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MEE 481
MEE 481

Nuclear Power Plants

MEE 481 Nuclear Power Plants
MEE 481 Nuclear Power Plants
MEE 481 Nuclear Power Plants

Nuclear Power Worldwide

Nuclear Power Worldwide • The first commercial nuclear power stations started operation in the 1950s. 
Nuclear Power Worldwide • The first commercial nuclear power stations started operation in the 1950s. 

The first commercial nuclear power stations started operation in the 1950s.

Huge increase in 1970’s (due to oil shock) and

1980’s (due to French nuclear programme)

Nuclear energy now provides about 11% of the world's electricity from about 450 power reactors.

Nuclear is the world's second largest source of

low-carbon power (>30% of the total in 2015).

Nuclear

power

plants

are

countries worldwide

operational in 30

50 countries utilise nuclear energy in about 225 research reactors. In addition to research, these reactors are used for the production of medical

and industrial isotopes, as well as for training.

Nuclear Power Worldwide

World Electricity Production by Source 2015

Nuclear Power Worldwide World Electricity Production by Source 2015 World Electricity Production Forecast by Source

World Electricity Production Forecast by Source

Nuclear Power Worldwide World Electricity Production by Source 2015 World Electricity Production Forecast by Source
Nuclear Power Worldwide There are currently 436 operational reactors, with 59 under construction and 172
Nuclear Power Worldwide There are currently 436 operational reactors, with 59 under construction and 172

Nuclear Power

Worldwide

There are currently 436 operational

reactors, with 59 under construction and 172 planned.

For absolute production, it is size of

economy, technology development, and

military / nuclear weapons ambition.

For relative production it is whether or not you had indigenous fossil fuels. France through Spain (14 of 29 countries) all have little to no oil, gas and coal.

And the secondary variable for relative production is whether or not your were in the sphere of influence of the Soviet

Union.

In south Asia, there is a separate competition for nuclear supremacy between India, Pakistan and Iran.

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Nuclear Power Worldwide

11/2/2019 Nuclear Power Worldwide  China, Russia, S Korea, India and Pakistan are the only countries

China, Russia, S Korea, India and Pakistan are the only countries seriously planning near term expansion of their nuclear power capacity.

Belarus and the UAE are the only non-nuclear countries actively building

reactors and set to join the nuclear club.

Japan in is in a state of nuclear schizophrenia, with most of its giant nuclear fleet stationary, it has reactors under construction and even more planned.

There are 9 countries, Bangladesh to Vietnam planning to join the civilian nuclear power club

Potential Driver

Growing energy needs

Security of energy supply

Rising and volatile

prices of fossil fuels

Environmental concerns and constraints for

decarburization

Improved relative economic

competitiveness of nuclear power

Nuclear power’s

increasing experience and good performance

Interest in advanced

applications of nuclear

energy

Worldwide Nuclear Power Lifecycle

Worldwide Nuclear Power Lifecycle

Basic Concepts

The atom consists of a very small nucleus, made up of proton and neutron particles, around which

move particulate electrons in well defined orbits

The masses of a proton and a neutron are similar and much heavier than an electron, by a factor of

1840

o As

the

nucleus

contains

all

the

protons

and

neutrons, known collectively as nucleons, it

is

predominantly concentrated in the nucleus o The proton carries a unit of positive electrical charge (1.6022 x 10 -19 coulomb)

o The neutron is electrically neutral

follows

that

the

mass

of

the

atom

A lithium atom

1.6022 x 10 - 1 9 coulomb ) o The neutron is electrically neutral follows that

Basic Concepts

Each electron carries a unit of negative charge equal in magnitude to the positive charge on

a proton. The number of orbital electrons is equal to the number of protons in the nucleus so that their charges balance and overall the atom is electrically neutral

Atomic diameters, the diameter of the electron orbits, are of the order of 10 -10 m whereas the diameter of the nucleus is of the order of 10 -14 m

The number of protons is called the Atomic Number and is designated by the letter Z while the number of nucleons (Proton and neutron) in a nucleus is called the Atomic Mass

Number and is designated by the letter A; A = Z + N; N is the number of neutrons, Z is the

number of proton

Atoms of a particular element which, by definition, have the same number of protons in their nucleus may however have different numbers of neutrons (isotopes): For example,

the nucleus of the element uranium has by definition 92 protons but can have 142 or 143 or

146 neutron

There is a strong attractive force between the nucleons - between proton and proton,

proton and neutron, neutron and neutron - known as the nuclear force

Units for Subatomic Mass and Energy

Actual mass of a heavy particles in subatomic level is tiny fractions of a kilogram.

For convenience, appropriate mass unit has been adopted call unified mass scale (u) chosen roughly to be roughly equal to the mass of a proton or neutron, Formally it is

defines as 1/12 of the mass of a carbon-12 atom.

The unite of energies on the atomic scale is the electron volt (eV) defined as the energy gained by an electron when it falls through a potential field of 1 Volt.

1 u = 1.6604 x 10 -27 kg; 1 eV = 1.602 x 10 -19 J; 1 MeV

= 1.602 x 10 -13 J

1 MeV is the kinetic energy of a high speed proton or neutron travelling at 30 million miles

per hour while energy of the outer electrons of an atom is of few eV and the Kinetic

energy of the average atoms of a gas at room temperature (thermal energy) is about 0.025

eV

Mass of proton and neutron are nearly equal while that of electron is about 1831 times smaller than that of proton such as:

Mass of the neutron : 1.00867 u; Mass of the proton : 1.00728 u; Mass of the electron : 0.00055 u

Equivalence of Mass and Energy

Albert Einstein: mass and energy are essentially two aspect of same

quantity that is “Energy”

Applying Einstein's equation:

The energy equivalent of 1 u mass:

In general:

E mc

2

E

: Energy ( )

J

 

m

:

Mass kg );

(

c

:

Speed of Light ( m / s

)

E 1.6604 10

-27

14.94 10

-11

J

931 MeV

(kg)

3 10

8

m/s

2

E MeV m u 931

Mass Defect and Binding Energy

The nucleons are held by strong short-range nuclear forces.

