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Nuclear Energy R


Title: PowerPoint Presentation Author: Tony Rollston Last modified by: Srinivas Created Date: 7/22/2001 6:42:40 PM Document presentation format: On-screen Show (4:3) – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Nuclear Energy R

Nuclear Energy RD - a view from industry
  • Tony Roulstone
  • Jan 2010

  • After 25 years of retrenchment, nuclear power is
    firmly on the agenda, both in UK and around the
    world driven by the issues of
  • Climate Change
  • Energy Security.
  • UK will replace (at least two times over) the
    current 10GWe nuclear capacity
  • Universities have the opportunity to
  • Educate the new nuclear engineers required to
    design, build, operate and develop new systems
  • Contribute to the development of Light Water
  • Layout the ideas for extending the fuel resource
    available for nuclear fission power in thermal
  • Contribute to the development of Advanced
  • The name of the game is collaboration between
    disciplines, with industry internationally.

LWR Devlt
Fuel Resource
Advanced Systems
Issues for the 21st century?
  • Response to World Credit Crunch
  • Climate Change
  • Nuclear Proliferation
  • International terrorism.
  • Gordon Brown Mansion House Nov 2009
  • Nuclear is (for a good or ill) linked to at least
    3 of these issues
  • Credit crunch gt UK over reliance on financial
    services new manufacturing?
  • Climate Change -gt Expanding and de-carbonising
    electricity supply
  • Nuclear Proliferation -gt New fuel cycles that
    avoid creating or protect potential nuclear bomb

UK Nuclear Market Background
  • 15 years after the last nuclear power station
    (Sizewell B) was completed and within sight of
    the end of life of existing AGRs, UK Government
    is now committed to enabling the replacement of
    nuclear , using private capital and without any
  • Government accepts that at least 8 large new
    stations (10-12GWe) will be built as quickly as
    possible with private capital, first in 2017/8
    followed by one per year from 2020
  • Climate change pressures may well triple current
    UK nuclear capacity to 30GWe by 2030/35,
    providing a massive UK nuclear market 60bn
    capital spend during the next 25 years, plus
    operating costs of several bn pa
  • UK nuclear capability has been severely eroded
    skills lost facilities closed work-force
  • Nuclear industry has been globalised - with the
    leadership coming
    from France, Japan, US etc.
  • Government is working to prepare the ground
    (through the Office of Nuclear Development)
  • Generic design licensing of two new foreign
    designs EPR AP1000
  • Infrastructure Planning Commission/process to
    obviate multiple long planning enquiries
  • Provision of committed Waste Decommissioning
  • Stimulating Education Skills development.
    Including advanced manufacturing methods
  • Developing non-proliferation issues

Civil Nuclear Power Global Market
  • Current capacity
  • Nuclear energy currently provides approximately
    15 per cent of the worlds electricity.
  • Currently around 440 nuclear plants, across 30
    countries, with a total capacity of over 370 GW.
  • Future Capacity
  • There may be a global build rate of up to 12
    nuclear reactors per year between 2007-2030,
    which expected to rise to 23-54 reactors a year
    between 2030-2050.
  • Market value
  • A recent assessment by Rolls-Royce estimated
  • Global civil nuclear market is currently worth
    around 30bn a year.
  • By 2023 market could be worth around 50bn per
  • Of this, approximately 20bn pa will be new
    build, 13bn pa in support to existing nuclear
    plant, and 17bn pa in support of new build
  • The Road to 2010 Cabinet Office July 2009

Westinghouse AP1000
RD opportunities are in 3 groups
  • New nuclear engineering degrees such as the
    MPhil proposed at Cambridge would be essential
    support for and be supported by expanded RD
  • Existing near term design - Support and
    Development of Light Water Reactors (BWR PWR)
  • Fuel cycles that extend the scope of fission in
    thermal reactors
  • Advanced systems - New reactor types, potentially
    with new fuel cycles.

LWR Devlt
Fuel Resource
Advanced Systems
Current nuclear overview of areas of study (1)
LWR Devlt
  • Existing near term reactors LWRs which make
    up gt80 of world power reactors
    client objectives provide the requirements for
    research development

Major Accident Safety
Increasing Output
Extending Lifetime -gt 60 years
Fuel RadWaste
Project Economics
Current nuclear overview of areas of study (2)
  • Existing near term reactors LWRs which make
    up gt80 of world power reactors requirements
    for research development

Major Accident Safety
Increasing Output
  • Criticality transients
  • Loss of coolant
  • Internal/external hazards
  • Passive safety systems design
  • Control protection architecture/systems
  • Model validation, errors safety philosophy
  • Improved availability thermodynamic efficiency

