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NuScale steam generator prepares for tests

11 февраля 2015
Новости отрасли

A full-scale, first-of-a-kind helical coil steam generator (HCSG) for use in NuScale Power’s small modular reactor (SMR) design is set to undergo performance tests in Italy.

The component, which will convert nuclear heat into process steam in the integral pressurised water reactor, was constructed in a fabrication shop in Italy. It has since been transported by truck to SIET SpA’s facilities in Piacenza, Italy, where it has been installed using a crane.

Testing of the full-length HCSG over the next several months will be conducted at prototypic fluid temperatures, pressures and flow rates to measure the steam generator’s thermal performance. The data gained from these tests will be used to validate NuScale’s computer codes and help its vendors optimize the performance of their steam turbines for use with a NuScale reactor.

NuScale said the tests will also provide important input to its design certification application planned for submittal to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission in the second half of 2016. It will also provide input for the first planned combined construction and operating licence (COL) application for the Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems Carbon Free Power Project, planned for submittal in 2017 with a the project commercially operational in late 2023.

NuScale’s self-contained SMR design houses the reactor core, pressuriser and steam generator inside a single containment vessel. It relies on gravity, not pumps, to circulate the water in the primary circuit up through a riser above the core and down through the HCSG, which as its name suggests contains tubes in a spiral configuration. After passing through the HCSG, the cooled water is pulled down by gravity to the bottom of the reactor pressure vessel where it is drawn through the core again. A single module can generate up to 45 MWe of electricity and is just under 25m in length, 4.6m in diameter and weighing around 450 tonnes.

NuScale chief technology officer Jose Reyes said, “The fabrication, installation and subsequent testing of this full-length HCSG is an important step in the continued support of our reactor safety code development and validation, our reactor design, and our technology maturation to reduce first-of-a-kind risk”. He added, “This is another key milestone for the development of our innovative technology”.

In December 2013, the US Department of Energy selected NuScale’s SMR to receive federal funding for up to half of the cost of developing, licensing and commercialising the reactor.

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