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BWR-Manual-npp2.pdf
Boiling Water Reactor Power Plant
This material was, for a purpose to be used in a nuclear education,
compiled comprehensively with a caution on appropriateness and
neutrality of information, based on references of neutral organizations,
suh as NRC, Wikipedia and ATOMICA, and vendors' information
especially on advanced reactors. At the end of this material, references
are listed.
September 2007
(Rev.-1 Dec.2007)
i
Contents
Part 1. Descriptions of BWR Power plants ..................................................................................................... 1
Chapter 1. BWR Development .................................................................................................................... 1
1.1. General ............................................................................................................................................. 1
1.2. BWR Type ........................................................................................................................................ 2
Chapter 2. BWR Technologies .................................................................................................................... 5
2.1. Reactor Coolant Recirculation System and Main Steam System ..................................................... 5
2.2. Structure of BWRs ........................................................................................................................... 5
(1) BWR reactor core and internals ..................................................................................................... 5
(2) Nuclear fuel ................................................................................................................................... 6
(3) Control rod and its drive mechanism ............................................................................................. 7
2.3. Engineered Safety Feature................................................................................................................ 8
(1) Emergency core cooling system .................................................................................................... 8
(2) Reactor containment .................................................................................................................... 10
2.4. Other Systems and Equipment ....................................................................................................... 11
(1) Reactor coolant clean up system.................................................................................................. 11
(2) Reactor core isolation cooling system ......................................................................................... 11
(3) Residual heat removal system ..................................................................................................... 11
(4) Waste processing system ............................................................................................................. 11
(5) Fuel handling equipment ............................................................................................................. 12
(6) Fuel pool cooling and cleanup system ......................................................................................... 12
(7) Turbine-generator equipment....................................................................................................... 12
2.5. Power Control of BWR .................................................................................................................. 12
(1) Power control method and self-regulating characteristics ........................................................... 12
(2) Heat transfer and power control................................................................................................... 13
(3) Load fluctuation and reactor pressure reduction .......................................................................... 13
Chapter 3. Features of BWR ..................................................................................................................... 13
3.1. BWR Design .................................................................................................................................. 13
(1) Generation of steam in a reactor core .......................................................................................... 13
(2) Feed water system ....................................................................................................................... 14
(3) Fluid recirculation in the reactor vessel ....................................................................................... 14
(4) Reactor control system ................................................................................................................ 14
(5) Steam turbines ............................................................................................................................. 15
(6) Size of reactor core ...................................................................................................................... 15
3.2 Advantages ...................................................................................................................................... 15
Part 2. Advanced BWRs ................................................................................................................................ 16
Chapter 4. ABWR Development ............................................................................................................... 16
ii
Chapter 5. ABWR Technologies ............................................................................................................... 18
5.1 Features of ABWR .......................................................................................................................... 18
(1) Reactor pressure vessel and internals .......................................................................................... 18
(2) External recirculation system eliminated ..................................................................................... 21
(3) Internal pump ............................................................................................................................... 21
(4) Control rod and drive mechanism................................................................................................ 23
(5) Safety - Simplified active safety systems .................................................................................... 24
(6) Digital control and instrumentation systems ............................................................................... 26
(7) Control room design .................................................................................................................... 27
(8) Plant construction ………………………………………………………………………………..
Chapter 6. Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor (ESBWR) ......................................................... 29
6.1 ESBWR and Natural Recirculation ................................................................................................. 29
6.2 ESBWR Passive Safety Design ....................................................................................................... 32
Chapter 7. Current status ........................................................................................................................... 35
iii
Part 1. Descriptions of BWR Power plants
Chapter 1. BWR Development
1.1. General
Boiling water reactors (BWRs) are nuclear power reactors utilizing light water as the reactor
coolant and moderator to generate electricity by directly boiling the light water in a reactor
core to make steam that is delivered to a turbine generator. There are two operating BWR
types, roughly speaking, i.e., BWRs and ABWRs (advanced boiling water reactors)
The outline of a BWR power plant is shown in Figure 1.
Figure 1. Outline of BWR Power Plant
More details on the System Outline of ABWR Power Plant
A pressurized water reactor (PWR) was the first type of light-water reactor developed because of its
application to submarine propulsion. The civilian motivation for the BWR is reducing costs for
commercial applications through design simplification and lower pressure components.
In contrast to the pressurized water reactors that utilize a primary and secondary loop, in civilian
BWRs the steam going to the turbine that powers the electrical generator is produced in the
reactor core rather than in steam generators or heat exchangers. There is just a single circuit in a
civilian BWR in which the water is at lower pressure (about 75 times atmospheric pressure)
so that it boils in the core at about 285°C.
1
BWRs have been originally developed by GE. GE started its development in 1950s as light
water reactor type nuclear power reactors, and the Dresden Unit-1 (200,000 kWe)
commissioned in July 1960 is the first BWR nuclear power station. After that, the GE
company has supplied many BWRs, Siemens (KWU, Germany), ABB-Atom
(Switzerland/Sweden) and Toshiba and Hitachi (Japan) also supplied many BWRS. In the
following, features and types of BWRs, mainly of conventional BWRs, are explained and
those of ABWRs are addressed in the next.
For BWRs, the steam void due to reactor coolant boiling has a negative-reactivity effect,
which can suppress a power rise even if a positive reactivity is added. The reactor power can
be controlled by two methods: reactor-coolant recirculation-flow control and control rod
operation.
A BWR nuclear power plant consists of the reactor coolant recirculation system and main
steam system that compose a nuclear reactor, engineered safety features that consist of the
emergency core cooling system, reactor core isolation cooling system, containment cooling
system and boric-acid injection system, turbine and generator equipment and other systems,
such as the reactor coolant purification system, waste processing equipment, fuel handling
equipment, other auxiliary equipment, etc.
1.2. BWR Type
Major reactor core parameters of BWR-2 to BWR-4, which are in operation in Japan are
shown in Table 1.
Table 1 Main Parameters for BWR Core
No
.