Extending Lifetime -gt 60 years
Fuel RadWaste
Project Economics
  • Fuel burn-up
  • Recycling fuel cycles incl. MOX
  • Waste disposal/storage
  • Materials cracking brittle fracture,
    environmentally assisted hydrogen cracking
  • Radiation embrittlement
  • Design for construction modules
  • Simpler designs/systems/standards including
    safety approvals

Some material cracking topics
Control rod motor support tube dis-similar tube
to head welds
Vessel nozzle welds low cycle fatigue
Fracture of neutron embrittled Reactor Vessel
Fuel clad FP corrosion delayed hydrogen
Issues include 60 year plant life assurance of
safety margins manufacture inspection
standards, effectiveness of enhanced material
External hazards a multi disciplinary approach
Issues include Modelling extreme events
handling uncertainty complexity
extending/validating design codes cost benefit
analysis risk.
Identify external Hazards
Aircraft crash
Fire explosion
Analyse accident frequencies sequences
Consider primary secondary means of protection
---gt Design basis of structures and safety
systems, including human factors
Probablistic Risk Analysis Low frequency /high
Design Basis Analysis High frequency Demonstrate
protection including reliability of protection
Current nuclear overview of areas of study (3)
  • Existing near term reactors LWRs which make
    up gt80 of world power reactors requirements
    for research development

Major Accident Safety
Increasing Output
  • Criticality transients
  • Loss of coolant
  • Internal/external hazards
  • Passive safety systems design
  • Control protection architecture/systems
  • Model validation, errors safety philosophy
  • Improved availability thermodynamic efficiency

Extending Lifetime -gt 60 years
Fuel RadWaste
Project Economics
  • Fuel burn-up
  • Recycling fuel cycles incl. MOX
  • Waste disposal/storage
  • Materials cracking brittle fracture,
    environmentally assisted hydrogen cracking
  • Radiation embrittlement
  • Design for construction modules
  • Simpler designs/systems/standards including
    safety approvals

Potential Fissile Fuel Limits
Fuel Resource
  • Uranium (current price 55 per kg)
    Reserves Current consumption
  • World reserves to be mined _at_ 130 per kg
    4.7 Mtne 64 yrs 11 yrs
  • Phosphate reserves                                
                 22   Mtne               330
    yrs 55 yrs
  • Sea water Uranium    _at_ 300(?) per
    kg   4500 Mtne  thousands
  • Current consumption rate in once through systems
    utilising U235 i.e. no fast breeders based on
    current world-wide 370 GWe nuclear capacity (16
    of world electricity generation)
  • Nuclear Growth consumption triple the share
    of a larger electricity market (2000GWe nuclear)
  • SEWTA D MacKay

Fertile fuels Uranium (reserves 4.7 Mtne
potential years at Growth nuclear energy rate
700) n fast U238 -gt U239 (23 mins)
-gt Np 239 e- (2.3 days) -gt Pu239 e-
(further n capture
to Pu240/1/2 etc.) Thorium (reserves 6 Mtne
potential years at Growth nuclear energy rate
400 ) n fast/th Th232 -gt Th232 (22 min) -gt
Pa 233 e- (27 days) -gt U233 e-
(further n capture
to 11 U235)
How to provide the additional neutrons?
LWRs with Enriched U or Pu Seed Blanket Th
Heavy Water moderated systems like CANDU SGHWR
1. More fissile material increased
enrichment/added Plutonium
2. Lower losses - more efficient moderation
Heavy Water
Fuel Resource
Thermal neutrons
3. Improved capture v fission prob gt10 in fast
neutron spectrum
4. External supply of neutrons i.e. from an
Advanced Systems
Fast neutrons
Accelerator driven Sub-critical Reactor
Fast neutron reactors Liquid metal, Salt or Gas
Thermal reactors as Plutonium breeders or burners?
  • Thermal reactors (PWR, AGR, BWR) are normally
    breeders of Pu (30kg/TWhe), but can be
    burners, depending on fuel mix, configuration and
    neutron spectrum
  • for thermal neutrons, fission cross section is
    100 capture cross section but U238
    abundance 30
  • Mixed Oxide (MOX) fuel has 5-7 Pu (replacing
    U235) mixed with natural or
    depleted U configured in assemblies which are
    externally identical to normal fuel
  • There are part-loads of MOX in 30 existing LWRs
    in Europe and Japan, plus
    plans to burn military Plutonium in both US and
    Russia, using conventional LWRs
  • Pu consumption is dependant on the proportion of
    core that has MOX assemblies
  • 30 net zero production
  • 50 15kg/TWhe consumption
  • Higher MOX loadings require modifications to
    burnable poison and/or control rods - to maintain
    adequate reactivity shut-down and hold-down
  • In principle, LWRs can operate with 100 MOX with
    consumption 60kg/TWhe - existing reactors would
    require some re-design more control rods,
    higher concentration of Boron or use of B10
    perhaps reactors designed/optimised specifically
    for MOX fuel
  • Multiple re-cycle brings issues of higher
    isotopes of Plutonium which both act as neutron
    absorbers and produce higher actinides - MoX fuel
    is more radioactive, hence more difficult to
    fabricate handle.
  • Ref NEA 4451

