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Safety aspects of Indian advanced reactors

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1 Safety aspects of Indian advanced reactors
K.K. Vaze, Director Reactor Design and Development Group Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Trombay, Mumbai India 1

2 Post Fukushima Scenario

3 Fukushima Accident On March 11th, 2011, a gigantic earthquake with a magnitude 9 on the Richter scale shook Japan. The earthquake triggered a tsunami, which was exceptionally high, reached the Fukushima coast about one hour after the earthquake. All reactors in operation at Fukushima shut down automatically. While the offsite external power source was lost due to the earthquake, emergency diesel generators (EDG) started up properly Even though the earthquake was of a magnitude far greater than anticipated, there is today no evidence that it produced mechanical or structural damage which would have, in the absence of the tsunami, caused a severe accident. The seismic response analysis and the visual investigations conducted so far did not seem to show major damage to safety-related equipment.

4 Fukushima Accident - contd
The majority of the damage was caused by the tsunami. At Fukushima Daiichi it caused complete loss of AC power, loss of ultimate heat sink and serious degradation of DC power sources. This led to the loss of decay heat removal at three NPP units, to severe reactor core damage, to the loss of containment integrity and to significant radioactive releases to the environment. In addition, the upper part of the fourth unit reactor building was destroyed by hydrogen explosion and the spent fuel pool structures of that unit suffered mechanical damages.

5 Some reassuring thoughts as far India is concerned
Huge earthquakes and huge tsunamis are not commonplace

6 Comparative Seismic Hazard

7 Status of Seismicity – Indian NPPs
Criteria - No Active fault within 5 km Site Seismic Zone Narora IV Rawatbhata II Kakrapar III Tarapur III Jaitapur III Kaiga III Kalpakkam II Kudankulam II

8 Tsunamigenic locations for Indian coast

9 How does this benefit us?
Fukushima Earthquake knocked out Class 4 supply Tsunami knocked out other supplies India EQ and tsunami don’t occur together Ground motion due to an earthquake causing tsunami is negligible Earthquakes causing significant ground motion do not cause tsunami We get warning (~ 2 hrs)

10 Fukushima Accident Lessons Learnt
The key criterion of success: - recovery of power supply - water feed for the decay heat removal As prompt as possible! Availability of undamageable portable engineering means for power and water supply in the conditions of NPP isolation Accident prevention and accident mitigation: - implementation of design fundamental; - emergency preparation; - Severe Accident management. Source: Prevention and Mitigation — Equal Priorities Prof. Vladimir Asmolov, WANO President

ACCIDENT MANAGEMENT MEASURES To prevent the core melting (To keep the integrity of the Ist and IInd physical barriers – Fuel & Clad) The recovery of the core cooling To retain melt inside the RPV (To keep the integrity of the IIIrd physical barrier - RPV) In-vessel cooling Ex-vessel cooling To prevent the containment failure (To keep the integrity of the IVth physical barrier - Containment) Core catcher Hydrogen management Filtered venting system Source: Prevention and Mitigation — Equal Priorities Prof. Vladimir Asmolov, WANO President

12 Genesis for development for advanced reactors

13 Securing energy for India’s future is a major challenge
World OECD Non-OECD India India (developing world) of our dream Population (billion) (stabilised) Annual av. per ~ ~ ~ ~ capita Electricity (kWh) Annual Electricity Generation (trillion kWh) Carbon-di-oxide Emission ? (billion tons/yr) India alone would need around 40% of present global electricity generation to be added to reach average 5000 kWh per capita electricity generation Dr. Kakodkar “Atoms for Prosperity

14 Global climate change is an immediate threat
Just ten years from now, greenhouse emissions from developing nations will equal the emissions from the countries we now call developed. After that, emissions from the developing world will be the major driver of global climate change. While energy conservation, windmills, and solar panels may help, we cannot hope to rely on such measures alone to meet our world’s expanding appetite for more energy. John Ritch, Director General of the World Nuclear Association, 15th Pacific Basin Nuclear Conference, Sydney, Oct. 2006 Comparison of sea-ice from 1979 and 2003. 1979 2003 Source:

15 Safety Goals for Advanced Reactors

16 CNS Extraordinary Meeting Summary Report
The displacement of people and the land contamination after the Fukushima Daiichi accident calls for all national regulators to identify provisions to prevent and mitigate the potential for severe accidents with off-site consequences. Nuclear power plants should be designed, constructed and operated with the objectives of preventing accidents and, should an accident occur, mitigating its effects and avoiding off-site contamination. The Contracting Parties also noted that regulatory authorities should ensure that these objectives are applied in order to identify and implement appropriate safety improvements at existing plants.

17 Dr. Kakodkar An essential goal for nuclear safety is “Never Again” should there be any significant off site emergency Dual level design basis Design Basis Risk Lowered to an acceptable level No impact in public domain Extreme Event Maximum potential No significant off-site emergency Extra margin between design and ultimate load capacity should be sufficient to cope with this

18 Can the nuclear community set for itself an ambitious goal to meet the challenge of the numbers?
“Four decades from now, in any country of the world, it should be possible to start replacing fossil fuelled power plants, at the same urban or semi-urban site where these are located, with advanced NPPs that would, more economically, deliver at least twice the power that was being produced by the replaced plants” R.K. Sinha, “The IAEA’s Contribution to the Peaceful Use of Nuclear Power”, Nuclear Power Newsletter, Vol. 3, No. 3, Special Issue, Sept. 2006

19 Number of reactors in operation
Level of safety goals increases with multi-fold increase in deployment of nuclear reactors Special Siting Criteria, Risk approach Special Siting Criteria (may/may not); CDF, LERF Siting criteria Dose Criteria Safety Goals Advanced future Reactor Systems Advanced reactors under construction Reactors under operation (existing technology) Number of reactors in operation 19

20 Monitored Process Parameter
Achievement of safety goals through enhanced levels of Defence-In-Depth Strategy for safety measures and features of nuclear installations is two-fold: To prevent accidents Preventing the degradation of plant status and performance If prevention fails, limit their potential consequences and prevent any evolution to further serious conditions Monitored Process Parameter

21 Passive and Inherent Safety Features are Instrumental in Meeting New Safety Criteria
The conventional reactors or so called “Traditional ones” have seen an extensive use of “active” engineering safety systems for reactor control and protection in the past. These systems have certain potential concerning termination of events or accidents that are effectively coped with by a protective system limited by the reliability of the active safety systems or prompt operator actions. Since the reliability of active systems can not be improved above a threshold and that of the operator’s action is debatable, there is growing concern about the safety of such plants due to the large uncertainty involved in Probabilistic Safety Analysis (PSA) particularly in analyzing human faults. In view of this, a desirable goal for the safety characteristics of an innovative reactor is that its primary defence against any serious accidents is achieved through its design features preventing the occurrence of such accidents without depending either on the operator’s action or the active systems. That means, the plant can be designed with adequate passive and inherent safety features to provide protection for any event that may lead to a serious accident. Such robustness in design contributes to a significant reduction in the conditional probability of severe accident scenarios arising out of initiating events of internal and external origin.

