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(updated February 2010)
The next two generations of nuclear reactors are currently being developed in several countries. The first (3rd generation) advanced reactors have been operating in Japan since 1996. Late 3rd generation designs are now being built. Newer advanced reactors have simpler designs which reduce capital cost. They are more fuel efficient and are inherently safer. The nuclear power industry has been developing and improving reactor technology for more than five decades and is starting to build the next generation of nuclear power reactors to fill orders now materialising. Several generations of reactors are commonly distinguished. Generation I reactors were developed in 1950-60s, and outside the UK none are still running today. Generation II reactors are typified by the present US fleet and most in operation elsewhere. Generation III (and 3+) are the Advanced Reactors discussed in this paper. The first are in operation in Japan and others are under construction or ready to be ordered. Generation IV designs are still on the drawing board and will not be operational before 2020 at the earliest. About 85% of the world's nuclear electricity is generated by reactors derived from designs originally developed for naval use. These and other second-generation nuclear power units have been found to be safe and reliable, but they are being superseded by better designs. Reactor suppliers in North America, Japan, Europe, Russia and elsewhere have a dozen new nuclear reactor designs at advanced stages of planning, while others are at a research and development stage. Fourth-generation reactors are at concept stage. Third-generation reactors have:
l l l l l
a standardised design for each type to expedite licensing, reduce capital cost and reduce construction time, a simpler and more rugged design, making them easier to operate and less vulnerable to operational upsets, higher availability and longer operating life - typically 60 years, further reduced possibility of core melt accidents, resistance to serious damage that would allow radiological release from an aircraft impact, higher burn-up to reduce fuel use and the amount of waste, burnable absorbers ("poisons") to extend fuel life. The greatest departure from second-generation designs is that many incorporate passive or inherent safety features* which require no active controls or operational intervention to avoid accidents in the event of malfunction, and may rely on gravity, natural convection or resistance to high temperatures.
* Traditional reactor safety systems are 'active' in the sense that they involve electrical or mechanical operation on command. Some
engineered systems operate passively, eg pressure relief valves. They function without operator control and despite any loss of auxiliary power. Both require parallel redundant systems. Inherent or full passive safety depends only on physical phenomena such as convection, gravity or resistance to high temperatures, not on functioning of engineered components.
1 http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf08.html Another departure is that some will be designed for load-following. While most French reactors / 14 today are operated in that mode to some extent, the EPR design has better capabilities. It will be able to maintain its output at 25% and then ramp up to full output at a rate of 2.5% of rated power per minute up to 60% output and at 5% of rated output per minute up to full rated power. This means that potentially the unit can change its output from 25% to 100% in less than 30 minutes,
though the USA has now joined it. See also NRC and Appendix. Two of them fall into the category of large "evolutionary" designs which build directly on the experience of operating light water reactors in the USA. and may rely on gravity. Japan and Western Europe. US EPR from Areva and US-APWR from Mitsubishi. Advanced_Nuclear_Power_Reactors * Traditional reactor safety systems are 'active' in the sense that they involve electrical or mechanical operation on command. It is now funded through the IAEA budget.html 2 / 14 . This means that potentially the unit can change its output from 25% to 100% in less than 30 minutes. While most French reactors today are operated in that mode to some extent. The IAEA's International Project on Innovative Nuclear Reactors and Fuel Cycles (INPRO) is focused more on developing country needs. not on functioning of engineered components. Joint Initiatives Two major international initiatives have been launched to define future reactor and fuel cycle technology. but it remains to be seen which will be most significant. Plants certified as complying with EUR include Westinghouse AP1000. These reactors are in the 1300 megawatt range. They function without operator control and despite any loss of auxiliary power. Both require parallel redundant systems. eg pressure relief valves. the federal Department of Energy (DOE) and the commercial nuclear industry in the 1990s developed four advanced reactor types.org/info/inf08.5% of rated power per minute up to 60% output and at 5% of rated output per minute up to full rated power. and is safety-based.world-nuclear. These are basically a utilities' wish list of some 5000 items needed for new nuclear plants. Areva's SWR-1000. It will be able to maintain its output at 25% and then ramp up to full output at a rate of 2. Some engineered systems operate passively. Longer term. and initially involved Russia rather than the USA. six pre-application reviews would get underway by about 2010. IRIS from Westinghouse. NRC expected to focus on the Next-Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP) for the USA (see US Nuclear Power Policy paper ) . See Generation IV paper and DOE web site on "4th generation reactors". However. Inherent or full passive safety depends only on physical phenomena such as convection. General Electric with Hitachi as a close relationship: GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) Westinghouse had become a 77% owned subsidiary of Toshiba (with Shaw group 20%). GE's ABWR. Early in 2008 the NRC said that beyond these three. natural convection or resistance to high temperatures. by the end of 2006 three major Western-Japanese alliances had formed to dominate much of the world reactor supply market: l l l Areva with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) in a major project and subsequently in fuel fabrication. mostly looking further ahead than the main subjects of this paper: Generation IV International Forum (GIF) is a US-led grouping set up in 2001 which has identified six reactor concepts for further investigation with a view to commercial deployment by 2030. in Europe reactors may also be certified according to compliance with European Utilities Requirements (EUR). the EPR design has better capabilities. though this may be at some expense of wear and tear. Subsequently there have been a number of other international collaborative arrangements initiated among reactor vendors and designers.essentially the Very High Temperature Reactor (VHTR) among the Generation IV designs. Many are larger than predecessors. In Europe there are moves towards harmonised requirements for licensing. Certification of designs is on a national basis. PBMR from Eskom and 4S from Toshiba as well as General Atomics' GTMHR apparently. http://www. gravity or resistance to high temperatures. Another departure is that some will be designed for load-following. Areva's EPR. Increasingly they involve international collaboration. In the USA a number of reactor types have received Design Certification (see below) and others are in process: ESBWR from GE-Hitachi. These include: ACR from Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd (AECL). Light Water Reactors In the USA. and Westinghouse BWR 90. At the commercial level. Gidropress' AES-92.inherent safety features* which require no active controls or operational intervention to avoid accidents in the event of malfunction.