Thorium systems
  • Thorium reactors are being considered because of
  • Larger reserves with potential to convert burn
    the whole resource - compared with 0.7
    of Uranium
  • Potential proliferation advantages with
    reprocessing cycles
  • Improved ability to burn Plutonium
  • Lower radio-toxicity of waste lt10,000 years
  • Thorium systems require a supply of neutrons
  • Fission in fast or thermal reactors with a
    driver fuel enriched U or Pu from reprocessing
  • Accelerator Driven Sub-critical Reactor (ADSR)
    most likely fast reactor with driver core of
    either enriched U or Pu being studied by
  • Prototype Thorium reactors
  • Have been operated in Germany (BWR HTGR), UK
    US (HTGR), India (PHWR), Canada (CANDU) US (PWR
  • Have been extensively studied (LWR) jointly by
    Germany Brazil
  • Are being planned in India (complex cycles of FR
    AHWR), Russia for burning military Pu (RTR)
  • Are included in Gen IV - Molten Salt Reactor
    (Thorium Fluorides with on-site reprocessing)
  • Thorium systems have been little studied in UK
    because of
  • More difficult reprocessing requirements
    requires HF for dissolution
  • Current availability and low price of Uranium
  • Prior commitment to fast reactors
  • Open Thorium cycle in LWRs may be feasible but
    need complex fuel shuffling long irradiation

Galperin ARWIF 2001
Fast Neutron Reactors
  • Major programs of enriched U and Pu fuelled
    liquid cooled fast reactors from 1950/70s were
    halted by low Uranium prices and technical
    difficulties from mid 1980s
  • Only BN 600 (600MWe) small test reactors
    (Phénix Joyo) are still operating
  • Reactors fuel operated well (400 reactor
    years), but economics, concerns about
    proliferation technical difficulties included
    sodium-water leaks, thermal stress in core
    structure, fuel handling/fabrication led to
  • Plans for new fast reactors as breeders (or
    burners of actinides) - in all regions except
    Europe, though France is leading the re-launch of
    fast reactors within EU.

Region US Russia Europe East Asia
Past Clementine, EBR-I/II, SEFOR, FFTF BN-350 Dounreay DFR, PFR, Rhapsodie, Superphénix
Cancelled Clinch River, IFR SNR-300
Operating BN-600 Phénix Joyo, FBTR
Under construction BN-800 Monju, PFBR, CEFR
Planned Gen IV (GasSodiumLead) BN-1800 4S, JSFR, KALIMER
Advanced Systems what are objectives, which
Advanced Systems
  • Advanced systems are being studied under the
    Generation IV International Forum (GIF)
  • Why new systems?
  • Economics of smaller/simpler reactors PBMR,
  • Process heat for chemical eng, including direct
    hydrogen production
  • Making use of the available fertile material
  • Proliferation resistance trans-uranic burning
  • Breaking the energy barriers fast breeders,
    fusion ITER.
  • Novel designs new fuel cycles or configurations
    like Liquid or
    intrinsically safe fuel, Accelerator driven
    sub-critical etc.
  • Improved safety
  • Burning waste/actinides
  • Proliferation resistant cycles
  • Facilitate breeding cycles.
  • Which system?
  • Fast or thermal neutron?
  • Gas of liquid cooled?
  • Solid or liquid fuelled?
  • High or current temperatures?
  • Gen IV Systems
  • Super Critical Water Reactor
  • Very-High Temp Reactor
  • Sodium-cooled Fast Reactor
  • Molten Salt Reactor
  • Gas-cooled Fast Reactor
  • Lead-cooled Fast Reactor

A potential approach to System Selection
Techn Resource
Cost Prolif
Open Cycle
Closed Cycle
  • Once thru LWRs are dominant because of relatively
    mature technology low/dependable costs, but
    they may be limited in the medium term by the
    availability of low cost Uranium resources
  • MoX fuel cycles enables U/Pu cycle to be extended
    with little increase costs and low technological
    risk more advanced designs of LWR fuel may
    enable steady state Pu cycle but reprocessing
    separates Pu with consequential concerns about
  • Fast reactors offer scope for greatly extending
    Uranium resource technological issues with
    front runner Sodium reactors are well known, plus
    need to reprocess and re-fabricate the
    progressively more active fuels
  • Thorium fuel can either extend existing thermal
    once-thru reactors utilising Pu as a seed/driver
    with some development testing, or greatly
    increase the resource efficiency with fast
    reactors but with much higher development
    uncertainty timescales with both higher
    operating capital costs.