22 Example of Applications Passive Systems and Inherent Safety Features in Defence-In-Depth in AHWR

23 The Indian Advanced Heavy Water Reactor (AHWR-Pu)
AHWR is a 300 MWe vertical pressure tube type, boiling light water cooled and heavy water moderated reactor using 233U-Th MOX and Pu-Th MOX fuel. Bottom Tie Plate Top Tie Plate Water Tube Displacer Rod Fuel Pin Major design objectives 65% of power from Th Several passive features 7 days grace period No radiological impact Passive shutdown system to address insider threat scenarios. Design life of 100 years. Easily replaceable coolant channels. Design validation through extensive experimental programme. Pre-licensing safety appraisal by AERB Site selection in progress. Detailed engineering consultancy in progress AHWR-Pu is a Technology demonstrator for the closed thorium fuel cycle AHWR-LEU extends the AHWR technologies with LEU-Th MOX Fuel for the global market AHWR Fuel assembly 23

24 No unacceptable radiological impact outside the plant boundary with
AHWR incorporates several technolological solutions to a higher level of safety and security against both internal and external threats Control room and auxiliary systems Pneumatic supply Instrumentation & control signals Electrical power (Class 1 to 4) Turbine Pump Condenser Control and S/D systems Core External events Malevolent act Ultimate heat sink (Cooling tower or sea) No unacceptable radiological impact outside the plant boundary with Failure of all active systems, and Failure of external infrastructure to provide coolant, power and other services, and Malevolent acts by an insider, one of the consequences of which is the failure of instrumentation signal initiated shutdown actions, and Inability of plant operators to manage the events and their consequences, for a significantly long time. 24

25 Some important passive safety features of AHWR –1/4
 Heat removal from core under both normal full power operating condition as well as shutdown condition is by natural circulation of coolant.

26 Some important passive safety features of AHWR –2/4
Passive Containment Cooling (Th-Pu) MOX Fuel pins (Th-233U) MOX Fuel pins Central Tube for ECCS water AHWR FUEL CLUSTER Passive Containment isolation Passive injection of cooling water, initially from accumulator and later from the overhead GDWP, directly into fuel cluster.

27 Some important passive safety features of AHWR –3/4
Passive Poison Injection in moderator during overpressure transient Passive Poison Injection System actuates during very low probability event of failure of wired shutdown systems (SDS#1 & SDS#2) and non-availability of Main condenser

28 Some important passive safety features of AHWR –4/4
Use of moderator as heat sink Water in calandria vault Flooding of reactor cavity following LOCA

29 Fukushima and AHWR AHWR has been assessed for TMI as well as Chernobyl type of accidents Critics comments: It is easy to become wise after the event (TMI, Chernobyl) Fukushima type event (Extended SBO) was anticipated even before it happened Practically no change required in AHWR design to meet Fukushima event GDWP and passive systems adequate to cater to the extended SBO No impact in public domain, No need of evacuation No need of exclusion zone, sterilized zone

30 Prolonged Station Black Out in AHWR Decay heat removal by Isolation Condensers
A strong earthquake with/without Tsunami causing prolonged SBO for several days. Reactor tripped on seismic signal. Gravity Driven Water Pool is intact. Heat is removed by Isolation Condensers GDWP water removes decay heat for ~110 days with periodic containment venting allowed after 10 days.

31 Passive Systems in Defense-In-Depth of AHWR
Level 1 DID: Elimination of the hazard of loss of coolant flow: Heat removal from the core under both normal full power operating condition as well as shutdown condition is by natural circulation of coolant. Reduction of the extent of overpower transient: Slightly negative void co-efficient of reactivity. Low core power density. Negative fuel temperature coefficient of reactivity. Low excess reactivity

32 Passive Systems in Defense-In-Depth of AHWR (Contd.)
Level 2: Control of abnormal operation and detection of failure An increased reliability of the control system achieved with the use of high reliability digital control using advanced information technology. Increased operator reliability achieved with the use of advanced displays and diagnostics using artificial intelligence and expert systems. Large coolant inventory in the main coolant system. Level 3: Control of accidents within the design basis Increased reliability of the ECC system, achieved through passive injection of cooling water directly into a fuel cluster through four independent parallel trains. Increased reliability of a shutdown, achieved by providing two independent shutdown systems. Further enhanced reliability of the shutdown, achieved by providing a passive shutdown device Increased reliability of decay heat removal, achieved through a passive decay heat removal system, which transfers the decay heat to GDWP by natural circulation. Large inventory of water inside the containment (about 8000 m3 of water in the GDWP) provides a prolonged core cooling meeting the requirement of grace period.