The mass of a nucleus is generally less than the sum of the masses of the nucleons. This difference is called the mass-defect. Such a phenomenon is observed in atomic or subatomic levels, and not

with ordinary materials that we handle, where the total mass has to be the sum of the component

masses.

The mass-defect is responsible for the binding together of the nucleons. The energy equivalent of the mass-defect is called the binding-energy of the nucleus.

It may also be said that the nucleus could be split into nucleons by supplying external energy equal to the binding energy.

may also be said that the nucleus could be split into nucleons by supplying external energy

Mass Defect and Binding Energy

As the number of particles in a nucleus increases that is the atomic mass number (A) increases, the total binding energy also increases. The rate of increase, however, is not uniform. This lack of uniformity results in a variation in the amount of binding energy associated with each nucleon within the nucleus as

depicted in BE/A vs. Atomic Mass No. (A) curve.

As the atomic mass number increases, the binding energy per nucleon, BE/A increases up to a maximum value of 8.79 MeV at A = 56 and than decreases to about 7.6 MeV for A = 238.

As the atomic number (Z) increases, the repulsive

electrostatic forces among protons within the

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nucleus increase.

To overcome this increased repulsion and maintain stability, the proportion of neutrons in the nucleus must increase. This increase in the neutron-to-proton ratio only partially compensates for the growing proton-proton repulsive force in the heavier, naturally occurring elements.

As the repulsive forces are increasing, less energy must be supplied to remove a nucleon from the

heavier nucleus. In other words, the BE/A has decreased.

Mass Defect and Binding Energy

The BE/A of a nucleus is an indication of its degree of atomic stability.

Generally, the more stable nuclides have higher BE/A than the less stable ones.

The increase in the BE/A as the atomic mass number, A decreases from 260 to 60 is the primary reason

for the energy liberation in the fission process. In addition, the increase in the BE/A as the atomic mass

number, A increases from 1 to 60 is the reason for the energy liberation in the fusion process, which is

the opposite reaction of fission

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The heaviest nuclei require only a small energy addition for the relatively large coulomb forces to overcome the attractive nuclear forces, in order to split the nucleus into two halves. Consequently, the heaviest nuclei are easily fissionable compared to lighter nuclei. The addition of the energy required to cause a

distortion in the heavy nucleus leading to fission,

is commonly achieved by adding a neutron into the nucleus. Some nuclei experience chances of undergoing fission, even without adding a neutron, such a phenomenon being called Spontaneous fission

Radioactivity

The atomic instability of heavier atoms leads to so called Radioactivitythat is:

Spontaneous emission of energy and particles due to the breaking down of unstable atoms.

Radiation decreases with time over periods of time varying from seconds to years

The type of “Radiation” and “Intensity” are characteristics of the emitting element. Physical or chemical change, heating or compressing have no effect at all on the radioactivity.

Radiation may be:

effect at all on the radioactivity.  Radiation may be:  Alpha particles  Beta Particles

Alpha particles

Beta Particles

Gamma Particles

Neutrons

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Alpha () Particle

Alpha () particles are least penetrating among all radiation

Rutherford identified -particles as helium nuclei consisting of two protons and two neutrons

The alpha emission from radioactive Radon gas (Rn-222) results in a isotope of Polonium

(Po-218) which is also radioactive

emission from radioactive Radon gas (Rn-222) results in a isotope of Polonium (Po-218) which is also

Beta () Particle

Beta () particles are more penetrating than -particles

Beta () particles are essentially high energy electron’s flow.

A neutrons turns into a proton by emitting an electron during -emission from I-131

isotope

electron’s flow .  A neutrons turns into a proton by emitting an electron during 

Gamma () Rays/Particle

Gamma () rays/particles are more penetrating than

and particles

Gamma rays are the most energetic form of

electromagnetic radiation, with a very short wavelength

of less than one-tenth of a nanometer.

The emission of gamma rays does not alter the number of protons or neutrons in the nucleus but instead has the

effect of moving the nucleus from a higher to a lower

energy state (unstable to stable).

Gamma () rays are stopped by several centimeter of lead

or steel or a few feet of concrete

Gamma () rays along with neutrons are the main radiation hazard associated with nuclear technology

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Radioactive Decay Rate and Half Life

Radioactive decay is the disintegration of an unstable atom with an accompanying

emission of radiation. As a radioisotope atom decays to a more stable atom, it emits radiation only once.

To change from an unstable atom to a completely stable atom may require several

disintegration steps and radiation will be given off at each step. However, once the

atom reaches a stable configuration, no more radiation is given off.

For this reason, radioactive sources become weaker with time. As more and more

unstable atoms become stable atoms, less radiation is produced and eventually the

material will become non-radioactive.

The decay of radioactive elements occurs at a fixed rate. The half-life of a radioisotope is

the time required for one half of the amount of unstable material to degrade into a

more stable material. For example, a source will have an intensity of 100% when new. At

one half-life, its intensity will be cut to 50% of the original intensity. At two half-lives, it will have an intensity of 25% of a new source. After ten half-lives, less than one-

thousandth of the original activity will remain.