Both GE-Hitachi and Toshiba (with NRG Energy in USA) are marketing the design. Subsequently there have been a number of other international collaborative arrangements initiated among reactor vendors and designers. The Westinghouse AP600 gained NRC final design certification in 1999 (AP = Advanced Passive). The application was supported by European utilities. It is being built in China (4 units under 3 / 14 http://www. received final design certification from the NRC in December 2005 . Light Water Reactors In the USA. It is capable of running on a full MOX core if required. Two of them fall into the category of large "evolutionary" designs which build directly on the experience of operating light water reactors in the USA. more innovative US advanced reactor is smaller . System 80+. but it remains to be seen which will be most significant. The AP1000 generating costs are expected to be very competitive and it has a 60-year operating life. scaled-up from the AP600. is an advanced pressurised water reactor (PWR). specifically the APR-1400 which is expected to be in operation from 2013 and is being marketed worldwide.l l General Electric with Hitachi as a close relationship: GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) Westinghouse had become a 77% owned subsidiary of Toshiba (with Shaw group 20%).world-nuclear. US utilities will be able to obtain a single NRC licence to both construct and operate a reactor before construction begins. the US nuclear industry selected one standardised design in each category . The Westinghouse AP1000. for detailed first-of-a-kind engineering (FOAKE) work. The ABWR has also been certified as meeting European requirements for advanced reactors. noting that they exceeded NRC "safety goals by several orders of magnitude". so is not identical to that licenced in the USA.the first Generation 3+ type to do so. as does Tepco. Tepco is funding the design of a next-generation BWR beyond that. safety issues within the scope of the certified designs have been fully resolved and hence will not be open to legal challenge during licensing for particular plants. Four more are planned in Japan and another two in the USA. The Japanese version of it differs in allowing modular construction. Though GE and Hitachi have subsequently joined up. A contrast between the 1188 MWe Westinghouse reactor at Sizewell B in the UK and the Advanced_Nuclear_Power_Reactors . which was ready for commercialisation but is not now being promoted for sale. Another. with another under construction there and two in Taiwan.and has passive safety features (its projected core damage frequency is nearly 1000 times less than today's NRC requirements). One is an advanced boiling water reactor (ABWR) derived from a General Electric design. Eight System 80 reactors in South Korea incorporate many design features of the System 80+. It represents the culmination of a 1300 man-year and $440 million design and testing program. The US$ 200 million program was half funded by DOE and means that prospective buyers now have fuller information on construction costs and schedules. Japan and Western Europe. Toshiba retains some rights over the design. and expressing its policy of global standardisation. Overnight capital costs were originally projected at $1200 per kilowatt and modular design is expected to reduce construction time to 36 months.the large ABWR and the medium-sized AP600. The other type. These reactors are in the 1300 megawatt range.600 MWe . the federal Department of Energy (DOE) and the commercial nuclear industry in the 1990s developed four advanced reactor types. In May 2007 Westinghouse applied for UK generic design assessment (pre-licensing approval) based on the NRC design certification. Two examples built by Hitachi and two by Toshiba are in commercial operation in Japan.html construction.org/info/inf08. As a result of an exhaustive public process. which is the basis of the Korean Next Generation Reactor program. with many more to follow) and is under active consideration for building in Europe and USA. Separate from the NRC process and beyond its immediate requirements. These NRC approvals were the first such generic certifications to be issued and are valid for 15 years. The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) gave final design certification for both in May 1997. GE Hitachi intends to file a renewal application for the ABWR design certification in 2010.
in fact fuel assemblies are "identical to those . The AP1000 generating costs are expected to be very competitive and it has a 60-year operating life. These would have burn-up of 60 GWd/t with fuelling interval of 3 to 3. It was more fully known as the Economic & Simplified BWR (ESBWR) and leverages proven technologies from the ABWR. The ESBWR is in advanced stages of licensing review with the US NRC and is on schedule for full design certification in 2010-11. It is nominally 335 MWe but can be less.of 840 tonnes has been lifted into place.world-nuclear. These GE-Hitachi-Toshiba units cost about US$ 2000/kW to build. secondly the concrete and steel requirements are less by a factor of five. and has over 55 GWd/t (and up to 62 GWd/t) fuel burn-up. and US design certification is at pre-application stage. and standard service modules. More than 50 other modules to be used in the reactors' construction weigh more than 100 tonnes.significantly less than the 1350 MWe units. Estonia has expressed interest in building a pair of them. The ESBWR will produce approximately 1520 MWe net. which it characterises as more expensive to build and operate. the first module . .600. Kashiwazaki Kariwa-6 & 7. A contrast between the 1188 MWe Westinghouse reactor at Sizewell B in the UK and the Generation III+ AP1000 of similar-power illustrates the evolution from Generation II types. Several of the 1350 MWe units are under construction and planned in Japan and Taiwan. and has a design life of 60 years. piping & valve. commodity. is simpler.5 years. Construction of the ABWR-600 is expected to take 34 months . one in district heating. the SBWR at 670 MWe. and expressing its policy of global standardisation. In Japan. It is being built in China (4 units under construction.org/info/inf08. These comprise one third of all construction and can be built off site in parallel with the on-site construction. First. 4 / 14 http://www. have been operating since 1996 and are expected to have a 60 year life. Overnight capital costs were originally projected at $1200 per kilowatt and modular design is expected to reduce construction time to 36 months. 900 and 1700 MWe versions of the 1350 MWe design. in the AP1000".advanced PWR . the first two ABWRs. Hitachi-GE has completed systems design for three more of the same type . but proven. Fuel is initially similar to present LWRs with 5% enrichment and burnable poison. It is capable of running on a full MOX core if required. but IRIS is designed ultimately for fuel with 10% enrichment and 80 GWd/t burn-up with an 8-year cycle. IRIS could be deployed in the next decade.. Westinghouse is leading a wide consortium developing it as an advanced 3rd Generation project. where the first AP1000 is under construction.about one quarter the size. and produce power at about US 7c/kWh. while 18 weigh in excess of 500 tonnes. and thirdly it has modular construction. with lower building and operating costs and a 60year life. with many more to follow) and is under active consideration for building in Europe and USA. The core has low power density. GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy's ESBWR is a Generation III+ technology that utilizes passive safety features and natural circulation principles and is essentially an evolution from its predecessor design. To complement this ABWR. GEH is selling this alongside the ABWR.1300 man-year and $440 million design and testing program.. Two more started up in 2004 & 2005.html Mitsubishi's large APWR (1538 MWe) . Another US-origin but international project which is a few years behind the AP1000 is the IRIS (International Reactor Innovative & Secure). In May 2007 Westinghouse applied for UK generic design assessment (pre-licensing approval) based on the NRC design certification. and 198 mechanical modules of four kinds: equipment. At Sanmen in China. the AP1000 footprint is very much smaller . Multiple modules are expected to cost US$ 1000-1200 per kW for power generation. The first two are planned for Tsuruga. IRIS is a modular 335 MWe pressurised water reactor with integral steam generators and primary coolant system all within the pressure vessel. A single unit will have 149 structural modules of five kinds. combines active and passive cooling systems to greater effect. depending on site conditions. ESBWR is more innovative. The application was supported by European Advanced_Nuclear_Power_Reactors utilities. The smaller versions will have standardised features which reduce costs. It is a 4-loop design with 257 fuel assemblies.was developed in collaboration with four utilities (Westinghouse was earlier involved). though some consortium partners are interested in desalination. eg 100 MWe. It will be the basis for the next generation of Japanese PWRs. or equivalent MOX core.