Item
Tsuruga
Unit-1
(BWR-2)
Fukushima
Unit-1
(BWR-3)
Hamaoka
Unit-2
(BWR-4)
Tokai
Unit-2
(BWR-5)
Kashiwaza
ki Unit-6
(ABWR)
(1)
Thermal output (MW)
1064
1380
2436
3293
3926
(2)
Electric output (MW)
357
460
840
1100
1356
(3)
Core equivalent dia. (m)
3.02
3.44
4.07
4.75
5.16
(4)
Core effective height (m)
3.66
3.66
3.71
3.71
3.71
(5)
Fuel assemblies (Number)
308
400
560
764
872
(6)
Control rod (Number)
73
97
137
185
205
(7)
Power density (kw/l)
About 40
About 40
About 50
About 50
About. 50
Improvement and history of BWR fuel in Japan are shown in Table 2. In 1960s, the
development started including introduction of overseas technologies under license agreements,
and the fuel type has been changed from 6x6 to 9x9 adopting many improvements resulting
from nuclear and mechanical research and developments.
Table 2 BWR Fuel Improvement in Japan
2
Year/Item
1960
1970
Objective
Major Improvement
Development in
general
Basic study on fuel material
Fuel rod irradiation test
Core design study
Fuel manufacturing
technologies
Initial
performance
development
Reliability
improvement
1980
Availability
improvement
1990
2000
High
performance /
high burnup fuel
6x6 type fuel demonstration
Domestic fuel performance
demonstration
7x7 type fuel development
(high power density and long
fuel rod development)
Reliability improvement
Improved 7x7 type fuel
development
Preconditioning fuel operation
8x8 type fuel development
Re-evaluation of
preconditioning fuel operation
He pressurized fuel
Two regional fuel reactivity
design
Controlled cell core
Zirconium liner fuel
High burnup fuel
Fuel Type
6x6
Reactor Type
JPDR (BWR-1)
7x7
7x7R
Tsuruga-1 (BWR-2)
Fukushima I-1
(BWR-3)
8x8
8x8 R
Liner
8x8 R
Fukushima I-2
(BWR-4)
Tokai-2 (BWR-5)
Fukushima II-2
(Improved BWR-5)
High
Burnup
8x8
Kashiwazaki-6
(ABWR)
Improvement of BWR containment is shown in Figure 2. Five types of containments were
applied for Japanese BWRs. Typical design for each type of containment is illustrated with
major dimensions. The design has attained significant improvement in the total volume per
output, resulting in a large cost benefit.
3
About 68 m
About 61 m
About 48 m
About
About 45 m
About 41.5 m
MARK-II
MARK-I
About 61 m
About 70 m
About 61 m
Licensed output: 500 MW
class or less: Tsuruga-1,
Fukushima I-1, Onagawa-1,
Hamaoka-1
Licensed output: 800 MW
class: Fukushima-I-2, 3, 4,
and 5, Hamaoka-2,
About 55 m
MARK-III
Licensed output: 1100
MW class: Fukushima II-1,
Tokai-2, Kashiwazaki-1
About 57 m
About 52 m
MARK-I Improved
Licensed output: 1100
MW class:
Tsuruga-1, Hamaoka-3,
Shimane-2
ABWR
MARK -II Improved
Licensed output: 1100
MW class:
Fukushima II-2, 3 and 4,
Kashiwazaki-2, 5, 3 and 4
Licensed output: 13500
MW class:
Kashiwazaki-6 and 7
Figure 2. History of BWR Containment
4
There are two operating BWR types, roughly speaking, i.e. BWRs including their
modifications and ABWRs (advanced BWRs). The first commercial power reactor
constructed in U.S. was the Dresden Unit-1 (full power operation in July 1960), which was
the BWR-1 reactor. This BWR-1 reactor was dual cycle like a pressurized water reactor and
adopted a dry type reactor containment vessel. The BWR-2 and the subsequent ones ware
designed to increase the power density that results in a smaller core size, to simplify the
system adopting a direct cycle with a steam drum provided inside a reactor vessel, to
multiplex the emergency core cooling system (ECCS), and to reduce the containment vessel
volume adopting a pressure-suppression-type pool, which led to the current operating BWR
designs.
Chapter 2. BWR Technologies
2.1. Reactor Coolant Recirculation System and Main Steam System
Boiling water reactors (BWRs) are nuclear power reactors generating electricity by directly
boiling the light water in a reactor pressure vessel to make steam that is delivered to a turbine
generator. After driving a turbine, the steam is converted into water with a condenser (cooled
by sea water in Japan), and pumped into the reactor vessel with feedwater pumps. A part of
the water is sent into the reactor vessel after being pressurized with recirculation pumps
installed outside of the vessel and fed into the reactor core from the bottom part of the reactor
vessel with jet pumps.
Inside of a BWR reactor pressure vessel (RPV), feedwater enters through nozzles high on the
vessel, well above the top of the nuclear fuel assemblies (these nuclear fuel assemblies
constitute the "core") but below the water level. The feedwater is pumped into the RPV from
the condensers located underneath the low pressure turbines and after going through
feedwater heaters that raise its temperature using extraction steam from various turbine stages.
The feedwater enters into the downcomer region and combines with water exiting the water
separators. The feedwater subcools the saturated water from the steam separators. This water
now flows down the downcomer region, which is separated from the core by a tall shroud.
The water then goes through either jet pumps or reactor internal pumps that provide additional
pumping power (hydraulic head). The water now makes a 180 degree turn and moves up
through the lower core plate into the nuclear core where the fuel elements heat the water.
When the flow moves out of the core through the upper core plate, about 12–15% of the
volume of the flow is saturated steam.
2.2. Structure of BWRs
(1) BWR reactor core and internals
Reactor core and internal structures of 1,100MWe class BWR reactor vessel are shown in
Figure 3. In a reactor vessel, there are a reactor core that mainly consists of fuel assemblies
and control rods in the center, equipment for generating steam for a turbine, such as a
steam-water separator and a steam dryer in the upper part of the vessel, equipment for
5
reactor-power control, such as control rod guide tubes and control rod drive housings in the
lower part of the vessel, and a core shroud, jet pumps etc. that surrounds the reactor core and
composes the coolant flow path in the periphery of reactor core.
