APR: your source for nuclear news and analysis since April 16, 2010

Monday, June 25, 2012

Monday at ANS Annual Meeting 2012

Today was the full official launch of the Annual Meeting, with the official Plenary Session in the large Riviera Ballroom, featuring several notable speakers including NRC Commissioner Kristine Svinicki. APR was tweeting throughout the morning session, and I will not completely repeat the events here.

Important events included receipt of an ANS Special Award to Margaret Harding, and an ANS Presidential Citation to Howard Shaffer III and Meredith Angwin. I have been in correspondence with Margaret and Meredith for some time now via e-mail and it was wonderful to meet them, as well as Howard, this week at this meeting.

In the afternoon, I worked on some leads for stories either for ANS Nuclear Cafe or for Atomic Power Review (one lead might pan out, as you will see) and attended the ANS President's Special Session entitled "Low Level Radiation and its implications for Fukushima Recovery," as well as a technical panel session entitled "Solving the Spent Fuel Dilemma." Both were extremely informative and interesting.

I will now satisfy a number of APR readers by taking a look at some of the sales and advertising materials offered in the many booths set up in the DD&R / ICAPP exhibit hall (DD&R stands for Decommissioning, Decontamination & Reutilization while ICAPP stands for International Congress on Advances in Nuclear Power Plants.) Many interesting displays are present in the exhibit hall area, and generally the materials offered are colorful and fairly informative.

Generally speaking, large reactor technology is represented by Westinghouse (featuring their AP1000 PWR plant), by Mitsubishi (featuring their APWR and NRC compliant US-APWR plants), by the South Koreans with their consortium-built OPR-1000, by the Chinese with their offshoot branch of PWR plants based on the Westinghouse AP1000.

The Westinghouse presentation is well set up, and its brochures clear and informative. There is not much to say about the Westinghouse AP1000 at this point as it is the clear leader in the US market, with four units under construction. The AP1000 is a 2-loop PWR rated 3415 MWt / 1110 MWe.

The Mitsubishi display features an impressively large and detailed model of its US-APWR plant, which is its Japanese APWR design with modifications for US compliance. This plant is a very large 4-loop PWR rated roughly 4451 MWt, with net electrical ratings in the 1500 to 1700 MWe class. This plant uses a single, very large Model TC6F-54 4-cylinder, 6-flow exhaust turbine generator that has 54 inch final stage blades in the LP cylinders.

The nation of South Korea is represented by KAERI, or the Korean Atomic Energy Research Institute. Their brochure is mainly interested in covering Korea's entire history in atomic energy; the standardized Korean OPR-1000, a 2-loop PWR in the 1000 MWe class, is only briefly mentioned.

For the first time ever, the Chinese have a booth at an ANS meeting exhibit. The State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation Ltd. brochure features the CAP1400 plant, which is a fully legally developed version of the Westinghouse AP1000. The CAP1400 is a 2-loop PWR rated 4040 MWt / 1400 MWe. The brochure more than once mentions the further development of a CAP1700 and while there are no details at all, only mentions, one would have to guess the core power of such a plant at roughly 4900 MWt.

It is obvious that while the South Koreans are right abreast of the power rating offered presently for PWR's from Westinghouse, the Japanese and Chinese seem to favor a move to even larger plants. I should add though that with all of the uprates being completed at US plants the Chinese CAP1400 isn't significantly more powerful than the most powerful plants here in the US, whether PWR or BWR for that matter.

The SMR field is of some interest. APR is following up on these stories, but it was noted at lunch today by Gwyneth Cravens (she, Dan Yurman and I had lunch together) that the Koreans were working on an SMR. This was not on our radar screen, as it were, so I went to the expo after lunch and spoke to the KAERI representatives. These men were only familiar with the large OPR1000 commercial plant and related information; the SMR, called "SMART" is an entirely different and isolated project. However, I came away with the e-mail address of the man in charge of the entire South Korean SMR program and will be presenting results of our correspondence here on APR. The brochure provided by KAERI indicates that the SMART SMR project was first launched in 1997. The core design was finished in 2002 and the 'conceptual design' of the SMART as a 330 MWt reactor plant was finished in 2007. The SMART SMR is intended for export, for power generation, power and heat delivery (steam), for water desalination, or a combination. The plant has a roughly 100 MWe output. The design life of the plant is 60 years, with a 3 year refueling cycle. The diagram appears to include canned rotor main coolant pumps totally inside the pressure vessel, along with integral steam generator and pressurizer.

Mitsubishi indicates that it will also join the SMR field in the future. Research is underway to develop an Integrated Modular Light Water Reactor, with all components in the pressure vessel, but eliminating pressurizer (self-pressurizing plant) and reactor coolant pumps (cooling by natural circulation only.) No ratings are given, but a small conceptual drawing is shown.

NuScale Power continues to advertise its 160 MWt / 45 MWe modular reactor, with placement of up to 12 modules in one plant to give up to 540 MWe. All parts can be shipped by barge, train or truck.

This is a wrap on our brief coverage of the Expo; we've only touched the tip of the iceberg on displays by covering only power reactors but since this is APR's usual fare we'll end today's notes at this point. Watch our Twitter feed for much more tomorrow morning, starting very early!

7:45 PM Central 6/25/2012

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