the third European one will be at Penly in France. and the capacity to use mixed-oxide fuel only. It is a 4-loop design with 257 fuel assemblies. The US-APWR will be 1700 MWe.600. with 48-month construction time. 900 and 1700 MWe versions of the 1350 MWe design. 37% thermal efficiency. In Europe. and produce power at about US 7c/kWh. combines active and passive cooling systems to greater effect.org/info/inf08. The Washington Group International will be involved in US developments with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI).html be grid connected in 2015. Two more started up in 2004 & 2005. It will be the basis for the next generation of Japanese PWRs. and when the COL application for the new reactors was lodged Luminant and MHI announced a joint venture to build and own the twin-unit plant. higher thermal efficiency (39%) and has 24 month refuelling cycle and target cost of $1500/kW. The US-APWR has been selected by TXU (now Luminant) for Comanche Peak. but other US proposals also involve it. Plant life is 60 years. The smaller versions will have standardised features which reduce costs. Fuel has burnable poison and will have up to 60 GWd/t burn-up. and two further units are starting construction at Taishan in China. is simpler. This Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Co is 88% Luminant. Texas. It is now known as the Evolutionary PWR (EPR).3m) fuel assemblies. A US version. US design certification application was in January 2008 with approval expected in 2011 and certification mid 2012. was submitted for US design certification in December 2007. It has been chosen as the basis of the United Arab Emirates nuclear program on the basis of cost and reliable building schedule. the APR-1400 Advanced PWR design has evolved from the US System 80+ with enhanced safety and seismic robustness and was earlier known as the Korean Next-Generation Reactor. the second at Flamanville in France. In March 2008 MHI submitted the same design for EUR certification. The main development of the type will be through UniStar Nuclear Energy. and this is expected to be granted early 2012. redundant safety systems rather than passive safety. It is capable of using a full core load of MOX. Availability is expected to be 92% over a 60-year service life.build. Advanced_Nuclear_Power_Reactors Mitsubishi's large APWR (1538 MWe) . Design certification by the Korean Institute of Nuclear Safety was awarded in May 2003. Projected cost at the end of 2009 was US$ 2300 per kilowatt. The Atmea1 is developed by the Atmea joint venture established in 2006 by Areva NP and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to develop an evolutionary 1100 MWe (net) three-loop PWR. which was confirmed in mid 1995 as the new standard design for France and received French design approval in 2004. due to longer (4. Fuel cycle is flexible 12 to 24 months with short refuelling outage and the reactor has loadfollowing capability. . several designs are being developed to meet the European Utility Requirements (EUR) of French and German utilities. which have stringent safety criteria. and has over 55 GWd/t (and up to 62 GWd/t) fuel burn-up.world-nuclear.advanced PWR . This has extended fuel cycles. It is derived from the French N4 and German Konvoi types and is expected to provide power about 10% cheaper than the N4. the US-EPR. have fuel burn-up of 65 GWd/t and the highest thermal efficiency of any light water reactor. Much of the one 5 / 14 million man-hours of work involved in developing this US EPR is making the necessary changes to output electricity at 60 Hz instead of the original design's 50 Hz. and an application for US Design Certification is likely about 2012. Several of the 1350 MWe units are under construction and planned in Japan and Taiwan. The first EPR unit is being built at Olkiluoto in Finland. at 36%. Construction of the ABWR-600 is expected to take 34 months . The Japanese government is expected to provide financial support fort US licensing of both USAPWR and the ESBWR. The partners expect to have this ready for licence application in 2010. expected to be operating in 2013. The reactor is regarded as mid-sized relative to other generation III units and will be marketed primarily to countries embarking upon nuclear power programs.was developed in collaboration with four utilities (Westinghouse was earlier involved). 60-year life. 12% MHI.Shin-Kori-3 & 4. The first of these 1450 MWe reactors is under construction . In South Korea. It will operate flexibly to follow loads. The first two are planned for Tsuruga.significantly less than the 1350 MWe units. as EU-APWR. The first unit (with 80% US content) is expected to http://www. Hitachi-GE has completed systems design for three more of the same type . Areva NP (formerly Framatome ANP) has developed a large (1600 and up to 1750 MWe) European pressurised water reactor (EPR). It has four separate. To complement this ABWR.
