Energy From Thorium Discussion Forum

It is currently Sep 22, 2018 12:00 am

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 25 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Jun 10, 2009 3:24 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Nov 30, 2006 3:30 pm
Posts: 3784
Location: Alabama
The Babcock & Wilcox Company (B&W) plans to deploy the B&W mPowerTM reactor - a scalable, modular, passively safe, advanced light water reactor system.

Quote:
The B&W mPower reactor, with its scalable, modular design, has the capacity to provide 125 MWe to 750 MWe or more for a five-year operating cycle without refueling, and is designed to produce clean, near-zero emission operations.

A newly formed entity, B&W Modular Nuclear Energy, LLC, will lead the development, licensing and delivery of B&W mPower reactor projects.

Features of the B&W mPower reactor include:

Integral nuclear system design
Passive safety systems
Underground containment
Five-year operating cycle between refueling
Scalable, modular design is flexible for local needs
Multi-unit (1 to 10+) plant
Used fuel stored in spent fuel pool for life of the reactor (60 years)
North American shop-manufactured

The modular and scalable design of the B&W mPower reactor allows B&W to match the generation needs of our customers with the proven performance of existing light water reactor technology. Several reactor modules can be installed to support the customer requirements and infrastructure constraints.

The B&W mPower reactor will reduce risks associated with deploying nuclear power and become a flexible, cost-effective solution to the U.S. energy needs while lowering greenhouse gas emissions. Each B&W mPower reactor that is brought online will contribute to the reduction of approximately 57 million metric tons of CO2 emissions over the life of the reactor.

B&W offers production capabilities to supply all Nuclear Steam Supply System (NSSS) components, reducing manufacturing costs and streamlining construction.


Image

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Jun 10, 2009 3:27 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Nov 30, 2006 3:30 pm
Posts: 3784
Location: Alabama
Big detailed images of the reactor system:

1. Reactor Assembly 2700 x 5400 px

2. Reactor Facility 2000 x 2125 px

3. Reactor in Containment 880 x 1193 px


I would recommend downloading these since who knows how long they will be there.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Jun 10, 2009 3:55 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Nov 30, 2006 3:30 pm
Posts: 3784
Location: Alabama
Examining the pictures it would appear that this "small" 125 MWe unit is still a pretty big unit.

They've essentially stacked the steam generator on top of the reactor, and reconfigured the steam generator so that there is an annulus in the middle for the control rods and the control rod drive systems.

If you look at the very bottom of the picture you can see just how small the actual active core of the reactor is compared to the rest of the system.

The third picture in the series of big pictures shows you the reactor in its containment building. Still a big big thing to build, especially underground.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Jun 10, 2009 4:14 pm 
Offline

Joined: Jan 24, 2007 2:24 pm
Posts: 436
Location: Montreal, Quebec CANADA
It's a step in the right direction certainly. I don't see any mention of the level of enrichment for the fuel. I would think it would have to be more than a standard LWR to get a five year continuous burn before fueling.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Jun 10, 2009 5:10 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Nov 30, 2006 9:18 pm
Posts: 1946
Location: Montreal
DV82XL wrote:
I don't see any mention of the level of enrichment for the fuel. I would think it would have to be more than a standard LWR to get a five year continuous burn before fueling.
According to their brochure, "Conventional core and standard fuel".

They get five year life by operating a regular reactor core at low power.

How many times have I said it already: Forget non-standard fuel enrichment. Relying on "unobtainium" is a complete non-starter.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Jun 10, 2009 5:21 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Nov 30, 2006 3:30 pm
Posts: 3784
Location: Alabama
Pictures 2 and 3 seem to show different containments. One is rectangular and the other is cylindrical. Either way they're both LARGE containments. 8 of those required to achieve the power levels that one standard LWR containment achieves, and these are all underground. That's going to be a lot harder to build.

I can't confirm it, but I think there's NO way that this design has a lower per kilowatt cost than a standard LWR.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Jun 10, 2009 5:36 pm 
Offline

Joined: Jan 24, 2007 2:24 pm
Posts: 436
Location: Montreal, Quebec CANADA
jaro wrote:
According to their brochure, "Conventional core and standard fuel".

They get five year life by operating a regular reactor core at low power.

How many times have I said it already: Forget non-standard fuel enrichment. Relying on "unobtainium" is a complete non-starter.



20% can't be that hard to get. Many pool type reactors use it. Why would that be unobtainium (I'm asking, not challenging you here)


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Jun 10, 2009 5:53 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Nov 30, 2006 9:18 pm
Posts: 1946
Location: Montreal
That's research reactor fuel.
Typical application is a university campus reactor operated at a few kilowatts power, on an intermittent basis.
The fuel load essentially lasts as long as the reactor -- indeed, some of them have been decommissioned without ever having been refueled.
Moreover, despite the high enrichment, the total fissile loading of the core is just a few kilograms.
This is totally different from power reactors (we're talking tons of fuel).
So is the licensing -- and materials procurement.
Basically, you can only get 20%LEU from the government -- not from a commercial fuel vendor.
It has gotten so onerous, that many universities have dismantled BOTH their reactors AND nuclear engineering faculties.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Jun 10, 2009 5:57 pm 
Offline

Joined: Jul 28, 2008 10:44 pm
Posts: 3063
Nothing about cost per kilowatt though. Nothing about cooling requirements for the turbines or how the turbines interface to the nuclear plant.
But since the nuclear unit includes the steam generator one would guess it is a low temp reactor and would require water cooling.

