The Indian Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR), under construction at Kalpakkam, near Chennai, is “a unique reactor” which does not require water for emergency cooling of its nuclear fuel core in the case of an accident, said Baldev Raj, Director, Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR) at Kalpakkam. The 500 MWe PFBR will be commissioned in 2012. The project is running several months behind a previously scheduled Sept, 2011 start date.
Besides the PFBR, two Commercial Fast Breeder Reactors (CFBRs) of 500 MWe each would be built at Kalpakkam and their construction would begin in 2017. There was no leakage of sodium for the past 14 years in the Fast Breeder Test Reactor (FBTR) at Kalpakkam, which was a forerunner to the PFBR. Although 75 kg of sodium was spilled in the FBTR prior to that, there was no fire, Mr. Chetal said.
The final cost of the 500 MW nuclear power plant — the Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) — at Kalpakkam will be Rs 5,677 crore, which is an increase of 62 per cent over the estimated initial cost of Rs 3,500 crore.
The prototype FBR can produce and use its own nuclear fuel. According to Dr Baldev Raj, Director, Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research, the sites for two FBRs have been identified in Kalpakkam, while the other two units can be set up anywhere in the country. They would go critical by 2020. Once the six are commissioned, the future FBRs will be of 1,000 MW capacity, he said.
The cost escalation was mainly due to the increase in the cost of raw materials, construction of residential colony and also some design changes after the 2004 tsunami. The cost per MW will be Rs 11 crore, he told newspersons at IGCAR at Kalpakkam, 50 km south of Chennai.
Mr Prabhat said the cost was high as this was a single unit, while in future when the CBFR (commercial fast breeder reactor) is put in multiple locations, the cost could be much lower. “We are working with designers to reduce the cost of development,” he said.
India KUDANKULAM-2 PWR 1000 MWe should be connected to the grid already
China QINSHAN 2-4 PWR 650 MWe Grid connection expected 2012/03/28
Argentina Atucha 2 PHWR 745 MWe Grid connection expected 2012/07/06
France Flamanville-3 PWR 1650 MWe 2012/05/01
Japan Shimane-3 BWR 1373 MWe 2011/12/15
Korea Shin-Kori-2 PWR 1000 MWe 2011/08/01
Slovakia Mochovce-3 PWR 440 MWe 2012/12/30
Slovakia Mochovce-4 PWR 440 MWe 2013/09/01
Taiwan Lungmen 1 ABWR 1300 MWe 2012
Canada Bruce A1 PHWR 769 MWe 2012
Canada Bruce A2 PHWR 769 MWe 2013
Taiwan Lungmen 2 ABWR 1300 MWe 2012
Korea Shin Wolsong 1 PWR 1000 MWe 2012
Canada Point Lepreau 1 PHWR 635 MWe 2012
Russia Beloyarsk-4 FBR 880 MWe 2014
2011 Russia, Energoatom Kalinin 4 PWR 950 MWe
2012 Finland, TVO Olkilouto 3 PWR 1600
2012 Russia, Energoatom Vilyuchinsk PWR x 2 70
2012 Russia, Energoatom Novovoronezh II-1 PWR 1070
2012 China, CGNPC Hongyanhe 1 PWR 1080
2012 China, CGNPC Ningde 1 PWR 1080
2013 Korea, KHNP Shin Wolsong 2 PWR 1000
2013 USA, TVA Watts Bar 2 PWR 1180
2013 Russia, Energoatom Leningrad II-1 PWR 1070
2013 Korea, KHNP Shin-Kori 3 PWR 1350
2013 China, CNNC Sanmen 1 PWR 1250
2013 China, CGNPC Ningde 2 PWR 1080
2013 China, CGNPC Yangjiang 1 PWR 1080
2013 China, CGNPC Taishan 1 PWR 1700
2013 China, CNNC Fangjiashan 1 PWR 1080
2013 China, CNNC Fuqing 1 PWR 1080
2013 China, CGNPC Hongyanhe 2 PWR 1080
Russian reactor construction and uprates
Russia reactor Kalinin-4, a V-320 unit which is being built by Nizhny-Novgorod Atomenergopoekt and it is due to start up in September 2011 and be grid-connected in November.
Most Russian reactors are being uprated. In December 2009 Rostechnadzor approved a 4% increase in power from Balakovo-2, a V-320 unit completed in 1988. Rostov-1, the newest operating V-320 unit, has been approved similarly. During 2010 the uprating program is expected to be completed for all VVER units except Novovoronezh 5: 4% for VVER-1000, 5% for VVER-440. The cost of this was put at US$ 200 per kilowatt, compared with $2400/kW for construction of Rostov-2. Novovoronezh 5 started a 9-month upgrade in September 2010, which will extend its operating life to 2035
All RBMKs will be uprated 5% by 2013, except Leningrad 1. A major contract for upgrading Leningrad unit 4 over 2008-11 is under way, as is that for Kursk 4. Kursk 2 & 3 with Smolensk 3 will soon follow. Kursk 1 was the first RBMK unit to be licensed for pilot operation with 5% uprate. The R&D Institute of Power Engineering was preparing plans for 5% uprating of the later Leningrad, Kursk and Smolensk units. For Leningrad 2-4, fuel enriched to average 3% instead of 2.4% will give a 5% increase in power – some 46 MWe each. Rostechnadzor has authorized trials in unit 2 of the new fuel, and early in 2010 it will consider authorizing a 5% uprate for long-term operation.