Radioactive Decay Law

t t 0.5 1   N  t  N   0 2
t
t
0.5
1
 
N

t
N
0
2
 
t
N

t
 N e
0
t
N

t
 N e
0
N
:
Active Atoms at t
0
0
N

t
:
Active Atoms at t
 t
t
Half life
0.5
 Mean Life
 Decay Cons tan
t

Radioactivity Measurement

1 Curie (Ci) = 3.7x10 10 disintegration/s

1 Bequral (Bq) = 1 disintegration/s

1 Mega Bequral (MBq) = 10 6 disintegration/s

(Bq) = 1 disintegration/s  1 Mega Bequral (MBq) = 10 6 disintegration/s Radioactive decay curve

Radioactive decay curve for iodine-131

(Bq) = 1 disintegration/s  1 Mega Bequral (MBq) = 10 6 disintegration/s Radioactive decay curve

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Nuclear Fission

Nuclear fission is the process in which a large nucleus splits into two smaller nuclei with the release of energy. In other words, fission the process in which a nucleus is divided into two or more fragments, and neutrons and energy are released.

two or more fragments, and neutrons and energy are released. The mass changes and associated energy

The mass changes and associated energy changes in nuclear reactions are significant. For example, the energy released from the nuclear reaction of 1 kg of uranium is equivalent to the energy released during the combustion of about four billion kilograms of coal.

Nuclear Fusion

Nuclear reaction is a process in which two or more atomic nuclei are combined to form one or more different atomic nuclei and subatomic particles

(neutrons or protons).

The difference in mass between the reactants and products is manifested as either the release or

absorption of energy. This difference in mass arises

due to the difference in atomic "binding energy" between the atomic nuclei before and after the reaction.

Lighter elements, such as hydrogen and helium, are

in general more fusible

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Nuclear Fission vs. Fusion

Item

Nuclear Fission

Nuclear Fusion

Definition

Fission is the splitting of a large atom into two or more smaller ones.

Fusion is the fusing of two or more lighter atoms into a larger one.

Natural occurrence of the process

Fission reaction does not normally occur in nature.

Fusion occurs in stars, such as the sun.

Byproducts of

Fission produces many highly radioactive

Few radioactive particles are produced by fusion

the reaction

particles.

reaction.

Conditions

Critical mass of the substance and high- speed neutrons are required.

High density, high temperature environment is required. Extremely high energy is required to bring two or more protons close enough that nuclear forces overcome their electrostatic repulsion.

Energy

Takes little energy to split two atoms in a fission reaction.

Requirement

Energy Released

The energy released by fission is lower than

The energy released by fusion is three to four times

the energy released by nuclear fusion.

greater than the energy released by fission.

Energy

Fusion is an experimental technology for producing power.

production

Fission is used in nuclear power plants.

Fuel

Uranium is the primary fuel used in power

Hydrogen isotopes (Deuterium and Tritium) are the

plants.

primary fuel used in experimental fusion process.

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Calculation of Energy Released during a Fission Process

Calculate the energy released per kilogram of 235 U Fission as described below:

 

235 U + n 139 Xe + 95 Sr + 2n

Mass deficit per fission: 0.19713 amu

1 amu of mass produces 931.495 MeV

Mass deficit per fission will produce 183.6 MeV

o

1 MeV = 1.602176462x10 -19 and

o

1 amu = 1.66053873x10 -27 kg

These unit conversion results in 7.5410 7 MJ/kg energy

Nucleus

Mass (amu)

235

U

235.04394

n

1.008665

139

Xe

138.9187869

95

Sr

94.9193582

release per kg of 235 U Fission while for coal its around 35

MJ/kg!!!!

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Nuclear Chain Reaction

A chain reaction is a sequence of reactions where a reactive product or by-product causes additional reactions to take place. In case of nuclear chain reaction, a neutron plus a fissionable atom causes a fission resulting in a larger number of neutrons than the single one that was consumed in the initial reaction.

The chain reaction is then a self-propagating

and thus self-sustaining. And is the principle for nuclear reactors and atomic bombs.

235 92 U + 1 0 n = 139 56 Ba + 94 36 Kr + 3 1 0 n + Energy

atomic bombs. 2 3 5 9 2 U + 1 0 n = 1 3 9

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Fissile Nuclei

In nuclear engineering, fissile material is material capable of sustaining a nuclear fission chain reaction.

By definition, fissile material can sustain a chain reaction with neutrons of any energy.

"Fissile" is distinct from "fissionable."

A nuclide capable of undergoing fission (even with a low probability) after capturing a high energy

neutron is referred to as "fissionable”. A fissionable nuclide that can be induced to fission with low-

energy thermal neutrons with a high probability is referred to as "fissile“.

An alternative definition: the only nuclides that are fissionable but not fissile are those nuclides that can be made to undergo nuclear fission but produce insufficient neutrons, in either energy or number, to sustain a nuclear chain reaction. As such, while all fissile isotopes are fissionable, not all fissionable isotopes are fissile.

are fissionable, not all fissionable isotopes are fissile .  Fissile nuclides:  Plutonium-239 bred from

Fissile nuclides:

Plutonium-239 bred from uranium-238 by neutron capture

Plutonium-241 bred from plutonium-240 by neutron capture.

Plutonium-240 bred from plutonium-239 by neutron capture.

Uranium-235

Uranium-233 bred from thorium-232 by neutron capture

Important Factors for Nuclear Chain Reaction

I. Neutron Cross-section (b)

In nuclear physics, the concept of a neutron cross section is used to express the likelihood of interaction between an incident

neutron and a target nucleus.

The standard unit for measuring the cross section is the barn (b), which is equal to 10 28 m 2 . (the nucleus diameter is in the order of 10 -14 m).

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The larger the neutron cross section (b), the more likely a neutron will react with the nucleus.