Vent
Top spray nozzle
Flange
Steam dryer
Steam outlet nozzle
Steam separator
Reactor core spray nozzle
Low pressure coolant
injection nozzle
Core spray sparger
Upper grid
Jet pump
Fuel assembly
Feedwater inlet nozzle
Feedwater sparger
Core shroud
Control rod
Core plate
Coolant recirculation
outlet nozzle
Coolant recirculation
inlet nozzle
Reactor pressure
vessel support skirt
Control rod drive
mechanism housing
Incore monitor
housing
Figure 3. Internal Structure of BWR Reactor Vessel
(2) Nuclear fuel
BWR fuel assemblies, for an example of 8x8 type, consists of 64 rods: 62 fuel rods, one
spacer holding water rod and one water rod, which are arranged to a tetragonal lattice of 8x8
and enclosed in a channel box made of zircaloy as shown in Figure 4. Fuel rods are structured
to contain uranium-dioxide pellets, a plenum spring etc. in a zircaloy cladding tube, of which
both ends are weld-sealed with end plugs after pressurized with helium gas. The plenum is a
space provided so that the fission gas discharged from fuel pellets accompanying fuel burnup
is accommodated and the fuel rod internal pressure does not become excessive.
6
Figure 4. BWR Nuclear Fuel Structure
(3) Control rod and its drive mechanism
BWR control rods are composed of blades in a shape of cruciform in order to move through
the gaps formed between four channels of fuel assemblies as shown in Figure 5. Types of
control rods are, in terms of the absorber materials, boron carbide (B4C), hafnium (Hf) and
combination of these. A velocity limiter of an umbrella shape is provided at the lower portion
of the control rod to slow down the dropping velocity in case of a control rod drop accident.
Moreover, a connector to couple a control rod to a control rod drive mechanism is provided.
7
Figure 5. BWR Control Rod and its Drive Mechanism
There are two types of the control rod drive mechanism: hydraulic pressure drive and motor
drive. Both types utilize the nitrogen-gas pressure stored in accumulators as driving power for
fast insertion of control rods. When an anomaly occurs or could occur at a nuclear reactor, the
fast insertion of all control rods into a reactor core is carried out all at once from the lower
part of reactor core to shutdown nuclear reactor operation (it is called that a nuclear reactor is
scrammed.) The boric acid solution injection system is provided to inject a neutron absorber
material into the reactor core to stop reactor operation when the control rods cannot be
inserted and the nuclear reactor cannot be placed in low-temperature shutdown mode.
2.3. Engineered Safety Feature
(1) Emergency core cooling system
At an abnormal event of a BWR, actuation of the reactor shutdown system (a part of the
safety protection system) stops the nuclear reactor operation securely. The emergency core
cooling system (ECCS) is provided for the case when a break accident occurs to reactor
coolant system piping etc. and the reactor coolant is lost from a reactor core (loss of coolant
accident, LOCA). This system consists of one high pressure core cooling system, one low
pressure core cooling system, and three low pressure core injection (reflooder) systems.
More Details on Safety Design
8
Figure 6. ECCS Network for BWR-5, 1100MWe
9
(2) Reactor containment
Radioactive materials are released into the high temperature and high pressure coolant when a
fuel failure occurs. Therefore, a reactor containment is provided so that the coolant would not
discharge to the outside (Figure 7). All BWR containments are pressure suppression (pressure
suppression pool) type, and the steam discharged into the containment is led to the water pool
of the pressure suppression chamber, cooled and condensed, and the pressure rise within the
containment is suppressed as a result. Moreover, as the temperature and pressure of the
containment rise due to the fuel decay heat in a long term after an accident, it is necessary to
cool the inside of the containment. Furthermore, it is also necessary to remove radioactive
materials such as iodine within the containment. For such purposes, the containment spray
system is provided within the containment (drywell spray, pressure suppression chamber
spray). Furthermore, the standby gas treatment system is provided in the reactor building so
that the radioactive materials will not be released to the outside of the containment.
Figure 7. BWR Containment in the Reactor Building (Improved Mark-II)
In addition, following a loss of coolant accident, the temperature of fuel cladding could rise
and hydrogen could be generated by a water-metal reaction, which could impair the
containment integrity due to hydrogen gas combustion. In order to prevent such a case, BWR
containments are kept inert with nitrogen gas (Mark-III type containment is designed not to
use the nitrogen gas, but it is not adopted in Japan) during normal operation, and the
10
flammability control system to prevent hydrogen combustion by recombining the generated
hydrogen gas with oxygen gas.
2.4. Other Systems and Equipment
(1) Reactor coolant clean up system
The reactor coolant clean up system is provided to keep the coolant purity high, and consists
of pumps, regenerative heat exchangers, non-regenerative heat exchangers, filter
demineralizers, auxiliary equipment, etc.
The reactor coolant clean up system, together with the condensate cleanup system, keeps the
coolant properties within the following values;
Electric conductivity (25 degrees C)
Cr
pH (25 degrees C)
1 micro-S / cm or less
0.1 ppm or less
5.6 - 8.6
(2) Reactor core isolation cooling system
The reactor core isolation cooling system is provided to inject the condensed water of residual
heat removal system or condensate storage tank water, etc. into a reactor core with the
turbine-driven pump using a part of the nuclear reactor steam to maintain the reactor water
level, when supply of the condensate or feed water is stopped due to a certain cause after the
reactor shutdown.
(3) Residual heat removal system
The residual heat removal system is provided for removal of the residual heat during a normal
reactor shutdown and nuclear reactor isolation condition and for core cooling in case of a loss
of coolant accident, etc.
The system consists of three independent loops, consisting of two sets of heat exchangers and
three sets of pumps, which can be used in four modes by changing valve lineup. In addition,
the system can cool the fuel pool using a connection line to the fuel pool cooling and cleanup
system, when required.