How? by Collaboration
  • Within the University
  • Nuclear problems are particularly
    multi-disciplinary e.g. Thorium fuel systems
    requires Core physics Thermal
    hydraulic Fuel clad performance Fuel
    processing etc
  • With Industry/Labs
  • New nuclear engineering development require
    industrial relevance and practical testing
  • Expensive facilities such as test rigs and
    irradiation labs are in industry/NNL.
  • Rolls-Royce AMEC both have strong positions in
    UK nuclear are - Cambridge has the links to build
    a nuclear relationship with Rolls-Royce.
  • Involvement in key Government/IAEA committees on
    nuclear issues.
  • With other countries
  • Nuclear is a global market research must
    reflect this
  • Market scale 3-4 leading reactor vendors
  • Standards safety becoming more
  • Specialised facilities including materials test
    reactors exist in other countries
  • Funding new systems development demonstration
    will costs many billions be collaborative.
  • EU capabilities and facilities are largely still
    in place France Germany plus ambitions in
    Czech Republic, Poland etc. to develop nuclear
  • Also, EU has funding the will to support
    advanced systems possible new demonstration
    fast reactor
  • US, while not being keen on reprocessing and
    hence fast reactors, will not be left behind in
    nuclear development and is keen to lead
    international developments.

A Possible Strategy?
  • Becoming a centre of excellence in post graduate
    teaching of nuclear engineering through the
    proposed M Phil etc. Supported by an enhanced
    research programme
  • Support major growth in nuclear in the UK (
    world-wide) through development of LWR technology
    - providing solutions to technical issues that
    limit the effectiveness of LWR - where Cambridge
    has relevant specific skills
  • Develop new fuel design cycles for LWRs to
    greatly expand the available global nuclear fuel
    resource, required to respond to the challenges
    of Climate Change
  • Analyse identify the most promising advanced
    reactor systems and contribute to their
    international development.
  • By collaboration within the university, with
    industry, NNL UK government/ IAEA and
    internationally EU and US.

LWR Devlt
Fuel Resource
Advanced Systems
Future system selection an outline approach
  • System attractiveness depends on many and
    conflicting priorities main ones being
  • Whether Technology is demonstrated in a robust
    and dependable manner
  • How will system improve the Resource availability
    of usable nuclear energy
  • Costs, both capital whole life operating costs
    fuel fabrication, reactor ops, waste/reprocessing
  • Proliferation considerations.

Open Cycle
Technology Maturity Resource Value
Cost (TLC) Capital Op Proliferation
Closed Cycle
  • Baseline
  • LWR reactors Gen III ESBWR/ABWR, AP1000, EPR
  • Low enrichment Uranium fuels
  • New reactors spent fuel storage 50 years no
  • Large Plutonium stocks from previous military
    programs and existing reprocessing in France, UK,
    Russia and Japan.

Green Amber Red Technology
Mature Develop Problem Resource x100 x10 Once
thru Cost (TLC) LWR x2 x5 Proliferation
x10 LWR OTT /10
System Maturity Development cycles
  • Development Clock Speed
  • System Generation Safety/Conservatism Peri
    od Dev/Capital Cost Comment
  • PC systems 15 Low 2 years
    100m Rapid maturity
  • Motorcar 15 Mid 6 years 1bn
    100 yr devlt
  • Civil Airliner 6-7 High 10 years
    10bn Mil Civ devlt
  • Nuclear Power 3 V High 30 years
  • Level of frustration with nuclear, particularly
    in UK, that after 50 years and billions of RD
    we have only a handful of large somewhat
    inflexible power stations dependant on limited
    Uranium supplies
  • What happened to the claim of energy too
    plentiful too cheap to meter?
  • Other mature technologies have been through at
    least 5 full generations
  • Because of conservatism scale project time
    cost nuclear has only completed 3 cycles in 50
  • Take more care in what is claimed for a single
    development cycle not over-promise
  • New systems must have large advantages over LWRs,
    which need to be clearly deliverable
  • New types of reactor are being studied Gen IV
  • Each will require better materials more
    irradiation data and demonstration or test
  • Some new Gen IV designs will (but many will not)
    be built in the medium term next 20-30 years