Much of the one million man-hours of work involved in developing this US EPR is making the necessary changes to output electricity at 60 Hz instead of the original design's 50 Hz. The AES-92 is certified as meeting EUR.On (Siemens built the Gundremmingen plant on which the design is based. but other US proposals also involve it. Atomenergoproekt say that the AES-2006 conforms to both Russian standards and European Utilities Requirements (EUR). The first unit (with 80% US content) is expected to be grid connected in 2015. In Russia. Availability is expected to be 92% over a 60-year service life. Together with German utilities and safety authorities. MIR-1200 (Modernised International Reactor) with some Czech involvement. It is capable of using a full core load of MOX. As well as many passive safety features. Toshiba has been developing its evolutionary advanced BWR (1500 MWe) design. several advanced reactor designs have been developed . It is ready for commercial deployment. giving it refuelling intervals of up to 24 months. An AES-2006 plant will consist of two of these OKB Gidropress reactor units expected to run for 50 years with capacity factor of 90%. In Europe the basic technology is being called the Europe-tailored reactor design. Areva NP (Framatome ANP) is also developing another evolutionary design. Ovrnight capital cost was said to be US$ 1200/kW and construction time 54 months. The lead units are being built at Novovoronezh II. working with Scandinavian utilities to meet EUR requirements. a 1250 MWe BWR with 60 year design life now known as Kerena. http://www. with a view to exports. A 2008 agreement between Siemens and the major German utility E. and the first unit will be built in Kazakhstan. the second at Flamanville in France. to start operation in 2012-13 followed by Leningrad II for 2013-14.html 6 / 14 Heavy Water Reactors In Canada. and two further units are starting construction at Taishan in China. and greater efficiency (36. It has four separate. the reactor is simpler overall and uses high-burnup fuels enriched to 3. the most recent of which . It is now known as the Evolutionary PWR (EPR). Design was expected to be complete in 2007 but this schedule has slipped in favour of the evolutionary VVER-1200. the third European one will be at Penly in France. The VBER-300 and the similar-sized VK300 are more fully described in the Small Nuclear Power Reactors paper. redundant safety systems rather than passive safety.56% instead of 31. The design was completed in 1999 and US certification was sought.advanced PWR with passive safety features.have fuel burn-up of 65 GWd/t and the highest thermal efficiency of any light water reactor. It will have 50-60 MWd/t burn-up and enhanced safety. was submitted for US design certification in December 2007. the US-EPR.On) may be relevant. and its V-392 reactor is considered Generation III.6%). not 30 years). OKBM's VBER-300 PWR is a 295-325 MWe unit developed from naval power plants and was originally envisaged in pairs as a floating nuclear power plant. with longer life (50. A third-generation standardised VVER-1200 reactor of 1150-1200 MWe in the AES-2006 plant is an evolutionary development of the well-proven VVER-1000 in the AES-92 plant. The VVER-1500 model was being developed by Gidropress. at 36%. Two more are planned for Belene in Bulgaria. Advanced_Nuclear_Power_Reactors The first EPR unit is being built at Olkiluoto in Finland. but since Siemens detached from Areva it is not clear which company might proceed with it. They have enhanced safety including that related to earthquakes and aircraft impact with some passive safety features. It is designed for 60 year life and 90% capacity factor. but then deferred. for E. A US version. greater power. It now planned to develop it as a land-based unit with Kazatomprom. and this is expected to be granted early 2012.54%. originally BWR 90+ from ABB then Westinghouse.world-nuclear. the government-owned Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd (AECL) has had two designs under development which are based on its reliable CANDU-6 reactors. double containment and core damage frequency of 1x10-7. Gidropress late-model VVER-1000 units with enhanced safety (AES 92 & 91 power plants) are being built in India and China.org/info/inf08. The main development of the type will be through UniStar Nuclear Energy. the SWR 1000.
Adopting light water cooling and a more compact core reduces capital cost. It now planned to develop it as a land-based unit with Kazatomprom. ACR is moving towards design certification in Canada. Heavy Water Reactors In Canada. and the first unit will be built in Kazakhstan.with 7000 cubic metres of water is near the top of the reactor building. cutting construction time to 3. is a more innovative concept.org/info/inf08. It may be able to burn military plutonium or actinides separated from reprocessed PWR/BWR waste. It will also efficiently burn MOX fuel. thorium and actinides. the most recent of which are operating in China."Gravity-driven water pool" . AECL claims it as a Generation III design. It has more fuel channels (each of which can be regarded as a module of about 2. It is designed to be self-sustaining in relation to U- . depending on the number of fuel channels used. with a view to exports. They will have 60 year design life overall but require mid-life pressure tube replacement. it has higher thermal efficiency. Burn-up of 24 GWd/t is envisaged. While retaining the low-pressure heavy water moderator. extending the fuel life by about three times and reducing high-level waste volumes accordingly. The ACR will run on low-enriched uranium (about 1. Some of the innovation of this.OKBM's VBER-300 PWR is a 295-325 MWe unit developed from naval power plants and was originally envisaged in pairs as a floating nuclear power plant.built as twin units . The CANDU-9 (925-1300 MWe) was developed from this also as a single-unit plant. A large heat sink . A two year licensing review of the CANDU-9 design was successfully completed early in 1997. In 2007 AECL applied for UK generic design assessment (pre-licensing approval) but then withdrew after the first stage. to thorium.with power increase to 750 MWe and flexible fuel options. The size range envisaged is 350 to 1150 MWe. mixed oxide (U & Pu) fuel. a 3rd generation reactor. but with supercritical light water coolant (eg 25 MPa and 625ºC) to provide 40% thermal efficiency. The AHWR is a 300 MWe reactor moderated by heavy water at low pressure. Regulatory confidence in safety is enhanced by a small negative void reactivity for the first time in CANDU. The calandria has about 450 vertical pressure tubes 7 / 14 http://www. But the ACR-1000 of 1080-1200 MWe is now the focus of attention by AECL. Commercialisation envisaged after 2020. recovered uranium from reprocessing spent PWR fuel. The CANDU X or SCWR is a variant of the ACR.5 years. In the USA. Each fuel assembly has 30 Th-U-233 oxide pins and 24 Pu-Th oxide pins around a central rod with burnable absorber. ACR units can be built singly but are optimal in pairs. along with experience in building recent Korean and Chinese units. direct use of spent PWR fuel. and because the reactor is run at higher temperature and coolant pressure.0% U-235) with high burnup.html and the coolant is boiling light water circulated by convection. It has flexible fuel requirements ranging from natural uranium through slightly-enriched uranium. but the design has been shelved.5-2. plus 4.5 year construction and 60-year plant life (with mid-life pressure tube replacement). The VBER-300 and the similar-sized VK300 are more fully described in the Small Nuclear Power Reactors paper. It is designed for 60 year life and Advanced_Nuclear_Power_Reactors 90% capacity factor. the government-owned Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd (AECL) has had two designs under development which are based on its reliable CANDU-6 reactors.5 MWe). it incorporates some features of the pressurised water reactor. the ACR-700 is listed by NRC as being at pre application review stage. simpler and more efficient as well as 40% cheaper than the CANDU-6. The first ACR-1000 unit could be operating in 2016 in Ontario.world-nuclear. and utilising other passive safety features as well as two independent and fast shutdown systems. This is under consideration for new build in Ontario. The ACR-700 design was 700 MWe but is physically much smaller. with a view to following in China. was then put back into the Enhanced CANDU-6 (EC6) . Units will be assembled from prefabricated modules. India is developing the Advanced Heavy Water reactor (AHWR) as the third stage in its plan to utilise thorium to fuel its overall nuclear power program. USA and UK. The Advanced Candu Reactor (ACR).