(4) Waste processing system
Wastes generated in a plant are divided into gas, liquid and solid materials, and are processed
separately. The gaseous waste, after attenuating the radioactivity to sufficiently low level with
an activated-carbon-type noble gas hold-up device, is discharged from a vent stack monitoring
the concentrations of radioactive materials. The liquid waste, after being collected from each
generating source, is processed with a filter, a demineralizer and a waste evaporator, and is
reused as make-up water or discharged. The liquid waste condensed with the waste evaporator
is processed as a solid waste. The solid waste is processed by solidification, incineration,
compression etc. corresponding to the type and canned in a drum for storage in a storage
facility. In the solidification method, there are bituminization, plastic solidification and
cement solidification.
11
(5) Fuel handling equipment
Refueling is carried out once per 12 to 24 months in principle for an equilibrium cycle, and
the required refueling time period is about 20 days. The number of removed fuel assemblies at
one refueling is 20 to 30% of the total fuel assemblies in a core.
(6) Fuel pool cooling and cleanup system
The fuel pool cooling and cleanup system is provided to remove the decay heat of the spent
fuel with the heat exchangers of the reactor building closed cooling water system to cool the
fuel pool water, and to maintain the water purity and visibility of the fuel pool, reactor well
and pit for the steam dryer and steam-water separator by filter-demineralization of the fuel
pool water with a filter demineralizer,
The fuel pool cooling and cleanup system consists of pumps, filter demineralizers, heat
exchangers, auxiliary equipment etc.
(7) Turbine-generator equipment
(a) Steam turbine
Generally speaking, the steam turbine for nuclear power consumes more steam per unit output
and is a larger size compared with the turbine for thermal power plants, as the turbine inlet
steam condition is not good compared with that for thermal power plants.
Therefore, the rotation frequency of both the high-pressure and low pressure turbines is 1,500
to 1,800 rpm.
(b) Generator
The turbine generator for nuclear power plants has no essential difference from that for
thermal power plants.
2.5. Power Control of BWR
(1) Power control method and self-regulating characteristics
The BWR generates steam with pressure about 70 kg/cm2 by boiling light water in the reactor
core. Moreover, the amount of steam bubbles (void) generated by the boiling is controlled
with recirculation pumps (variable velocity pump) to control the nuclear reaction (power),
which is called the recirculation flow control system. As control rods are withdrawn out of the
core, the reactivity increases and then, the power (heat generation) increases, which results in
increase of steam void leading to reduction of moderator density, and the rate of uranium
fission becomes small and the reactivity decreases, which balances and stabilizes the reactor
power (reactivity). As control rods are inserted into the core, the reactivity decreases and the
power decreases, which results in decrease of steam void leading to increase of moderator
density, and the rate of uranium fission becomes large and the reactivity increases, which
balances and stabilizes the reactor power. In this way, BWRs have a self-regulating
characteristic of the reactor power.
12
(2) Heat transfer and power control
The heat generated in fuel rods is transferred to the reactor coolant. The magnitude of heat
transferred according to the temperature difference between the heat transfer surface and the
coolant has been obtained in many experiments. Since the heat transfer decreases in the
transition film-boiling region in which the boiling becomes violent that could cause a burnout
of fuel cladding tube, the heat transfer in the nucleate-boiling region is utilized in BWR.
Therefore, the reactor operation limits are imposed on BWRs not to approach to the transition
film-boiling region during normal operation and abnormal operational transients.
(3) Load fluctuation and reactor pressure reduction
When BWRs experience a load fluctuation in automatic power control mode, first of all, the
reactor power is adjusted by increase or decrease of the recirculation flow. Automatic power
control is adjusted during about 70%--100% of the rated power. If electrical grid demands
increase turbine generator output power, at first the power control system increases the
recirculation flow that results in increase of the reactor power. The reactor pressure is
controlled to be constant by opening of a turbine control valve by reactor pressure system.
Opening of a turbine control valve increases the steam flow and the turbine generator output
power. This method is called "the reactor master / turbine slave (nuclear reactor priority
method)." In addition, when an abnormal turbine trip occurs, the steam flow is interrupted and
the reactor scram occurs to protect abnormal pressure rise. Also, bypass valves are opened to
bypass the steam to main condenser.
Chapter 3. Features of BWR
The BWR is characterized by two-phase fluid flow (water and steam) in the upper part of the
reactor core. Light water (i.e., common distilled water) is the working fluid used to conduct
heat away from the nuclear fuel. The water around the fuel elements also "thermalizes"
neutrons, i.e., reduces their kinetic energy, which is necessary to improve the probability of
fission of fissile fuel. Fissile fuel material, such as the U-235 and Pu-239 isotopes, have large
capture cross sections for thermal neutrons.
3.1. BWR Design
(1) Generation of steam in a reactor core
In contrast to the pressurized water reactors that utilize a primary and secondary loop, in
civilian BWRs the steam going to the turbine that powers the electrical generator is produced
in the reactor core rather than in steam generators or heat exchangers. There is just a single
circuit in a civilian BWR in which the water is at lower pressure (about 75 times atmospheric
pressure) compared to a PWR so that it boils in the core at about 285°C. The reactor is
designed to operate with steam comprising 12 to 15% of the volume of the two-phase coolant
flow (the "void fraction") in the top part of the core, resulting in less moderation, lower
neutron efficiency and lower power density than in the bottom part of the core. In comparison,
there is no significant boiling allowed in a PWR because of the high pressure maintained in its
primary loop (about 158 times atmospheric pressure).
13
(2) Feed water system
Inside of a BWR reactor pressure vessel (RPV), feedwater enters through nozzles high on the
vessel, well above the top of the nuclear fuel assemblies (these nuclear fuel assemblies
constitute the "core") but below the water level. The feedwater is pumped into the RPV from
the condensers located underneath the low pressure turbines and after going through
feedwater heaters that raise its temperature using extraction steam from various turbine stages.
(3) Fluid recirculation in the reactor vessel
The heating from the core creates a thermal head that assists the recirculation pumps in
recirculating the water inside of the RPV. A BWR can be designed with no recirculation
pumps and rely entirely on the thermal head to recirculate the water inside of the RPV. The
forced recirculation head from the recirculation pumps is very useful in controlling power,
however. The thermal power level is easily varied by simply increasing or decreasing the
speed of the recirculation pumps.