II. Effective Neutron Multiplication Factor ( k eff )

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The effective multiplication factor is the ratio of the neutrons produced by fission in one neutron generation to

the number of neutrons lost through absorption in the preceding neutron generation.

k

eff

Neutron production from fision of one neutron

Neutron absorption and leakage in the preceeding neutron generation

k eff < 1: If the multiplication factor for a multiplying system is less than 1.0, then the number of neutrons is decreasing in time and the chain reaction will never be self-sustaining. This condition is known as the subcritical state. k eff = 1: If the multiplication factor for a multiplying system is equal to 1.0, then there is no change in neutron population in time and the chain reaction will be self-sustaining. This condition is known as the critical state.

k eff > 1: If the multiplication factor for a multiplying system is greater than 1.0, then the multiplying system produces more neutrons than are needed to be self-sustaining. The number of neutrons is exponentially

increasing in time (with the mean generation time). This condition is known as the supercritical state.

At case of nuclear power reactor, for any specific power level/condition of the reactor, k eff 1.0, that is critical state. At this point in operation, the neutron balance is kept to exactly one neutron

completing the life cycle for each original neutron absorbed in the fuel. But in case of nuclear bomb, the system is pushed in the supercritical state ( k eff 1.0).

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III. Critical Mass and Size

A critical mass is the smallest amount of fissile material needed for a sustained nuclear chain reaction. The critical mass of a fissionable material depends upon its nuclear properties (specifically, the nuclear fission cross-section), its density, shape, enrichment, purity, temperature, and its surroundings.

Critical mass decreases with increasing density. Expansion causes a critical mass to be subcritical while compression causes a critical mass to be supercritical

As fuel temperature increases, neutrons of a given energy appear faster and thus

fission/absorption is less likely therefore reactivity level decreases. Hot fuel is always less

reactive.

Surrounding with a neutron reflector (beryllium metal) reduces the mass needed for criticality.

The critical size is the minimum size of a nuclear reactor core or nuclear weapon that can be made for a specific geometrical arrangement and material composition. The critical size must at least include

enough fissionable material to reach critical mass. If the size of the reactor core is less than a certain

minimum, too many fission neutrons escape through its surface and the chain reaction is not sustained.

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Thermal Fission Reactors

A thermal-neutron reactor is a nuclear reactor that uses slow or thermal neutrons.

"Thermal" does not mean hot in an absolute sense, but means in thermal equilibrium with the medium it is interacting with, the reactor's fuel, moderator and structure, which is much lower energy than the fast neutrons initially produced by fission.

Most nuclear power plant reactors are thermal reactors and use a neutron moderator to slow neutrons

until they approach the average kinetic energy of the surrounding particles.

Four essential parts of a thermal fission reactor:

Fuel rod

Moderator

Coolant

Control rod:

In addition suitable structures (not neutron-

absorbing) safety shield are also

important components of nuclear reactor.

In addition suitable structures (not neutron- absorbing) safety shield are also important components of nuclear reactor.

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Thermal Fission Reactors

11/2/2019 Thermal Fission Reactors Fuel  A number of early power plants used natural uranium fuel
11/2/2019 Thermal Fission Reactors Fuel  A number of early power plants used natural uranium fuel

Fuel

A number of early power plants used natural uranium fuel (0.7% U-

235) but younger nuclear power plants use enriched uranium with U- 235 content between 2% and 5%.

Plutonium-239 bred in uranium reactor can also be used as fuel.

Fuel in Uranium reactor is used usually in the form of the oxide UO 2 , a hard ceramic suitable for forming into pellets. If the fuel is to include plutonium, it can be in the form of plutonium oxide (PuO 2 ). In this case the fuel is called mixed oxide (MOX).

The fuel pellets must be contained in a way that allows replacement of batches of spent fuel and fuel rods.

The containers or cladding holding the fuel that are usually metallic.

However steel is not used as it absorbs due to its high neutron absorption.

A typical reactor might hold in the order of 100 tones of fuel, a third of this being replaced every year or 18 months. The resulting heat output of 2-3GW is sufficient for supplying 600-1000 MW of electric power.

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Thermal Fission Reactors

Moderator

The material that slows down the neutrons in a reactor to maintain the chain reaction is called moderator.

The main requirements for an efficient moderator is that it should rapidly reduce the speed of the neutrons without absorbing them. The best moderators have light atoms as if a fast neutron collides

with a stationary light nucleus, it will share it energy, reducing its speed. However, if it collides with a

much heavier nucleus it will be deflected without much change of speed.

A number of different types of moderator have been used since the first reactor. Hydrogen should be ideal as it is light and its single proton nucleus has almost same mass of a neutron. It is plenty in the form of ordinary water (light water). However, rather that just colliding, a free neutron tends to combine with any available proton to a form a new particle that will cause neutron loss. It means that light water can only be used as moderator if enriched uranium is used as fuel.

The combination of a neutron with proton is called a deuteron. The

of a neutron with proton is called a deuteron. The addition of a neutron with hydrogen

addition of a neutron with hydrogen nucleus results in an isotope of hydrogen called deuterium while addition of two neutrons with hydrogen nucleus results in another isotope of hydrogen called tritium. Deuterium is an excellent moderator, fairly light with the

great advantage that colliding neutrons don’t combined with

deuterons. Deuterium in the form of heavy water (D 2 O) can be used as an effective liquid moderator in nuclear reactor using natural uranium fuel

Thermal Fission Reactors

Moderator

The most easily available effective solid moderator is

carbon which can be obtained in the form of pure

graphite. Although carbon nucleus is quite heavier than deuteron, its neutron absorption is so low that it can be used with natural uranium.

Among all operating nuclear reactors of the world at present, 75% use regular water (H 2 O) as moderator, while 20% use graphite and 5% use heavy water

(D 2 O).