depending on the number of fuel channels used. with slightly negative void coefficient of reactivity. Commercialisation envisaged after 2020. and the fissile proportion will be less and the Pu-238 portion three times as high. Intermediate ring: 18 pins Th-U with 4. Fuel is in the form of TRISO particles less than a millimetre in diameter. As well as U-233. which either makes steam conventionally or directly drives a gas turbine for electricity and a compressor to return the gas to the reactor core. with the uranium enriched up to 17% U-235. These particles may be arranged: in blocks as hexagonal 'prisms' of graphite. Plutonium production will be less than in light water reactors. It is designed to be self-sustaining in relation to U233 bred from Th-232 and have a low Pu inventory and consumption. Each fuel assembly has 30 Th-U-233 oxide pins and 24 Pu-Th oxide pins around a central rod with burnable absorber. each AHWR fuel assembly will have the fuel pins arranged in three concentric rings arranged: Inner: 12 pins Th-U-233 with 3. The fissile plutonium content will decrease from an initial 75% to 25% at equilibrium discharge burn-up level. The first commercial version will be China's HTR-PM. Intermediate: 18 pins Th-U-233 with 3.world-nuclear. this is not required. and the highly gamma-active daughter products of this confer a substantial proliferation resistance. Outer: 24 pins Th-Pu-239 with 3. giving inherent proliferation resistance.org/info/inf08. and burn-up will be 64 GWd/t. With an outlet temperature of 750ºC the pair will drive a single steam cycle turbine at about 40% thermal efficiency. Burn-up of 24 GWd/t is envisaged.with 7000 cubic metres of water is near the top of the reactor building. About 39% of the power will come from thorium (via in situ conversion to U-233).21% average fissile content of the U-Th fuel. The AEC says that "the reactor is manageable with modest industrial infrastructure within the reach of developing countries. but with supercritical light water coolant (eg 25 MPa and 625ºC) to provide 40% thermal efficiency. Plant life is envisaged as 60 years with 85% load factor. with China Huaneng Group leading the demonstration plant project.555% U-235. giving a containment for fission products which is stable to 1600°C or more.0% U-233. Each has a kernel of uranium oxycarbide. being built at Shidaowan in Shandong province. or in billiard ball-sized pebbles of graphite encased in silicon carbide. India is developing the Advanced Heavy Water reactor (AHWR) as the third stage in its plan to utilise thorium to fuel its overall nuclear power program. .25% Pu. giving 4.75% U-233. It is designed for 100-year plant life and is expected to utilise 65% of the energy of the fuel. Outer ring: 24 pins Th-U with 4. A large heat sink . This will have http://www.75%. each of 250 MWt/ 105 MWe. which is the R&D leader and Chinergy Co. This 210 MWe Shidaowan demonstration plant is to pave the way for an 18-unit (3x6x210MWe) full-scale power plant on the same site." In the AHWR-LEU. The size range envisaged is 350 to 1150 Advanced_Nuclear_Power_Reactors MWe.444% U-235.The CANDU X or SCWR is a variant of the ACR. dispensing with the plutonium input. The calandria has about 450 vertical pressure tubes and the coolant is boiling light water circulated by convection. with two thirds of that energy coming from thorium via U-233. also using the steam cycle. Uranium enrichment level will be 19. This will use lowenriched uranium plus thorium as a fuel.345% U-235..html two reactor modules. This is surrounded by layers of carbon and silicon carbide.000 elements)8 / 14 giving 80 GWd/t discharge burnup. While designed for closed fuel cycle. Once it is fully operational. The AHWR is a 300 MWe reactor moderated by heavy water at low pressure. the fuel assemblies will be configured: Inner ring: 12 pins Th-U with 3. In 2009 an export version of this design was announced: the AHWR-LEU. It has been developed by Tsinghua University's INET. High-Temperature Gas-Cooled Reactors These reactors use helium as a coolant at up to 950ºC."Gravity-driven water pool" . some U-232 is formed. using 9% enriched fuel (520.