The two phase fluid (water and steam) above the core enters the riser area, which is the upper
region contained inside of the shroud. The height of this region may be increased to increase
the thermal natural recirculation pumping head. At the top of the riser area is the water
separator. By swirling the two phase flow in cyclone separators, the steam is separated and
rises upwards towards the steam dryer while the water remains behind and flows horizontally
out into the downcomer region. In the downcomer region, it combines with the feedwater
flow and the cycle repeats.
The saturated steam that rises above the separator is dried by a chevron dryer structure. The
steam then exits the RPV through four main steam lines and goes to the turbine.
(4) Reactor power control system
Reactor power is controlled via two methods: by inserting or withdrawing control rods and by
changing the water flow through the reactor core.
Positioning (withdrawing or inserting) control rods is the normal method for controlling
power when starting up a BWR. As control rods are withdrawn, neutron absorption decreases
in the control material and increases in the fuel, so reactor power increases. As control rods
are inserted, neutron absorption increases in the control material and decreases in the fuel, so
reactor power decreases. Some early BWRs and the proposed ESBWR designs use only
natural circulation with control rod positioning to control power from zero to 100% because
they do not have reactor recirculation systems.
Changing (increasing or decreasing) the flow of water through the core is the normal and
convenient method for controlling power. When operating on the so-called "100% rod line,"
power may be varied from approximately 70% to 100% of rated power by changing the
reactor recirculation flow by varying the speed of the recirculation pumps. As flow of water
through the core is increased, steam bubbles ("voids") are more quickly removed from the
core, the amount of liquid water in the core increases, neutron moderation increases, more
neutrons are slowed down to be absorbed by the fuel, and reactor power increases. As flow of
14
water through the core is decreased, steam voids remain longer in the core, the amount of
liquid water in the core decreases, neutron moderation decreases, fewer neutrons are slowed
down to be absorbed by the fuel, and reactor power decreases.
(5) Steam turbines
Steam produced in the reactor core passes through steam separators and dryer plates above the
core and then directly to the turbine, which is part of the reactor circuit. Because the water
around the core of a reactor is always contaminated with traces of radionuclides, the turbine
must be shielded during normal operation, and radiological protection must be provided
during maintenance. Most of the radioactivity in the water is very short-lived (mostly N-16,
with a 7 second half life), so the turbine hall can be entered soon after the reactor is shut
down.
(6) Size of reactor core
A modern BWR fuel assembly comprises 74 to 100 fuel rods, and there are up to
approximately 800 assemblies in a reactor core, holding up to approximately 140 tonnes of
uranium. The number of fuel assemblies in a specific reactor is based on considerations of
desired reactor power output, reactor core size and reactor power density.
15
Part 2. Advanced BWRs
Chapter 4. ABWR Development
ABWRs are Generation III reactors based on the boiling water reactor. The ABWR was
designed by General Electric and Japanese BWR suppliers. The standard ABWR plant design
has a net output of about 1350 megawatts electrical.
Figure 8. ABWR Power Plant Structure
Major differences between the BWR and ABWR designs are as shown in Table 3: the reactor
coolant pump is changed from the combination of recirculation pumps and jet pumps to
internal pumps (in-reactor-vessel type pump), the control rod drive system is changed to a
combination of a motor-driven drive and a hydraulic pressure drive from the hydraulic
pressure drive, and the containment is a reinforced-concrete type containment vessel. In
addition, the kashiwazaki kariwa Unit-6 and Unit-7 (electrical output is 1,356,000kW gross,
respectively) in Japan have started commercial operation as the first operating ABWRs in the
world.
16
Table 3. Major Specifications for BWR and ABWR
Items
ABWR
Conventional BWR
Electricity output
MWe
Thermal output
MWt
Reactor pressure
kgf/cm2g
Feed water temperature Degree-C
Core flow
Kg/h
Fuel type
Number of fuel assemblies
Number of control rods
Reactor pressure vessel ID: m
H: m
Reactor water recirculation system
1350 class
3926
72.1
215
About 52x106
New-type 8x8
872
205
About 7.1
About 21
Reactor internal pumps
(10)
1100 class
3293
70.7
215
About 48x106
New-type 8x8
764
185
About 6.4
About 22
Outer recirculation pumps
(2) + jet pumps (20)
Fine motion CR drive
(FMCRD) system
Fast scram with hydraulic
pressure drive
Reactor pressure vessel
nozzle
Low pressure reflooder
system (3 systems)
High pressure core
reflooder system (2
systems)
Reactor core isolation
cooling system
Automatic
depressurization system
3 systems (common use)
Building integral-type
made of reinforced
concrete
Hydraulic pressure CR
drive (CRD) system
Fast scram with hydraulic
pressure drive
Main steam pipe Venturi
nozzle
Low pressure reflooder
system (3 systems)
Low pressure core spray
system
High pressure core spray
system
Automatic
depressurization system
2 systems (common use)
Advanced Mark-I or
advanced Mark-II made of
steel
TC8F52”
2 stage reheating
6
TC8F41”/43”
Non-reheating
6
Control rod drive mechanism
Power control
Scram
Steam flow restrictor
Emergency core cooling system
Residual heat removal system
Containment
Main turbine
Type
Thermal cycle
Number of steam extraction
stages
More details in Standard ABWR Technical Data
17
Following the Kashiwazaki-Kariwas Unit-6 and Unit-7, the Hamaoka Unit-5 of the Chubu
Electric Power Co., Inc., which is the second generation ABWR adopting new technologies,
started its commercial operation in January 2005 as the world's largest class output power
station.
Chapter 5. ABWR Technologies
5.1 Features of ABWR
BWR characterized by the simplified direct cycle type is completed as a high reliability and
safety nuclear reactor with many improvements, such as optimization of the core power
density and fuel burnup, adoption of a built-in steam-water separator, multiple emergency
core cooling system, etc. In addition to those improvements, ABWRs adopt the following
superior technologies.
(1) Reactor pressure vessel and internals
The nuclear reactor of advanced building water reactor (ABWR) adopts the internal-pump
system as a reactor-coolant recirculation system, which installs pumps in a reactor pressure
vessel. The reactor internals consist of internal structures, such as steam-water separator and
steam dryer, and a core support for fuel assemblies as shown in Figure 9.