Beryllium and beryllium oxide (BeO) have been used occasionally, but they are very costly.

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Thermal Fission Reactors

Coolant

The coolant of the nuclear reactor is the heat exchange medium: the fluid, gas/liquid that carries heat from the reactor core. A significant advantage of liquid moderator (light water/heavy water) is that it also acts as coolant. While in case of graphite-moderated reactor it requires another material as coolant like CO 2 gas.

In order be an effective coolant, it:

o

must have efficient heat transfer properties.

o

should be chemically stable at high temperatures, non-corrosive

o

Must be poor neutron absorber which can be achieved by ensuring

that the coolant has a low absorption cross section. In the cases when

coolant does absorb neutrons, however, the resulting radioactivity

should have a short lifetime.

o

Must be cost-effectiveness is a relevant consideration for reactors.

Commonly used coolant include water, Deuterium Oxide, CO 2 , Molten Sodium, Molten Lead

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Thermal Fission Reactors

Cooling Circuit of Nuclear Power Plant

Fission Reactors Cooling Circuit of Nuclear Power Plant Single Cooling Circuit (Boiling water reactor) More Chance

Single Cooling Circuit

(Boiling water reactor)

More Chance of Radioactive Leakage

(Boiling water reactor) More Chance of Radioactive Leakage Double Cooling Circuit (Pressurized water reactor) Primary

Double Cooling Circuit

(Pressurized water reactor)

Primary Circuit: Reactor Cooling Secondary Circuit: Steam Generator

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Thermal Fission Reactors

Control Rod:

Control Rods of a nuclear reactor govern the heat output of the reactor which is achieved by incorporating a neutron absorbing material in the system.

Cadmium (Cd) and Boron (B) are good absorbers and the reaction can be well controlled by

increasing or decreasing the amount of these in the reactor core:

o

either by adding absorber in the moderator or

o

with control rods that can be moved in or out of the reactor core.

o

In PWRs, the control rod drive mechanisms are mounted on the reactor pressure vessel head and the

rods are inserted from above the core while in BWR’s the control rods are inserted from underneath the core due to the necessity of having a steam dryer above the core

the control rods are inserted from underneath the core due to the necessity of having a
the control rods are inserted from underneath the core due to the necessity of having a

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Thermal Fission Reactors

Structure

The fuel must be distributed at the right density, surrounded by the moderator and having good thermal contact with coolant that must stream freely past hot fuel. For maximum plant efficiency,

operating temperature must be the highest possible temperature that will result in higher pressure

also.

As steel and other structural materials absorb neutrons, metals Magnesium (Mg) and Zirconium (Zr) are

often used in the reactor. In most cases the whole core in submerged in the flowing coolant in a large

pressure vessel. The whole structure must ensure the following:

fast flowing coolant at elevated pressure

No distortion of fuel rod

Free movement of control rod

No impeding of coolant flow

Shielding

The shielding material should be a good neutron absorber and thick enough to stop energetic gamma particles. Shielding usually a thick layer of concrete.

Thermal Fission Reactors

Containment

A containment building, in its most common usage, is a reinforced steel or lead structure enclosing a nuclear reactor.

It is designed, in any emergency, to contain the escape

of radioactive steam or gas.

The containment is the fourth and final barrier to radioactive release, the first being the fuel ceramic itself, the second being the metal fuel cladding tubes, the third being the reactor vessel and coolant system.

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Types of Thermal Fission Reactors

Currently operating thermal fission reactors belong to four main categories essentially on the basis of moderator and coolant used as:

Nuclear Reactor’s Trend

of moderator and coolant used as: Nuclear Reactor’s Trend  Light water (H 2 O) for

Light water (H 2 O) for both moderator and coolant

Heavy water (D 2 O) for both moderator and coolant

Graphite moderator (C) with gas coolant (CO 2 )

Graphite moderator (C) with light water coolant (H 2 O)

PWR: Pressurized Water Reactor

BWR: Boiling Light Water Moderated and Cooled Reactor PHWR: Pressurized Heavy Water Moderated and Cooled Reactor FBR: Fast Breeder Reactor GCR: Gas Cooled Graphite Moderated Reactor

LWGR: Light Water Cooled Graphite Moderated Reactor

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Light Water Reactor: LWRs

The great majority of the world’s reactors fall in the first category (Light Water Reactor: LWRs):

Ordinary water under high pressure is used as both

moderator and coolant

Two main types are:

o

pressurized water reactors (PWRs) developed

in USA and

o

Water-water-energy reactor (VVER) developed in Russia

The core of the reactor consists of hundred of fuel

assemblies in between top and bottom plates of the

core. Each fuel assembly is a cluster of few hundred long fuel rods (zirconium alloy tube, few meters long and about 1 cm in dia, packed with

uranium oxide fuel pallets)

The open core structure allow water to act as moderator and coolant, to flow freely at high pressure past the fuel rods.

The open core structure allow water to act as moderator and coolant, to flow freely at

Light Water Reactor: LWRs

The hot pressurized coolant water transfer heat to one or more steam generator to produce steam for turbine

As the coolant water is to remain in liquid state, so at a temperature of about 300C, the pressure should be about 100 atm.

In PWR, the core surrounded by a primary concrete shield and the entire system including the steam generator is

enclosed in a concrete containment structure to prevent

escape of radioactive material with a steel lining to capture high energy radiation. In VVER reactors have several separate cooling circuits rather a single one in PWR reactors

Maintaining high pressure coolant water flow is critical for PWRs and hence fast and effective cooling system in case of failure of pressurized water circuit is must for PWRs

With significant modification in original design for higher

efficiency, reduced cost and enhanced safety, at preset Advanced Pressurized Water Reactors (APWRs) are available

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Boiling Water Reactor: BWRs

Boiling Water Reactors (BWRs) is also developed in USA and the second to the PWRs in the number in use worldwide.