Two of these. These particles may be arranged: in blocks as hexagonal 'prisms' of graphite. some since the 1950s.org/info/inf08. About 300 reactor-years of operating experience have been accumulated. then undergo fission in the same way as U 235 to produce heat. It has been developed by Tsinghua University's INET. and some have supplied electricity commercially. with the uranium enriched up to 17% U-235. Power is adjusted by changing the pressure in the system. is planned as modules of 285 MWe each directly driving a gas turbine at 48% thermal efficiency. economics and proliferation resistance. Performance includes great flexibility in loads (40-100%). 9 / 14 http://www. The cylindrical core consists of 102 hexagonal fuel element columns of graphite blocks with channels for helium and control rods. each of 250 MWt/ 105 MWe. with China Huaneng Group leading the demonstration plant project. This is surrounded by layers of carbon and silicon carbide.000 elements) giving 80 GWd/t discharge burnup. Fuller descriptions of HTRs is in the Small Nuclear Power Reactors paper . Production units would be 165 MWe. with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries from 2010. Half the core is replaced every 18 months.. Overnight capital cost (when in clusters of eight units) is expected to be modest and generating cost very competitive.000 fuel pebbles recycle through the reactor continuously (about six times each) until they are expended. The helium is passed through a water-cooled pre-cooler and intercooler before being returned to the reactor vessel. giving an average enrichment in the fuel load of 4-5% and average burn-up of 80 GWday/t U (eventual target burn-ups are 200 GWd/t). In a fast neutron . with rapid change in power settings. but the program has stalled since. which is the R&D leader and Chinergy Co. Each unit will finally discharge about 19 tonnes/yr of spent pebbles to ventilated on-site storage bins. or in billiard Advanced_Nuclear_Power_Reactors ball-sized pebbles of graphite encased in silicon carbide. using 9% enriched fuel (520.000 MWd/t.world-nuclear. The PBMR will ultimately have a direct-cycle (Brayton cycle) gas turbine generator and thermal efficiency about 41%. Fast Neutron Reactors Several countries have research and development programs for improved Fast Breeder Reactors (FBR). It is being developed by General Atomics in partnership with Russia's OKBM Afrikantov. South Africa's Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR) is being developed by a consortium led by the utility Eskom. With an outlet temperature of 750ºC the pair will drive a single steam cycle turbine at about 40% thermal efficiency. the Gas Turbine .uranium oxycarbide. Operational cycles are expected to be six years between shutdowns. These use the uranium-238 in reactor fuel as well as the fissile U-235 isotope used in most reactors. and if coolant circulation ceases the fuel will survive initial high temperatures while the reactor shuts itself down .7 % U-235 and 99. Graphite reflector blocks are both inside and around the core. Initially it was to be used to burn pure ex-weapons plutonium at Seversk (Tomsk) in Russia. which are a type of Fast Neutron Reactor. It draws on German expertise.Modular Helium Reactor (GT-MHR). It aims for a step change in safety. About 20 liquid metal-cooled FBRs have already been operating.3 % U-238. Areva's Antares is based on the GT-MHR. This 210 MWe Shidaowan demonstration plant is to pave the way for an 18-unit (3x6x210MWe) full-scale power plant on the same site. The preliminary design stage was completed in 2001. Pu 239 and Pu 241. giving a containment for fission products which is stable to 1600°C or more. also using the steam cycle.html Natural uranium contains about 0. In any reactor the U-238 component is turned into several isotopes of plutonium during its operation. being built at Shidaowan in Shandong province. the helium coolant leaving the bottom of the core at about 900°C and driving a turbine. supported by Fuji (Japan). giving high capacity factor. Power density in the core is about one tenth of that in a light water reactor. A larger US design. Plant life is envisaged as 60 years with 85% load factor.giving inherent safety. Burn-up is about 100. The first commercial version will be China's HTR-PM. A reactor will use about 13 fuel loads in a 40year lifetime. This means on-line refuelling as expended pebbles are replaced. This will have two reactor modules. (In the Demonstration Plant it will transfer heat in a steam generator rather than driving a turbine directly.) Up to 450.
3. Beloyarsk-5 is designated as a BREST design. It could be of any size from 500 to 1500 MWe. The BN-800 has been sold to China. then undergo fission in the same way as U 235 to produce heat. but was then shut down due to a sodium leak. which are a type of Fast Neutron Reactor.html 10 / 14 Russia has experimented with several lead-cooled reactor designs.org/info/inf08. MOX. and two units are due to start construction there in 2012. and that on the 1450 MWe European FBR has apparently lapsed. often using a depleted uranium blanket around the core. The BN 350 FBR operated in Kazakhstan for 27 years and about half of its output was used for water desalination. The first BN-800. Pb-208 (54% of naturally-occurring lead) is transparent to neutrons. some since the 1950s. It is capable of burning 2 tonnes of plutonium per year from dismantled weapons and will test the recycling of minor actinides in the fuel. at 540 C. In any reactor the U-238 component is turned into several isotopes of plutonium during its operation. and has used lead-bismuth cooling for 40 years in reactors for its 7 Alfa class submarines. a new larger (880 MWe) FBR from OKBM with improved features is being built at Beloyarsk. About 300 reactor-years of operating experience have been accumulated. The unit is expected to be operating in 2011.3 % U-238. Natural uranium contains about 0. Further fast reactors will have an integrated core to minimise the potential for weapons proliferation from bred Pu-239. Research continues in India.world-nuclear. It uses uranium oxide fuel and the sodium coolant delivers 550°C at little more than atmospheric pressure. FBRs can utilise uranium at least 60 times more efficiently than a normal reactor. The 280 MWe Monju prototype commercial FBR was connected to the grid in 1995. well above the current market price.U+Pu nitride. It has considerable fuel flexibility . with a fertile blanket of depleted uranium around the core. Pu 239 and Pu 241. Its restart is planned for 2009. the tiny Kamini there is employed to explore the use of thorium as nuclear fuel. or metal. In addition. and supercritical . They are however expensive to build and could only be justified economically if uranium prices were to rise to pre-1980 values. However. Japan plans to develop FBRs. though with breeding ratio less than 1:1. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) is involved with a consortium to build the Japan Standard Fast Reactor (JSFR) concept. of 300 MWe or more with lead as the primary coolant. In this connection MHI has also set up Mitsubishi FBR Systems (MFBR). The Russian BN-600 fast breeder reactor at Beloyarsk has been supplying electricity to the grid since 1981 and has the best operating and production record of all Russia's nuclear power units. http://www. by breeding fissile U-233. Two of these. For this reason research work almost ceased for some years. and some have supplied electricity commercially. It has much enhanced safety and improved economy . These use the uranium-238 in reactor fuel as well Advanced_Nuclear_Power_Reactors as the fissile U-235 isotope used in most reactors. At the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research a 40 MWt fast breeder test reactor has been operating since 1985. and its Joyo experimental reactor which has been operating since 1977 is now being boosted to 140 MWt. This is a large unit which will burn actinides with uranium and plutonium in oxide fuel.7 % U-235 and 99. Closure of the 1250 MWe French Superphenix FBR after very little operation over 13 years also set back developments. fuelled with uranium-plutonium carbide (the reactor-grade Pu being from its existing PHWRs) and with a thorium blanket to breed fissile U-233.Fast Neutron Reactors Several countries have research and development programs for improved Fast Breeder Reactors (FBR). In 2004 construction of a 500 MWe prototype fast breeder reactor started at Kalpakkam. and set the scene for eventual full utilisation of the country's abundant thorium to fuel reactors. This will take India's ambitious thorium program to stage 2. Russia plans to reconfigure the BN-600 to burn the plutonium from its military stockpiles.operating cost is expected to be only 15% more than VVER. the Beloyarsk-4 BN-800 is likely to be the last such reactor built (outside India’s thorium program). In a fast neutron reactor this process is optimised so that it can 'breed' fuel. A significant new Russian design from NIKIET is the BREST fast neutron reactor. About 20 liquid metal-cooled FBRs have already been operating. and with breeding ratio up to 1.