18
Reactor pressure vessel
Steam dryer
Steam-water separator
High-pressure core
Flooder sparger
Upper grid
Fuel assembly
Control rod
Core plate
Internal pump
Control rod drive mechanism
Figure 9. Reactor Pressure Vessel and Internals
Utilizing their 30 years of experience in operating BWR reactors, a special care is made in
selecting the right material. Cobalt has been eliminated from the design. The steel used in the
primary system is made of nuclear grade material (low carbon alloys) which are resistant to
integranular stress corrosion cracking.
The ABWR reactor pressure vessel is 21 meters high and 7.1 meters in diameter.
19
The base metal of the reactor pressure vessel, which contains fuel assemblies, control rods
and reactor internals, is made of low alloy steel and the inside surface of the vessel is lined
with stainless steel to have a corrosion resistance.
Much of the vessel, including the 4 vessel rings from the core beltline to the bottom head, is
made from single forging. The vessel has no nozzles greater than 2 inches in diameter
anywhere below the top of the core because the external recirculation loops have been
eliminated. Because of these two features, over 50% of the welds and all of the piping and
pipe supports in the primary system have been eliminated and, along with it, the biggest
source of occupational exposure in the BWR.
The reactor core comprises fuel assemblies as shown in Figure 10 and control rods. Each fuel
rod in fuel assemblies contains sintered pellets of low-enriched uranium within a
zirconium-lined cladding. They are brought together in fuel assemblies, 8x8 arrays of fuel
rods held in place by upper and lower tie plates and spacers.
Upper tie-plate
Channel fastener
Channel box
Outer spring
Uranium dioxide
pellets
Water rod
Spacer
Lower tie-plate
Figure 10 ABWR Fuel
20
(2) External recirculation system eliminated
One of the unique features of the ABWR is its external recirculation system elimination. The
external recirculation pumps and piping have been replaced by ten reactor internal pumps
mounted to the bottom head. (Refer to Figure 11)
Reactor
internal pump
Reactor
recirculation
pump
Figure 11. Reactor Cooling Pump for BWR and ABWR
Prior to the ABWR, all large commercial nuclear steam supply systems provided by GE from
the BWR/3 through the BWR/6 designs used jet pump recirculation systems. These systems
have two large recirculation pumps (each up to 9000 Hp) located outside of the reactor
pressure vessel (RPV). Each pump takes a suction from the bottom of the downcomer region
through a large diameter nozzle and discharges through multiple jet pumps inside of the RPV
in the downcomer region. There is one nozzle per jet pump for the discharge back into the
RPV and the external headers supplying these nozzles. Valves are required to isolate this
piping in the event of a failure.
Consequently, reactor internal pumps eliminate all of the jet pumps (typically 10), all of the
external piping, the isolation valves and the large diameter nozzles that penetrated the RPV.
(3) Internal pump
Reactor internal pumps inside of the reactor pressure vessel (RPV) are a major improvement
over previous BWR reactor plant designs (BWR/6 and prior). These pumps are powered by
wet-rotor motors with the housings connected to the bottom of the RPV and eliminating large
diameter external recirculation pipes that are possible leakage paths. The 10 internal pumps
are located at the bottom of the downcomer region.
21
The first reactors to use reactor internal pumps were designed by ASEA-Atom (now
Westinghouse Electric Company by way of mergers and buyouts, which is owned by
Toshiba) and built in Sweden. These plants have operated very successfully for many years.
The internal pumps reduce the required pumping power for the same flow to about half that
required with the jet pump system with external recirculation loops. Thus, in addition to the
safety and cost improvements due to eliminating the piping, the overall plant thermal
efficiency is increased. Eliminating the external recirculation piping also reduces occupational
radiation exposure to personnel during maintenance.
Figure 12. Reactor Internal Pump
22
(4) Control rod and drive mechanism
A operational feature in the ABWR design is electric fine motion control rod drives. BWRs
use a hydraulic system to move the control rods which is driven by locking piston drive
mechanism.
BWR
Hydraulic drive
ABWR
Motor + hydraulic drive
Reactor
pressure
vessel
Reactor
pressure
vessel
Insertion
side
Withdrawal
side
Scram water
inlet
Motor
Figure 13. Control Drive Mechanism for BWR and ABWR
The materials in the control rods absorb neutrons and so restrain and control the reactor's
nuclear fission chain reaction. The rods themselves have a cruciform cross section. They are
inserted upwards, from the base of the RPV, into the rod spaces in fuel assemblies.
Fine motion control rod drives (FMCRD) are introduced in the ABWR. The control rods are
scrammed hydraulically but can also scrammed by the electric motor as a backup. The
FMCRDs have continuous clean water purge to keep radiation to very low levels.
23
Figure 14. Control Rod and Drive Mechanism
(5) Safety - Simplified active safety systems
ABWR has three completely independent and redundant divisions of safety systems. The
systems are mechanically separated and have no cross connections as in earlier BWRs. They
are electronically separated so that each division has access to redundant sources of ac power
and, for added safety, its own dedicated emergency diesel generator. Divisions are physically
separated. Each division is located in a different quadrant of the reactor building, separated by
fire walls. A fire, flood or loss of power which disables one division has no effect on the
capability of the other safety systems. Finally, each division contains both a high and low
pressure system and each system has its own dedicated heat exchanger to control core cooling
and remove decay heat. One of the high pressure systems, the reactor core isolation cooling
(RCIC) system, is powered by reactor steam and provides the diverse protection needed
should there be a station blackout.
The safety systems have the capability to keep the core covered at all times. Because of this
capability and the generous thermal margins built into the fuel designs, the frequency of
transients which will lead to a scram and therefore to plant shutdown have been greatly
reduced (to less than one per year). In the event of a loss of coolant accident, plant response
has been fully automated.
24
Any accident resulting in a loss of reactor coolant automatically sets off the emergency core
cooling system (ECCS). Made up of multiple safety systems, each one functioning
independently, ECCS also has its own diesel-driven standby generators that take over if
external power is lost.
