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PostPosted: Jun 10, 2012 5:16 pm 
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France is going to build a new sodium-cooled fast reactor, called ASTRID (Advanced Sodium Technical Reactor for Industrial Demonstration) somewhere between 2016 and 2020. What I find remarkable is that they are proposing an integrated heat exchanger/steam generator for this reactor (see: http://www.neimagazine.com/story.asp?storyCode=2055116). Is this not a bit problematic as the water can easily react with sodium in this integrated configuration ?


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PostPosted: Jun 10, 2012 10:46 pm 
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Water seems to be contained in an outer jacket. It might be alright if there is a secondary coolant compatible with both water and sodium.


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PostPosted: May 19, 2014 8:23 pm 
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They have recently decided to go with a Nitrogen Brayton system for ASTRID.

http://www.nucnet.org/all-the-news/2014 ... rs-in-2040
16.05.2014_No152 / News in Brief
France Plans Introduction Of Commercial Fast Neutron Reactors In 2040
Research & Development

16 May (NucNet): France is planning to introduce commercial fast neutron nuclear reactors (FNRs) in 2040 and to phase out its operational Generation II light water reactors (LWRs) by 2050, a conference has heard.
Christophe Béhar, head of the nuclear energy division at the French Commissariat à l'énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives (CEA), told the European Nuclear Congress in Marseille, France, that France is looking to “intensify its efforts” to develop FNRs with a closed fuel cycle.

He said challenges involved in the development of FNRs are related to mastering the plutonium stockpile created as a by-product of the existing LWR fleet, discovering a way to use the total energy potential of natural uranium, and minimising the volume of radiotoxic nuclear waste.

The Astrid FNR research project will provide one way of demonstrating fast neutron technology, Mr Béhar said.

Astrid will be built at CEA’s Marcoule nuclear site. CEA is leading the Astrid project and will design the reactor core and fuel.

However, Astrid, a sodium-cooled fast-neutron reactor, will be different from France’s early generation FNRs, Phénix and Superphénix. Phénix, a prototype, was shut down in 2009 and electricity production at Superphénix, a liquid sodium FNR, ended in 1996.

Based on experience gained from Phénix and Superphénix, Astrid will use advanced safety design features such as a loss-of-coolant-safe core design and nitrogen gas instead of water for the turbine-cooling loop.
{SNIP}

----------------

http://lib.aeoi.org.ir/Content/download ... 5/5-8-.pdf
ASTRID power conversion system : assessment on steam and gas options
Guy LAFFONT1, Lionel CACHON1, Vincent JOURDAIN2, Jean Marie FAUQUE3
1: CEA, Nuclear Energy Direction FRANCE, 2: ALSTOM Power FRANCE, 3: AREVA NP FRANCE

ASTRID reference cycle and performances
Rankine saturated steam cycle with steam and feedwater reheating,

Moisture Separator Reheater (MSR) located downstream the intermediate pressure turbine (IP)
with reheating by the outlet HP turbine (HP) steam.
(1500 MWt) SG
500°C
180bars
245°C
195 bars
Expected net efficiency of 42%


ASTRID reference cycle and performance
Brayton cycle with pure nitrogen at 180 bars.

Design constraints :
• Nitrogen mass flow rate at 7200kg/s,
• Maximum gas pipe diameter = 1m : mechanical and fabrication limits,
• Gas velocity limited at about 20m/s for pressure drops minimization
Multiple pipes in parallel for gas PCS architecture.
Expected net efficiency of 37.5%
ASTRID gas Power Conversion system
180b 515° C
27°C 182b


Attachments:
ASTRID_Brayton.jpg
ASTRID_Brayton.jpg [ 115.38 KiB | Viewed 3820 times ]
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PostPosted: May 19, 2014 11:27 pm 
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Rod Adams will probably be interested to see this in action, for qualifying nitrogen turbines in a nuclear context. That 4.5% efficiency hit is tough though, so balance of plant will have to look pretty good. Plate Machined Heat Exchanger for the sodium/nitrogen interface, so airfoil Heatric type maybe (show straight channel sodium side/corrugated channel gas side in the PDF though)? I wonder what the compressor precooler setup will be like though.


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PostPosted: May 19, 2014 11:53 pm 
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Use of nitrogen as secondary coolant, if or when successful, will be a great advancement in fast reactors. A closed cycle, as conceived in the IFR, increases the power yield from uranium by 2 orders of magnitude andl renders the energy availability inexhaustible.


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PostPosted: May 20, 2014 5:58 am 
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The uranium supply is already essentially inexhaustible at the SEU CANDUs rather puny 12.5GWd/tU(natural).

There is little reason to go to fast reactors for fuel availability reasons.