The BWR is similar to the PWR in many

aspects but differ it from PWR in the sense that the water that is used as moderator and coolant

is allowed to boil in to steam to run the

turbine.

BWR has the disadvantage that the turbines are exposed to the potentially radioactive coolant, however as no separate steam generation unit is used, it is economic and reduce heat loss. However, BWRs are operated at lower temperatures and pressures than PWRs. So their heat to

electricity efficiencies are not very different.

With significant modification in original design for higher efficiency, reduced cost and enhanced safety features, at preset Advanced Boiling Water Reactors (ABWRs) are available.

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Gas Cooled Reactors: GRs

Developed in UK, the original Magnox reactors use graphite as moderator, CO 2 as coolant and

magnesium alloy for fuel cladding (instead of neutron-absorbing steel) suitable for use of natural uranium as fuel. However its efficiency was limited by the maximum temperature and pressure that the

material and structure can withstand and it was about 30%

The Advanced Gas-cooled Reactor (AGRs) also

use graphite as moderator and CO2 as coolant however it used enriched uranium as fuel

(2.3%U-235)

The main core is effectively solid graphite with

vertical channel extended up to reactor pile cap for the insertion of fuel elements and control rods from above. The fuel clusters are not so long and thin as in case of PWRs or BWRs rather they are short

and chunky stacked above each other.

CO 2 gas is circulated at 40 bar that absorbed heat from the fuel and deliver it to the boilers

The reactor is encased in a concrete pressure vessel which acts as the container for CO 2 coolant gas and as a radiation sheild.

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Heavy Water Reactors: HWRs

The Canadian-Deuterium-Uranium (CANDU)

reactors is the third in the world of dominance of PWRs and BWRs.

The CANDU was initially designed to use natural

uranium as a fuel

Use of heavy water as coolant moderator and coolant greatly reduce the neutron loss

The coolant under pressure as a temperature of

300C flows through hundreds of horizontal meats

tubes holding the short fuel bundles.

The major advantages of very low neutron absorption by heavy water is that the coolant tubes

can be double walled insulating the hot high pressure

coolant from the surrounding moderator that essentially remains below 100 C.

The moderator fills horizontal cylinder called Calandria with insulated tubes carrying hot

pressurized coolant in and out.

CANDU reactors are relatively of low thermal efficiency but their high neutron economy allows the use of a range of different fuels.

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With improvement in design, it has been named as pressurized heavy water reactors (PHWRs) /advanced

CANDU reactor (ACR)

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RBMK Reactors:

In addition to VVER, Russians developed other types of reactor among which the main is high power

channel type reactor (RBMK)

RBMK reactors uses graphite as moderator and light water as coolant.

The RBMK was initially designed to use natural uranium as a fuel but subsequently moderated to use enriched fuel.

The Chernobyl reactors was of this kind. Following the nuclear accident in 1986 at Chernobyl, some

RBMK reactors were shut down in Russia and elsewhere but there are still dozen in operation.

in 1986 at Chernobyl, some RBMK reactors were shut down in Russia and elsewhere but there

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Fast Neutron Reactors: FNRs

A fast-neutron reactor or simply a fast reactor is a category of nuclear reactor in which the fission chain

reaction is sustained by fast neutrons (energy level: 5 MeV or greater), as opposed to thermal/slow neutrons used in thermal reactors (energy level: 1-20 eV or even lesser)

Fast reactors more deliberately use the uranium-238 as well as the fissile U-235 isotope used in most reactors.

If they are designed to produce more plutonium than the uranium and plutonium they consume, they are called fast breeder reactors (FBRs) while if they produce more fissile material (U-235, Pu etc.)

than consumed they are called burners.

If the ratio of final to initial fissile content is the burn ratio or breeding ratio.

Burn ratio: more than 1 for breeders and less than 1 for are burners

Generation IV reactor designs are largely FNRs, and international collaboration on FNR designs is proceeding with high priority as they offer the prospect of vastly more efficient use of uranium resources and the ability to burn actinides which are otherwise the long-lived component of high-level nuclear wastes

Fast Neutron Reactors: FNRs

The rich/concentrated fuel

generates more heat per unit volume

of the core than a thermal reactor.

Therefore the coolant in FBR’s must

be able to carry out this extra heat

and also should be heavier not to moderate the neutrons.

Majority of FBR’s use Liquid

sodium (melting point: 100C,

boiling point: 900C). The core temperature is about 600 C and therefore sodium remains in liquid

state in the core and FBR’s operate

at low pressure.

In FBR’s, the core is surrounded by a blanket of U 238 for breeding occurs to produce Pu 239

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Breeder Reactor Principle (U-238 Pu-239):

1

11/2/2019 Breeder Reactor Principle (U-238  Pu-239): 1 2 3 4 5 The breeding process :

2

11/2/2019 Breeder Reactor Principle (U-238  Pu-239): 1 2 3 4 5 The breeding process :

3

Breeder Reactor Principle (U-238  Pu-239): 1 2 3 4 5 The breeding process : (1)

4

Breeder Reactor Principle (U-238  Pu-239): 1 2 3 4 5 The breeding process : (1)

5

The breeding process :

(1) A neutron impinges on a plutonium nucleus.

(2) The nucleus fissions, releasing additional neutrons.

(3) One of the new neutrons approaches a nucleus of U-238. (4) The neutron has been captured, making U-239.

(5) The nucleus has beta decayed to Np-239, releasing an electron.

(6) The nucleus beta decays a second time into Pu-239.