The Pu & DU fuel is metal. operating at high temperature . with a fertile blanket of depleted uranium around the core. Further fast reactors will have an integrated core to minimise the potential for weapons proliferation from bred Pu-239. No US fast neutron reactor has so far been larger than 66 MWe and none has supplied electricity commercially. Korea's KALIMER (Korea Advanced LIquid MEtal Reactor) is a 600 MWe pool type sodiumcooled fast reactor designed to operate at over 500ºC. The European Lead-cooled SYstem (ELSY) of 600 MWe in Europe.only 15% more than VVER. The BN-800 has been sold to China. with on-site reprocessing and associated facilities.html 11 / 14 See also paper on Small Nuclear Power Reactors for other advanced designs.all the breeding occurs in the core).org/info/inf08. all transuranic elements are removed together in the electrometallurgical reprocessing so that fresh fuel has minor actinides with the plutonium. can be used as the cores of new reactors. The initial cores can comprise Pu and spent fuel . Russia has experimented with several lead-cooled reactor designs. also DOE paper. Pb-208 (54% of naturally-occurring lead) is transparent to neutrons. GE was involved in designing a modular liquid metal-cooled inherently-safe reactor PRISM. Accelerator-Driven Systems . It is inherently safe and uses a high-density U+Pu nitride fuel with no requirement for high enrichment levels. See also paper on Fast Neutron Reactors. The pool-type modules below ground level contain the complete primary system with sodium coolant.The design was nearly complete in 2008 and a small-scale demonstration facility is planned. Used PRISM fuel is recycled after removal of fission products. so there are no spare neutrons to irradiate targets. and no breeding blanket is involved. After 30 years of development it represents GEH's Generation IV solution to closing the fuel cycle in the USA. A significant new Russian design from NIKIET is the BREST fast neutron reactor.over 500°C. Today's PRISM is a GE-Hitachi design for compact modular pool-type reactors with passive cooling for decay heat removal. Small Reactors http://www. However. No weapons-grade plutonium can be produced (since there is no uranium blanket . which is not in pure form. Also it is an equilibrium core. Liquid metal (Pb or Pb-Bi eutectic) cooling is at low pressure . the Beloyarsk-4 BN-800 is likely to be the last such reactor built (outside India’s thorium program). Each PRISM Power Block consists of two modules of 311 MWe each. mostly under 300 MWe. by convection. Fuel stays in the reactor about six years.world-nuclear. and supercritical steam generators. of 300 MWe or more with lead as the primary coolant. and two units are due to start construction there in 2012. The commercial-scale plant concept. Subsequently. Used fuel can be recycled indefinitely. GE with the DOE national laboratories were developing PRISM during the advanced liquid-metal fast breeder reactor (ALMR) program. led by Ansaldo Nucleare from Italy and financed by Euratom. A pilot unit is planned for Beloyarsk and 1200 MWe units are proposed. uses three power blocks (six reactor modules) to provide 1866 MWe.hence loaded with fission products. with one third removed every two years. and radiologically 'hot'. Advanced_Nuclear_Power_Reactors However. part of a Advanced Recycling Centre. though decay heat removal is passive. It has evolved from a 150 MWe version. It is capable of burning 2 tonnes of plutonium per year from dismantled weapons and will test the recycling of minor actinides in the fuel. any surplus plutonium. and obtained from used light water reactor fuel. In the USA. Generation IV Designs See paper on six Generation IV Reactors. at 540 C. and burn actinides from LWR fuel. It has a transmuter core. ELSY is a flexible fast neutron reactor which can use depleted uranium or thorium fuel matrices. It runs on MOX fuel at 480°C and the molten lead is pumped to eight steam generators. See also electrometallurgical section in Processing Used Nuclear Fuel paper. Beloyarsk-5 is designated as a BREST design. Future development of KALIMER as a Generation IV type is envisaged. and has used lead-bismuth cooling for 40 years in reactors for its 7 Alfa class submarines.