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PostPosted: May 20, 2014 6:16 am 
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camiel wrote:
France is going to build a new sodium-cooled fast reactor, called ASTRID (Advanced Sodium Technical Reactor for Industrial Demonstration) somewhere between 2016 and 2020. What I find remarkable is that they are proposing an integrated heat exchanger/steam generator for this reactor (see: http://www.neimagazine.com/story.asp?storyCode=2055116). Is this not a bit problematic as the water can easily react with sodium in this integrated configuration ?


I'm currently at a summer school and had a presentation on ASTRID this morning. This is definitely not the reference design at the time (anymore?). As jaro said, the reference is a pure N2 Brayton and a Water Rankine as "robust backup solution".


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PostPosted: May 20, 2014 2:02 pm 
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jaro wrote:
They have recently decided to go with a Nitrogen Brayton system for ASTRID.
France is planning to introduce commercial fast neutron nuclear reactors (FNRs) in 2040 ...


It was hard to read past this point, when I saw the original article ... 2040?? Are they kidding? They announce they are going to build a great new machine ... in 26 years.

My guess is that the Russians and the Chinese will have something more interesting by then.


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PostPosted: May 20, 2014 3:59 pm 
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SteveK9 wrote:
It was hard to read past this point, when I saw the original article ... 2040?? Are they kidding? They announce they are going to build a great new machine ... in 26 years.


Well, 26 years ago the French had a fast breeder that seemed not all that different from this one.


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PostPosted: May 21, 2014 5:23 am 
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The problems with Superphénix were more political than not - down time from sodium leaks, and heavy snow collapsing the turbine hall roof, was exceeded by lengthy waits for authorisation from on high ( with riots and bazooka attacks by the greens for accompaniment.) When socialist premier Jospin finally ordered the plant closed to keep his Green party allies happy, it had been running at a respectable capacity factor for most of a year ( sorry I can't find the reference- too much antinuclear stuff by full time paid critics like Mycle Schneider to plough through online.)
The current French minister for energy is Ségolène Royal. She used to be the partner of current president Francois Hollande, and was herself the previous, unsuccessful, Socialist candidate in the presidential elections. During her televised debate with then president Sarkozy, she insisted that nuclear power was only providing 17 percent of the country's electricity. The true figure was 78 percent. ( Sarkozy is pro-nuclear, but he thought the figure was fifty percent.) With ignorance like that among the leaders of the country, it's no wonder the average voter lacks knowledge, or that development is so slow. I'm not saying the French are worse than other people- at least they have a nuclear R and D program.


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PostPosted: May 21, 2014 11:45 am 
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jon wrote:
( sorry I can't find the reference- too much antinuclear stuff by full time paid critics like Mycle Schneider to plough through online.)

For those who can read the language, here is a series of articles about Superphénix from the May 1997 issue of the French trade journal, Revue Générale Nucléaire.
Note especially the second one - a statement by the French Nuclear Society (SFEN) to the attention of political leaders, in support of continued operation of the FBR, as well as the last one, describing the highly reliable operation of the plant in the year prior to the politically-mandated decommissioning.

http://tinyurl.com/3or2dag
http://tinyurl.com/43guxvb
http://tinyurl.com/3jpmecw
http://tinyurl.com/3p892zu
http://tinyurl.com/3f5neel


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PostPosted: May 22, 2014 3:45 am 
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'.. for those who can read the language...'
I thought I could, till I ran into
-'des éléments postiches en acier'. Steel hairpiece elements?


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PostPosted: May 22, 2014 1:28 pm 
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Kirk Sorensen wrote:
SteveK9 wrote:
It was hard to read past this point, when I saw the original article ... 2040?? Are they kidding? They announce they are going to build a great new machine ... in 26 years.


Well, 26 years ago the French had a fast breeder that seemed not all that different from this one.


On that basis we can estimate the actual completion date as ... never.


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PostPosted: May 23, 2014 11:57 pm 
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The Russian and Indian fast reactors are likely to be completed this year. Will somebody put in a less fire-prone secondary coolant?


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PostPosted: May 24, 2014 2:15 pm 
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jagdish wrote:
The Russian and Indian fast reactors are likely to be completed this year. Will somebody put in a less fire-prone secondary coolant?


That is exactly why I am wondering why the French are building another sodium-cooled fast reactor. They built a couple in the past: Rapsodie, Phenix, Superphenix (been there, seen that, done that). I think it is a duplication of effort. In light of the international R&D of Gen-IV reactors, it would be much better if there would be some division of labor and more coordination, for example the Russians focusing on and building a lead-cooled reactor, the Americans developing a high-temperature gas-cooled reactor, the Chinese building a MSR, etc.

However, the nitrogen power conversion system that is proposed for ASTRID, is interesting. There are some efforts to develop supercritical CO2 turbines for nuclear energy applications, so why go with nitrogen ? What is the largest nitrogen turbine that has ever been developed, if it ever has been developed ?


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