High pressure core flooder (HPCF) and reactor core isolation cooling (RCIC) systems: These
systems inject water into the core to cool it and reduce reactor pressure.
Low pressure flooder (LPFL) system: Once pressure in the reactor vessel is reduced, this
system injects water into the reactor vessel. The reactor core is then cooled safely.
Automatic-depressurization system: Should the high-pressure injection system fails, this
system lowers the reactor vessel pressure to a level where the LPFL system can function.
Figure 15. Emergency Core Cooling System (ECCS)
(注)
ECCS: Emergency Core Cooling System
HPCF: High Pressure Core Flooder (System), RCIC: Reactor Core Isolation Cooling
(System), LPFL: Low Pressure Flooder (System), ADS: Auto-Depressurization System
25
The primary containment vessel encloses the reactor pressure vessel, other primary
components and piping. In the highly unlikely event of an accident, this shielding prevents the
release of radioactive substances. The ABWR uses a reinforced concrete containment vessel
(RCCV). Its reinforced concrete outer shell is designed to resist pressure, while the internal
steel liner ensures the RCCV is leak-proof. The compact cylindrical RCCV integrated into the
reactor building enjoys the advantages of earthquake-resistant design and economic
construction cost.
BWR
ABWR
Reactor building
Reactor containment
Reactor pressure vessel
Reactor recirculation pump
Figure 16. Reactor Containment for BWR and ABWR
(6) Digital control and instrumentation systems
The control and instrumentation (C&I) systems use state of the art digital and fiber optic
technologies. The ABWR has four separate divisions of safety system logic and control,
including four separate, redundant multiplexing networks to provide absolute assurance of
plant safety. Each system includes microprocessors to process incoming sensor information
and to generate outgoing control signals, local and remote multiplexing units for data
transmission, and a network of fiber optic cables. Multiplexing and fiber optics have reduced
the amount of cabling in the plant.
26
(7) Control room design
The entire plant can be controlled and supervised from the centered console and the large
display panel in the main control room. The left side of console and large display panel is for
the safety systems and the right side is for the balance of plant (turbine-generator, feedwater
system etc.). The CRTs and flat panel displays on the centered console and the large display
panel allow the operator to call up any system, its subsystems and components just by
touching the screen. It is possible to operate an entire system in manual operation mode.
Figure 17. Control Room Design
(8) Plant construction
The reactor and turbine building are arranged "in-line" and none of the major facilities are
shared with the other units. The containment is a reinforced concrete containment vessel
(RCCV) with a leak tight steel lining. The containment is surrounded by the reactor building,
which doubles as a secondary containment. A negative pressure is maintained in the reactor
building to direct any radioactive release from the containment to a gas treatment system. The
reactor building and the containment are integrated to improve the seismic response of the
building and the containment are integrated to improve the seismic response of the building
without additional increase in the size and load bearing capability of the walls.
27
At construction of the plant large modules which are prefabricated in the factory are used and
assembled to large structure on site. A 1000 ton-crawler crane will lift these modules and
place them vertically into the plant. Use of RCCV, modular construction and other
construction techniques reduce construction times.
RCCV: Reinforced Concrete Containment Vessel
RPV: Reactor Pressure Vessel
RIN: Reactor Internals
RB: Reactor Building
Figure 18. ABWR construction schedule (typical)
Particular attention was paid to designing the plant for ease of maintenance. Monorails are
available to remove equipment to a conveniently located service room via an equipment
hatch.
Removal of the reactor internal pumps and FMCRDs for servicing has been automated.
Handling devices, which in the case of the FMCRD is operated remotely from outside the
containment, engage and remove the equipment. The pump or driver is laid on a transport
device and removed through the equipment hatch. Just outside the hatch are dedicated service
rooms, one for the RIPs and another for the FMCRDs, where the equipment can be
decontaminated and serviced in a shielded environment. The entire operation is done
efficiently and with virtually no radiation exposure to the personnel.
28
Chapter 6. Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor (ESBWR)
6.1 ESBWR and Natural Recirculation
The Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor (ESBWR) is a passively safe generation III+
reactor which builds on the success of the ABWR. Both are designs by General Electric, and
are based on their BWR design. The plant data are shown in Table 4.
Table 4. ESBWR Technology Fact Sheet
Plant Life (years)
60
Thermal Power
4,500 MW
Electrical Power
1,560 MW
Plant Efficiency
34.7 %
Reactor Type
Boiling Water Reactor
Core
Fuel Type
Enriched UO2
Fuel Enrichment
4.2%
No. of Fuel Bundles
1,132
Coolant
Light water
Moderator
Light water
Operating Cycle Length
12-24 months
Outage Duration
~14 days
Percent fuel replaced at refueling
See footnote 4
Average fuel burnup at discharge
~50,000 MWd/MT
Number of Steam Lines
4
Number of Feedwater Trains
2
Containment Parameters
Design Temperature
340°F
Design Pressure
45 psig
Reactor Parameters
Design Temperature
575°F
Operating Temperature
550°F
Design Pressure
1,250 psig
Nominal Operating Pressure
1,040 psia
Feedwater & Turbine Parameters
Turbine Inlet/Outlet Temperature
543/93°F
Turbine Inlet/Outlet Pressure
985/0.8 psia
Feedwater Temperature
420°F
Feedwater Pressure
1,050 psia
Feedwater Flow
4.55 x 104 gpm
Steam mass flow rate
19.31 x 106 lbs/hr
Yearly Waste Generated
High Level (spent fuel)
50 metric tons
29
Intermediate Level (spent resins, filters, etc.) and
Low Level (compactable/non-compactable) Waste
1,765 cubic
The ESBWR uses natural circulation with no recirculation pumps or their associated piping.
Through design simplification, natural circulation in GE’s ESBWR will decrease Operations
and Maintenance (O&M) costs, reducing the overall cost of plant ownership. Natural
circulation provides simplification over previous Boiling Water Reactor (BWR) and all
Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) designs that rely on forced circulation. This improvement
is accomplished by the removal of recirculation pumps and associated motors, piping, valves,
heat exchangers, controls, and electrical support systems that exist with forced circulation.