Generation IV Designs See paper on six Generation IV Reactors. 2001. A high-energy proton beam hitting a heavy metal target produces neutrons by spallation. See also ADS briefing paper. ABB Atom Dec 1999. New Reactor Designs. Sources: Nuclear Engineering International. Sept 2002. The fuel may be uranium. March. 1. PBMR .A. Matzie R.& Kakodkar A. Nukem market report July 2000.html Highly reliable. Lauret. KAIF/KNS conf. Carroll D & Boardman C.6. The Nuclear Engineer 42. less complex safe shutdown systems.Generation IV type is envisaged. Smirnov V. et al. et al. but unlike a conventional reactor. 2001. May 2008. Design features of BREST reactors. Simplified safety systems that allow more straightforward engineering analysis. 21st Century. US Dept of Energy. OECD NEA 2001. 2003. Status of the GT-MHR for electricity production. Features that prevent a simultaneous breach of containment and loss of core cooling from an aircraft impact. including: l Advanced_Nuclear_Power_Reactors l l l l http://www. and fission ceases when the accelerator is turned off. Features that maintain spent fuel pool integrity following an aircraft impact. Appendix: US Nuclear Regulatory Commission draft policy. See also paper on Fast Neutron Reactors. The Nuclear Engineer 43.the first Generation IV reactor to be constructed. Sinha R. Torgerson D F 2002. or that inherently delay any radiological release. IRIS: a global approach to nuclear power renaissance. Perera J. Innovative Nuclear Reactor Development Perera. and. The Super-PRISM Reactor System. Nuclear News Sept 2003. LaBar M. operate with fewer operator actions and increase operator comprehension of reactor conditions. the fuel is sub-critical. WNA Symposium.org/info/inf08. Developing a passive heavy water reactor. Many technical and engineering questions remain to be explored before the potential of this concept can be demonstrated. INS News vol 16. The neutrons cause fission in the fuel. late 2005. Nuclear News. Advanced Thermal Reactors being marketed Country and developer Reactor Size MWe Design Progress Main Features (improved safety in all) 12 / 14 . 2003.Proc. possibly mixed with long-lived wastes from conventional reactors. Nuclear News Oct 2002. 5. EIA 2003. IAEA Bulletin 46/1. AECL Candu-6 & ACR publicity. mostly under 300 MWe. Twilley R C 2002. IEA-NEA-IAEA 2002. WNA Symposium. 2004.S. Nuclear Engineering International. Accelerator-Driven Systems A recent development has been the merging of accelerator and fission reactor technologies to generate electricity and transmute long-lived radioactive wastes. also DOE paper. 2003. and 2002 Reactor Design supplement. The New Nuclear Power. 2002.K. Carelli M 2003. plutonium or thorium. Concurrent resolution of safety and security requirements. Fuelling Innovation. The Commission believes designers should consider several reactor characteristics. J. Advanced Heavy Water Reactor. Small Reactors See also paper on Small Nuclear Power Reactors for other advanced designs. P. The ACR-700. 2003. Spring 2001. various. particularly ones with inherent or passive safety features.world-nuclear. Framatome ANP's SWR1000 reactor design. resulting in an overall security system that requires fewer human actions. Trends in the Nuclear Fuel Cycle.
Evolutionary design. High temperature. Features that prevent a simultaneous breach of containment and loss of core cooling from an aircraft impact. resulting in an overall security system that requires fewer human actions. USA (Westinghouse) AP-600 AP-1000 (PWR) 600 1100 AP-600: NRC certified 1999. Advanced Thermal Reactors being marketed Country and developer Reactor Size MWe Design Progress Main Features (improved safety in all) US-Japan (GE-Hitachi. under construction in China.Hitachi) ESBWR 1550 Developed from ABWR. Low-enriched fuel. More efficient. USA (GE. 13 / 14 High fuel efficiency. Innovative design. FOAKE. Simplified Construction and operation. Evolutionary design.l l l l safety features. High fuel efficiency. High fuel efficiency. Short construction time. Japan (utilities. Simplified construction and operation. many more planned there France-Germany (Areva NP) EPR US-EPR (PWR) 1600 Future French standard. Features that maintain spent fuel pool integrity following an aircraft impact. Being built in Finland. Flexible operation Evolutionary design. Basic design in progress. Germany (Areva NP) SWR-1000 (BWR) 1200 Under development. low cost. Light water cooling. High fuel efficiency.html Demonstration plant due to start building at Shodaowan USA-Russia et al (General Atomics - G T-MHR 285 (module) Under development in Russia by multinational joint venture . French design approval. or that inherently delay any radiological release. 3 years to build. and. 60-year plant life. derived from Westinghouse) APR-1400 (PWR) 1450 Design certification 2003. Advanced_Nuclear_Power_Reactors Concurrent resolution of safety and security requirements. FOAKE. France & China. planned for Tsuruga US design certification application 2008. High fuel efficiency. pre-certification in USA Russia (Gidropress) VVER-1200 (PWR) 1200 Under construction at Leningrad and Novovoronezh plants Canada (AECL) Enhanced CANDU-6 750 Improved model Licensing approval 1997 Canada (AECL) ACR 700 1080 undergoing certification in Canada 2x105 China (INET. Increased reliability. Modular plant. operate with fewer operator actions and increase operator comprehension of reactor conditions. Toshiba) ABWR 1300 Commercial operation in Japan since 1996-7. Simplified construction (48 months) and operation. Chinergy) HTR-PM (module) http://www. Modular plant. Evolutionary design. likely constructiion there. Flexible fuel requirements. In US: NRC certified 1997. First units expected to be operating c 2013. Under certification in USA. less waste. 50-year plant life Evolutionary design. Evolutionary design. Simplified construction and operation. low cost. Simplified safety systems that allow more straightforward engineering analysis. Mitsubishi) APWR US-APWR EU-APWR 1530 1700 1700 South Korea (KHNP. Evolutionary design. AP-1000 NRC certification 2005.org/info/inf08. under certification in USA.world-nuclear. Hybrid safety features.
High fuel efficiency. High fuel efficiency. China (INET. Advanced_Nuclear_Power_Reactors Low-enriched fuel. low cost. Chinergy) HTR-PM 2x105 (module) Demonstration plant due to start building at Shodaowan USA-Russia et al (General Atomics OKBM) G T-MHR 285 (module) Under development in Russia by multinational joint venture http://www. low cost.world-nuclear.org/info/inf08. Modular plant.Canada (AECL) ACR 700 1080 undergoing certification in Canada Evolutionary design.html 14 / 14 . Light water cooling. Modular plant. High temperature. Direct cycle gas turbine.
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