From their brochures.

Five-percent enriched fuel


Reduced licensing, construction risk
Accepted ALWR concepts
Passive safety system
No on-site NSSS construction
Three-year construction cycle
Integrated and simplified NSSS
Internal helical coil steam generator
No need for safety-grade backup power
No external pressurizer
Conventional core and standard fuel
No large pipe break Loss of Coolant Accidents (LOCA)

design is a passively safe


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Jun 10, 2009 8:23 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Aug 08, 2008 2:16 pm
Posts: 50
Location: USA
Kirk Sorensen wrote:
Pictures 2 and 3 seem to show different containments. One is rectangular and the other is cylindrical.

Look again. There's a cylindrical shell, which goes inside a rectangular building. The scale in picture #2 is much bigger - look at the cores inside the cylinders.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Jun 10, 2009 8:29 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Aug 08, 2008 2:16 pm
Posts: 50
Location: USA
Lars wrote:
Nothing about cost per kilowatt though.

Quote:
"This brings not only lower installation base cost but also brings greater cost certainty" compared to the $6 billion to $8 billion large-reactor option, Fees said. He declined to name a price for mPower, but said it would be "under the $5,000 per megawatt" price that the industry has estimated for large reactors.

http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2009/06/10 ... 45123.html

Under $5/kW. Very nice. :lol: :roll:

Quote:
But since the nuclear unit includes the steam generator one would guess it is a low temp reactor and would require water cooling.

Well yes, it's an ordinary PWR.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Jun 10, 2009 8:31 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Nov 30, 2006 3:30 pm
Posts: 3784
Location: Alabama
Thomas232 wrote:
Kirk Sorensen wrote:
Pictures 2 and 3 seem to show different containments. One is rectangular and the other is cylindrical.

Look again. There's a cylindrical shell, which goes inside a rectangular building. The scale in picture #2 is much bigger - look at the cores inside the cylinders.


Mmmm...maybe you're right, but I'm not quite sure. I keep flipping back and forth between the pictures trying to correlate the features. Picture 3 looks huge, and if it's only the small cylindrical part in picture 2, then that means that each of these modules is gargantuan.

I'm sorry, but all of this is telling me that LWR designers have had it right for years--bigger is better for the LWR, and scaling down is the fast way to an uneconomic reactor.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Jun 10, 2009 8:37 pm 
Offline

Joined: Jan 24, 2007 2:24 pm
Posts: 436
Location: Montreal, Quebec CANADA
Kirk Sorensen wrote:
I'm sorry, but all of this is telling me that LWR designers have had it right for years--bigger is better for the LWR, and scaling down is the fast way to an uneconomic reactor.


You're probably right, but maybe these units will see a market as drop-in retro-fits for dirt burners.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Jun 10, 2009 9:03 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Aug 29, 2008 10:04 pm
Posts: 26
What interests me most is that TVA is talking about building their proposed plant on the old Clinch River Breeder Reactor site. Given that I'm from Oak Ridge, that makes it of local interest...

I'm wondering exactly how this proposal could avoid the cost problems that Kirk and others have raised. The design does eliminate quite a bit of the active safety systems that conventional PWRs have (or at least it seems to). I remember reading somewhere that these represent a substantial percentage of PWR costs; how much money could be saved this way? Also, how much would these containment buildings be expected to cost? I recall seeing a decades-old study that proposed siting conventional LWRs below grade that concluded that the additional expense would be surprisingly minimal--something like 5% extra. Who knows if it was correct, though.

Has B&W failed to do their homework? TVA seems really interested, which would suggest that they think that the mPower could be a worthwhile investment for them.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Jun 10, 2009 9:35 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Nov 30, 2006 3:30 pm
Posts: 3784
Location: Alabama
sovietologist wrote:
What interests me most is that TVA is talking about building their proposed plant on the old Clinch River Breeder Reactor site. Given that I'm from Oak Ridge, that makes it of local interest...


Yeah, I thought that was notable too. It was no accident, of course, that Sen. Alexander was there with his push for 100 new reactors (do 125 MWe count as a full reactor or only 1/8th of one?) and Rep. Wamp.

sovietologist wrote:
I'm wondering exactly how this proposal could avoid the cost problems that Kirk and others have raised. The design does eliminate quite a bit of the active safety systems that conventional PWRs have (or at least it seems to). I remember reading somewhere that these represent a substantial percentage of PWR costs; how much money could be saved this way? Also, how much would these containment buildings be expected to cost? I recall seeing a decades-old study that proposed siting conventional LWRs below grade that concluded that the additional expense would be surprisingly minimal--something like 5% extra. Who knows if it was correct, though.


I can see a lot of the features from the AP600 and AP1000 designs in this configuration--the large pool of water above the reactor that you can see in picture 3--surely that is there for passive cooling of the steel containment and a reduction in overall containment size. Something they do with ice generators at Watts Bar, at tremendous expense.

sovietologist wrote:
Has B&W failed to do their homework? TVA seems really interested, which would suggest that they think that the mPower could be a worthwhile investment for them.


B&W's been out of the reactor-building game for a long time, and this might be their play to get back in. The reactor does look like it could be built in a factory, and probably shipped in two pieces (the reactor and the steam generator) and then stacked on each other. But considering the workmanship that will be necessary to build all of these below-grade containment structures, I could easily see the steel and rebar for that getting snarled in red tape and NRC grumbling long before any reactor arrives from the B&W factory.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 25 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group