Natural circulation in the ESBWR also eliminates the risk of flow disturbances resulting from
recirculation pump anomalies.
The ESBWR and internals is shown in Figure 19. and the natural recirculation of ESBWR is shown in
Figure 20.
Figure 19. ESBWR and Internals
30
Figure 20. ESBWR Natural Recirculation
Natural circulation is consistent with the key objectives of the ESBWR program: a passive
safety design with simplification achieved by evolutionary enhancements. Most of the
components in the ESBWR design are standard to BWRs and have been operating in the
commercial nuclear energy fleet for years. The main differences between natural and forced
circulation are the additions of:
• A partitioned chimney above the reactor core to stabilize and direct the steam and water
flow above the core.
• A correspondingly taller, open down-comer annulus that reduces flow resistance and
provides additional driving head, pushing the water to the bottom of the core.
Natural circulation is a proven technology. Valuable operating experience was gained from
previously employed natural circulation BWR designs. Examples of plants using only natural
circulation include the Humboldt Bay plant in California and the Dodewaard plant in the
Netherlands, which operated for 13 and 30 years respectively.
Today, large (>1000MW) BWRs can generate about fifty percent of rated power in natural
circulation mode. The operating conditions in this mode—power, flow, stability, steam
quality, void fraction, void coefficient, power density, and power distribution— are predicted
by GE calculation models that were calibrated against operating plant data from LaSalle,
Leibstadt, Forsmark, Confrentes, Nine Mile Point 2, and Peach Bottom 2. The ESBWR
utilizes proven natural circulation technology to operate a reactor with the size and
performance characteristics customers need today at one hundred percent of rated power.
31
6.2 ESBWR Passive Safety Design
The passively safe characteristics are mainly based on isolation condensers, which are heat
exchangers that take steam from the vessel (Isolation Condensers, IC) or the containment
(Passive Containment Cooling System, PCCS), condense the steam, transfer the heat to a
water pool, and introduce the water into the vessel again.
Those systems are illustrated in Figure 21 and 22.
Figure 21. Isolation Condenser System
32
Figure 22. Passive Containment Cooling System
This is also based on the gravity driven cooling system (GDCS) shown in Figure 23, which
are pools above the vessel that when very low water level is detected in the reactor, the
depressurization system opens several very large valves to reduce vessel pressure and finally
to allow these GDCS pools to reflood the vessel.
33
Figure 23. Gravity-Driven Cooling System
The core is shorter than conventional BWR plants because of the smaller core flow (caused by the natural
circulation). There are 1132 bundles and the thermal power is 4500 MWth (1550 MWe).
Below the vessel, there is a piping structure which allows for cooling of the core during a very
severe accident. These pipes divide the molten core and cool it with water flowing through the
piping.
The probability of radioactivity release to the atmosphere is several orders of magnitude
lower than conventional nuclear power plants, and the building cost is 60-70% of other light
water reactors.
The energy production cost is lower than other plants due to:
1. Lower initial capital cost
2. Lower operational and maintenance cost
General Electric has recalculated maximum core damage frequencies per year per plant for its
nuclear power plant designs:
BWR/4 -- 1 x 10-5 (a typical plant)
BWR/6 -- 1 x 10-6 (a typical plant)
ABWR -- 2 x 10-7 (now operating in Japan)
ESBWR -- 3 x 10-8 (submitted for Final Design Approval by NRC)
34
The ESBWR's maximum core damage frequency is significantly lower than that of the
AP1000 or the European Pressurized Reactor.
Chapter 7. Current status
As of December 2006, four ABWRs were in operation in Japan: Kashiwazaki-Kariwa units 6
and 7, which opened in 1996 and 1997, Hamaoka unit 5, opened 2004 having started
construction in 2000, and Shika 2 commenced commercial operations on March 15, 2006.
Another two, identical to the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa reactors, were nearing completion at
Lungmen in Taiwan, and one more (Shimane 3) had just commenced construction in Japan,
with major siteworks to start in 2008 and completion in 2011. Plans for at least six other
ABWRs in Japan have been postponed, cancelled, or converted to other reactor types, but
three of these (Higashidori 1 and 2 and Ohma) were still listed as on order by the utilities,
with completion dates of 2012 or later.
Several ABWRs are proposed for construction in the United States under the Nuclear Power
2010 Program. However these proposals face fierce competition from more recent designs
such as the ESBWR (Economic Simplified BWR, a generation III+ reactor also from GE) and
the AP1000 (Advanced, Passive, 1000MWe, from Westinghouse). These designs take passive
safety features even further than the ABWR does, as do more revolutionary designs such as
the pebble bed modular reactor.
On June 19, 2006 NRG Energy filed a Letter Of Intent with the Nuclear Regulatory
Commission to build two 1358-MWe ABWRs at the South Texas Project site.
New Reactor Licensing Applications in US including ABWR and ESBWR from 2005 to 2010
and beyond are shown in the Figure 24.
35
Figure 24. New Reactor Licensing Applications in US
36
References
NRC HP: http://www.nrc.gov/
Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page
ATOMICA: http://atomica.nucpal.gr.jp/atomica/index.html
Handbook for Thermal and Nuclear Power Engineers, English Edition of the 6th Edition, 2002, Thermal
and Nuclear Power Engineering Society of Japan (TENPES)
Nuclear Power Generation Guide, 1999 Edition, Edited by Nuclear Power Division, Public Utilities
Department, Agency for Natural Resources and Energy, Ministry of International Trade and Industry,
Published by Denryoku Shinnpou Sha (October 1999)
Outline of a LWR Power Station (Revised edition), Nuclear Safety Research Association (1992 October)
Outline of Safety Design (Case of BWR), Long-term Training Course on Safety Regulation and Safety
Analysis / Inspection, NUPEC, (2002)
Toshiba HP: http://www.toshiba.co.jp/index_j2.htm
GE HP: http://www.ge.com/index.htm
GE HP, ESBWR Overview, J. Alan Beard), September 15, 2006
Nuclear Renaissance, a Former Regulator’s Perspective Regarding the NRC Rrole and Activities, Ashok
Thadani
37
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