
    • The water may be freshly supplied or returning condensate produced as a result of the condensation of the steam produced by the boiler.
  • Pressure Vessel:
    • Usually a robust steel vessel containing the reactor core and moderator/coolant.
    • It may be a series of tubes holding the fuel and conveying the coolant through the moderator.
  • Containment:
    • The structure around the reactor core which is designed to protect it from outside intrusion and to protect those outside from the effects of radiation in case of any malfunction inside.
    • It is typically a meter-thick concrete and steel structure.

    Pressurized Water Reactor arrow_upward


  • The PWR uses regular old water as a coolant.
  • The primary cooling water is kept at very high pressure so it does not boil.
  • It goes through a heat exchanger, transferring heat to a secondary coolant loop, which then spins the turbine.
  • These use oxide fuel pellets stacked in zirconium tubes.
  • They could possibly burn thorium or plutonium fuel as well.

  • Pros
  • Cons
  • Strong negative void coefficient -- reactor cools down if water starts bubbling.

    Pressurized coolant escapes rapidly if a pipe breaks, necessitating lots of back-up cooling systems.

    Secondary loop keeps radioactive stuff away from turbines, making maintenance easy.

    Can’t breed new fuel -- susceptible to "uranium shortage".



    Boiling Water Reactor arrow_upward


  • The BWR is similar to the PWR in many ways. However, they only have one coolant loop.
  • The hot nuclear fuel boils water as it goes out of the top of the reactor, where the steam heads over to the turbine to spin it.

  • Pros
  • Cons
  • Simpler plumbing reduces costs.

    With liquid and gaseous water in the system, many weird transients are possible, making safety analysis difficult.

    Power levels can be increased simply by speeding up the pumps, giving less boiled water and more moderation.

    Thus, load following is easy.

    Primary coolant is in direct contact with turbines, so if a fuel rod had a leak, radioactive material could be placed on the turbine.

    This complicates maintenance as the staff must be dressed for radioactive environments.



    Worldwide Nuclear Reactors arrow_upward



    Reactor Type

    Main Countries

    Num­ber

    Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR)

    US, France, Japan, Russia, China

    265

    Boiling Water Reactor (BWR)

    US, Japan, Sweden

    94

    Gas-cooled Reactor (Magnox & AGR)

    UK

    18

    Pressurized Heavy Water Reactor "CANDU" (PHWR)

    Canada

    44

    Light Water Graphite Reactor (RBMK)

    Russia

    12

    Fast Neutron Reactor (FBR)

    Japan, France, Russia

    2

    Other

    Russia

    4

    TOTAL

    439


  • Fuel, Coolant and Moderators used in various types of Nuclear Reactor.

  • Reactor Type

    Fuel

    Cool­ant

    Moder­ator

    Pressurized Water Reactor

    Enriched UO2

    water

    water

    Boiling Water Reactor

    Enriched UO2

    water

    water

    Gas-cooled Reactor

    natural (metal),

    Enriched UO2

    CO2

    graph­ite

    Pressurize Heavy

    Water Reactor

    natural UO2

    Heavy

    water

    Heavy

    water

    Light Water

    Graphite Reactor

    enriched UO2

    water

    graph­ite

    Fast Neutron

    Reactor

    PuO2 and UO2

    Liquid

    sodium

    none

    Other

    enriched UO2

    water

    graph­ite



    Worldwide Nuclear Installations arrow_upward


  • Nuclear power is and will remain an important energy resource, especially as world energy use climbs inexorably and the proportion of electricity in this increase.
  • Half a century's experience in harnessing the power of the atom has provided a basis for going forward with newer technologies for nuclear power generation and for managing the associated wastes.
  • Top 10 countries producing the most nuclear electricity (amount of electric power in MW) in the world are as follow:
  • 1. USA
  • 2. France
  • 3. Japan
  • 4. Russia
  • 5. Germany
  • 6. Korea
  • 7. Ukraine
  • 8. Canada
  • 9. UK
  • 10 .China

  • International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) arrow_upward


  • Formed in 1957.
  • Promotes peaceful nuclear use.
  • Oversees global energy security, scientific concerns.
  • Forum for scientific cooperation.
  • Institutes safety measures.
  • Promotes non-proliferation.

  • World Nuclear Installations (in Operation) arrow_upward



    Country

    Operational

    Nuclear

    Plants

    Argentina

    2

    Armenia

    1

    Belgium

    7

    Brazil

    2

    Bulgaria

    2

    Canada

    18

    China (PRC)

    13

    Croatia

    1

    Czech Republic

    6

    Finland

    4

    France

    58

    Germany

    17

    Hungary

    4

    India

    20

    Japan

    54

    Korea, South (ROK)

    21

    Mexico

    2

    Netherlands

    1

    Pakistan

    2

    Romania

    2

    Russia

    32

    Slovakia

    4

    Slovenia

    1

    South Africa

    2

    Spain

    8

    Sweden

    10

    Switzerland

    5

    Taiwan (ROC)

    6

    Ukraine

    15

    United Kingdom

    19

    United States

    104

    World

    442



    Top 10 Countries with Most Reliance on Nuclear Power arrow_upward


  • France and Lithuania generates 75% of their electric energy from nuclear sources.
  •                                                                   


    Country

    Nuclear Electricity

    As Percentage of Total Electricity

    Lithuania

    78%

    France

    77%

    Belgium

    58%

    Slovakia

    53%

    Ukraine

    46%

    Sweden

    44%

    Bulgaria

    42%

    Hungary

    39%

    Slovenia

    39%

    South Korea

    39%




    Thank You from Kimavi arrow_upward


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