The nucleus has beta decayed to Np-239, releasing an electron. (6) The nucleus beta decays a

6

The nucleus has beta decayed to Np-239, releasing an electron. (6) The nucleus beta decays a

Why No Moderator in FNRs?

The fast reactor has no moderator and relies on fast neutrons alone to cause fission, which for uranium

is less efficient than using slow neutrons. Hence a fast reactor usually uses plutonium as its basic fuel,

since it fissions sufficiently with fast neutrons to maintain chain reaction. At the same time the number of neutrons produced per plutonium-239 fission is 25% more than from uranium, and this means that there are enough (after losses) not only to maintain the chain reaction but also continually to convert U-238 into

more Pu-239.Furthermore, the fast neutrons are more efficient than slow ones in doing this breeding,
more Pu-239.Furthermore, the fast neutrons are more efficient than slow ones in doing this breeding, due to
more neutrons being released per fission.
In thermal fission reactors, main fuel is U235 that has a
high neutron cross-section for lower energy spectra of
neutrons so moderator is used to reduce the energy level.
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In fast neutron reactors, main fuel is U238 that has a high

neutron cross-section for higher energy spectra of neutrons so no moderator is used hence energy level of neutrons remains higher.

for higher energy spectra of neutrons so no moderator is used hence energy level of neutrons

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Thermal/Slow Neutron Reactors Vs. Fast Neutron Reactors

Neutrons produced by fission have high energies and move extremely quickly. These so-called fast neutrons

do not cause fission in Uranium-235 isotopes as efficiently as slower-moving ones so they are slowed

down in most reactors by the process of moderation. A liquid or gas moderator, commonly water or helium, cools the neutrons to optimum energies for causing fission. These slower neutrons are also called thermal neutrons because they are brought to the same temperature as the surrounding coolant.

In contrast to most normal nuclear reactors, however, a fast reactor uses a coolant that is not an efficient

moderator, such as liquid sodium, so its neutrons remain high-energy. Although these fast neutrons are not as good at causing fission, they are readily captured by an isotope of uranium (U 238 ), which then becomes plutonium (Pu 239 ). This plutonium isotope can be reprocessed and used as more reactor fuel or in the production of nuclear weapons.

Natural uranium consists primarily of U 238 , which does not fission readily, and U 235 , which does. Natural uranium is unsuitable for use in a nuclear reactor, because it has only 0.72% U 235 , which is not enough to sustain a chain reaction. Commercial nuclear reactors normally use uranium fuel that has had its U 235 content enriched to 3-8% by weight. Although the U 235 does most of the fissioning, more than 90 percent of the atoms in the fuel are U 238 that are potential neutron capture targets and future plutonium atoms.

Fast neutrons are ideal for plutonium production because they are easily absorbed by U 238 to create Pu 239 , and they cause less fission than thermal neutrons.

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Uranium Mining

For 1 pound of uranium, more than 200 pounds of byproduct material, tailings, are typically

produced.

After extraction of uranium from the ore, the tailings contain much of their original radioactivity.

Toxic heavy metals, including chromium, lead, molybdenum, and vanadium, are also present in this byproduct material in significant, concentrations.

chromium, lead, molybdenum, and vanadium , are also present in this byproduct material in significant, concentrations
chromium, lead, molybdenum, and vanadium , are also present in this byproduct material in significant, concentrations

Uranium Enrichment and Fuel Fabrication

Milled uranium oreU 3 O 8 or "yellowcake"is dissolved in nitric acid, yielding a solution of uranyl nitrate UO 2 (NO 3 ) 2 .

Reduction with hydrogen gives UO 2 , which is converted with hydrofluoric acid (HF) to uranium tetrafluoride, UF 4 .

Oxidation of UF 4 with fluorine yields UF 6 that is commercially known as Hex.

Enriched UF 6 must be converted back to solid uranium or uranium oxide

is commercially known as Hex.  Enriched UF 6 must be converted back to solid uranium
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Uranium Enrichment: Gas Diffusion

Higher concentration of fissionable U-235 isotope is

necessary for nuclear reaction.

Both U-235 and U-238 have the same chemical properties, enrichment requires a physical process . Key factor is U-238 is slightly heavier than U-235

The two method of uranium enrichment are:

Gaseous diffusion (older)

Centrifugation (newer)

Both enrichment techniques use small differences in the masses (< 1%) of the U-235F6 and U-238F6 molecules to increase the concentration of U-235.

A production of 1 ton of 3.5% enriched Uranium-235 could leave 6 tones of depleted Uranium

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Gaseous diffusion is a uranium enrichment process based on the difference in rates at which uranium isotopes in the form of gaseous uranium hexafluoride (UF 6 ) diffuse through a porous barrier.

The rate of diffusion of a gas is inversely proportional to the square root of the mass. As U-235

is lighter than U-238, so it diffuses easily through the porous barrier.

Uranium Enrichment: Gas Centrifuge

Feed

Uranium Enrichment: Gas Centrifuge Feed 11/2/2019 Depleted exit Enriched exit Feed to Next Stage U238F 6
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Depleted

exit

Enriched

exit

Centrifuge Feed 11/2/2019 Depleted exit Enriched exit Feed to Next Stage U238F 6 is heavier and

Feed to

Next Stage

Depleted exit Enriched exit Feed to Next Stage U238F 6 is heavier and collects on the

U238F 6 is heavier

and collects on the

outside walls

(depleted)

U235F 6 is lighter and collects in the

The separation of uranium requires the uranium hexafluoride (UF 6 ) in gaseous form to be entered in the centrifuge

cylinder where the UF 6 gas is rotated at a high speed generally in excess of 50000

center (enriched)

rpm.