Rosenergoatom is investigating further uprates of VVER-1000 units to 107 or 110% of original capacity, using Balakovo 4 as a pilot plant by 2014. This could then be extended to other Balakovo units, then Rostov and Kalinin. The cost of further uprates is expected to be up to $570/kW, depending on what needs to be replaced – the turbine generators being the main items.
In 2010 AKME-Engineering contracted with Atomenergoproekt to design the pilot SVBR-100 (factory mass produced breeder reactor), with the IPPE. Construction is scheduled to take 42 months, from 2013.
India’s Fast Breeder and other nuclear plans
After the prototype fast breeder, six more such 500 MWe fast reactors have been announced for construction, four of them in parallel by 2017.
Initial FBRs will have mixed oxide fuel or carbide fuel, but these will be followed by metallic fuelled ones to enable shorter doubling time. One of the last of the above six is to have the flexibility to convert from MOX to metallic fuel (ie a dual fuel unit), and it is planned to convert the small FBTR to metallic fuel about 2013.
Following these will be a 1000 MWe fast reactor using metallic fuel, and construction of the first is expected to start about 2020. This design is intended to be the main part of the Indian nuclear fleet from the 2020s. A fuel fabrication plant and a reprocessing plant for metal fuels are planned for Kalpakkam, the former possibly for operation in 2014.
China Fast Neutron Reactors
China sees the fast neutron reactors (FNRs) are seen as a main technology, and CNNC expects the FNR to become predominant by mid-century. A 65 MWt fast neutron reactor – the Chinese Experimental Fast Reactor (CEFR) – near Beijing achieved criticality in July 2010. Based on this, a 600 MWe pre-conceptual design was developed. The current plan is to develop an indigenous 1000 MWe design to begin construction in 2017, and commissioning 2022. This is known as the Chinese Demonstration Fast Reactor (CDFR) project 1.
In addition to CDFR project 1, in October 2009, an agreement with Russia confirmed earlier indications that China would opt for the BN-800 technology as CDFR project 2. The 880 MWe gross BN-800 reactor being built by OKBM Afrikantov at Beloyarsk in Siberia is the reference design and the first two in China are planned to start construction in 2013 at Sanming, Fujian province, with the first to be in operation in 2018.
The CDFR-1000, a 1000 MWe Chinese prototype fast reactor based on the CEFR, is envisaged with construction start in 2017 and commissioning 2023 as the next step in CIAE’s program. This is CIAE’s ‘project one’ Chinese Demonstration Fast Reactor (CDFR). With a 40-year design lifetime, it will be a three-loop 2500 MWt pool type, with active and passive shutdown systems and passive decay heat removal. The reactor would use MOX fuel with average 66 GWd/t burn-up, run at 544°C, have breeding ratio 1.2, with 316 core fuel assemblies and 255 blanket ones. This could form the basis of the Chinese Commercial Fast Reactor (CCFR) by 2030, using MOX + actinide or metal + actinide fuel. MOX is seen only as an interim fuel, the target arrangement is metal fuel in closed cycle.
The CIAE’s CDFR-1000 is expected to be followed by a 1200 MWe China Demonstration Fast Breeder Reactor (CDFBR) by about 2028, conforming to Generation IV criteria. This will have U-Pu-Zr fuel with 120 GWd/t burn-up and breeding ratio of 1.5 or more, with minor actinide and long-lived fission product recycle.
China High Temperature Pebble Bed Reactor Modules
The small HTR-PM units with pebble bed fuel were to be 200 MWe reactors, similar to that being developed in South Africa, but plans have evolved to make them twin 105 MWe reactors so that they can retain the same core configuration as the prototype HTR-10. The twin units will drive a single steam turbine. China Huaneng Group is the lead organization in the consortium to build the demonstration Shidaowan HTR-PM with China Nuclear Engineering & Construction Group (CNEC) and Tsinghua University’s INET, which is the R&D leader. Chinergy Co., a joint venture of Tsinghua and CNEC, is the main contractor for the nuclear island. Thermal efficiency of 40%, localisation 75% and 50-month construction for the first unit is envisaged. The initial HTR-PM will pave the way for 18 (3×6) further 210 MWe units at the same site – total 3800 MWe
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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