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Uranium Enrichment: Gas Diffusion Vs. Gas Centrifuge

Three distinct characteristics of the gas centrifuge process has made it economically

attractive for uranium enrichment over gas diffusion:

Proven technology: Centrifuge is a proven enrichment process, currently used in several countries.

Low operating costs: Its energy requirements are less than 5% of the requirements of a comparably sized gaseous diffusion plant.

Modular architecture: The modularity of the centrifuge technology allows for flexible deployment,

enabling capacity to be added in increments as demand increases.

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Fuel Fabrication

Reactor fuel is generally in the form of ceramic pellets.

These are formed from pressed uranium oxide which is sintered (baked) at a high temperature

such as over 1400°C.

The pellets are then encased in metal tubes to form fuel rods, which are arranged into a fuel assembly ready for introduction into a reactor.

in metal tubes to form fuel rods , which are arranged into a fuel assembly ready
in metal tubes to form fuel rods , which are arranged into a fuel assembly ready

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Trend of Nuclear Power Technology

11/2/2019 Trend of Nuclear Power Technology

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Trend of Nuclear Power Technology

At present: 60% PWR, 20% BWR.

Most of the reactor in use today is of Generation II having economic life of 40 years

Generation III offered evolutionary improvements of Generation II in the areas of fuel technology, thermal efficiency, modularized construction, safety systems (especially the use of passive rather

than active systems), and standardized design. Improvements in Gen III reactor technology have

aimed at a longer operational life, typically 60 years of operation, potentially to greatly exceed 60 years, prior to complete overhaul and reactor pressure vessel replacement

Gen III+ reactor designs are an evolutionary development of Gen III reactors, offering significant

improvements in safety over Gen III reactor designs. Examples of Gen III+ designs include:

VVER-1200/392M Reactor of the AES-2006 type

Advanced CANDU Reactor (ACR-1000)

Generation IV designs represent more advanced reactor design for deployment after 2030 with

radical change in reactor design and or fuel handling

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Advantages of Nuclear Power

The generation of electricity through nuclear energy reduces the amount of energy generated from fossil fuels (coal and oil) therefore lowering greenhouse gas emissions (CO 2 and others).

Another advantage is the required amount of fuel: less fuel offers more energy. It represents a significant save on raw materials but also in transport, handling and extraction of nuclear fuel. The cost of nuclear fuel (overall uranium) is 20% of the cost of energy generated.

The production of electric energy is continuous. A nuclear power plant is generating electricity for almost 90% of annual time. Moreover, nuclear power does not depends on natural aspects. It's a solutions for the main disadvantage of renewable energy, like solar energy or wind energy.

By reducing the consumption of fossil fuels nuclear power also improve the quality of air affecting

the disease and quality of life.

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Disadvantages of Nuclear Power

Despite the high level of sophistication of the safety systems of nuclear power plants, the

human aspect has always an impact. Facing an unexpected event or managing a nuclear accident

we don't have any guarantee that decisions we took are always the best.

One of the main disadvantages is the difficulty in the management of nuclear waste. It takes many years to eliminate its radioactivity and risks

Nuclear plants have a limited life. The investment for the construction of a nuclear plant is very

high and must be recovered as soon as possible, so it raises the cost of electricity generated.

Nuclear power plants generate external dependence. Not many countries have uranium mines and not all the countries have nuclear technology, so they have to hire both things overseas.

Current nuclear reactors work by fission nuclear reactions. These chain reactions is generated

in controlled way, however in case the control systems fail, generating continuous reactions causing a radioactive explosion that would be virtually impossible to contain.

Probably the most alarming disadvantage is the use of the nuclear power in the military industry.

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Nuclear Power in Bangladesh

Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant is an under-construction 2.4 GWe nuclear power plant in Bangladesh.

The nuclear power plant is under construction at Rooppur, Paskey in the Ishwardi Upazila of Pabna District, on the bank of the river Padma.

It will be the country's first nuclear power plant, and the first of two units is expected to go into operation in 2023-2025.

It is to be built by the Russian Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation.

Reactor

Model

Gross MWe

Construction start

Commercial

operation

Rooppur 1

Rooppur 2

VVER-1200/V-523

VVER-1200/V-523

1200 MWe

1200 MWe

2017

2018

2023 or 2024

2024 or 2025

The Water-Water Energetic Reactor (VVER) i.e. water-cooled water-moderated energy reactor is a

series of pressurized water reactor (PWR) designs originally developed in the Soviet Union, and now

Russia. VVER were originally developed before the 1970s, and have been continually updated. VVER is associated with a wide variety of reactor designs spanning from generation I reactors to modern generation III+ designs with power output ranges from 70 to 1200 MWe, with designs of up to 1700 MWe in development.

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VVER-1200: Working principle

Reactor fuel rods are fully immersed in water kept at 15 MPa pressure (Primary Cooling

Circuit) so that it does not boil at the normal (220 to over 300 °C) operating temperatures.

Water in the reactor serves both as a coolant and a moderator which is an important safety

feature. Should coolant circulation fail, the neutron moderation effect of the water diminishes, reducing reaction intensity and compensating for loss of cooling, a condition known as negative

void coefficient. Later versions of the reactors are encased in massive steel pressure shells.

Fuel is low enriched (2.44.95% U 235 ) uranium dioxide (UO 2 ) or equivalent pressed into pellets and assembled into fuel rods.

Reactivity is controlled by control rods that can be inserted into the reactor from above. These

rods are made from a neutron absorbing material and, depending on depth of insertion, hinder the

chain reaction. If there is an emergency, a reactor shutdown can be performed by full insertion of the control rods into the core.

VVER reactor is have several cooling circuit such as Primary (Reactor Cooling), Secondary (Steam Generator), Tertiary (Condenser Cooling) etc.

design service life of the reactor up to 60 years