33 Passive Systems in Defense-In-Depth of AHWR (Contd.)
Level 4: Control of severe plant conditions, including prevention of accident progression and mitigation of consequences of severe accidents Use of moderator as heat sink. Presence of water in the calandria vault Flooding of reactor cavity following a LOCA. Level 5: Mitigation of radiological consequences of significant release of radioactive materials The following features help in passively bringing down the containment pressure and eliminates any releases from the containment following a large break LOCA: Double containment; Passive containment isolation Core catcher Filtered vent

34 Peak Clad Temp v/s frequency of occurrence – a quantitative probabilistic safety criteria

35 Core Damage Frequency Per Year
Ref: Lecture on Near Term Advanced Nuclear Reactors and Related MIT Research, by Prof. Jacopo Buongiorno, MIT, USA, June 16, 2006. AHWR ~ 1x10-8

36 Severe Accident Management

37 Incorporation of Hard vent
To Stack From Containment Hard Vent system is designed to prevent the over pressurization of the containment beyond design pressure occurring due to failure of multiple safety systems because of an extreme event such as prolonged SBO with non-availability of GDWP water or large seismic event causing cracks in GDWP along with LOCA. Also retains the radio-activity in the scrubber and minimize activity release beyond the containment boundary. Scrubber tank contains water + NaOH solution (ph = 8.5). NaOH combines with Iodine whereas Cs which is in form of CsI, CsOH, CsO2, Cs2CO3 is soluble in water. A 4 inch Dia pipe is provided at the top of primary containment for venting, which will be connected to scrubber tank. 3 I NaOH = 3 H2O +5 NaI + NaIO3 37

38 Passive Autocatalytic ReCombiner System (PARCS)
Postulated Accidents DBA : Single failure (LB LOCA): No hydrogen generation BDBA : Multiple failure (LBLOCA and non-availability of Wired Shutdown System) ~ 30 kg in 300 s. Prolonged SBO + non-availability of GDWP ~ 450 Kg in 2 hr starting after 40hrs of transient (~5000 m3 at ambient) Peak H2 generation rate ~ 0.3 kg/s The released hydrogen will be combined by Passive Autocatalytic Recombiners (PARCS) located at several locations in the containment designed in such a way to reduce the hydrogen concentration in the containment below the flammability limits. Experiments are being carried out for demonstration of hydrogen removal using PARCS Recombination rate ~ kg/hr/m2 (for 2 - 4% H2 conc.) Overall box size : x 400 x (L X B X H) (8.29 m2 of Catalyst Deposited area) Estimated Conversion rate : 0.83 kg/hr No. of Recombiners for one Plant ~ (Total Conversion Rate = 83 kg/hr)

39 Design objective of the core catcher
Design of Core Catcher Sacrificial Concrete (300 mm depth) High porosity concrete Water pool (500 mm depth) Riser Tubes ( 100mm) Structure of core catcher 7.4 m Water from GDWP Sacrificial concrete layer mixes with the melt, reduces its temperature, solidus temperature (typically from 2800oC to 1500oC) and helps in spreading the melt over large surface area Poison added in sacrificial concrete prevents recriticality High porosity concrete layer below the sacrificial concrete helps in flooding water from below Riser tubes inject water within the melt-concrete mixture The downcomers supply water to the water pool from GDWP passively Sacrificial concrete composition Design objective of the core catcher Retention of the melt in the cavity Quenching it within 30 minutes Stabilize it for substantial period of time (several days) 39

40 Indian High Temperature Reactor Programme

41 Indian High Temperature Reactor Programme
Compact High Temperature Reactor (CHTR)- Technology Demonstrator 100 kWth, 1000 °C, TRISO coated particle fuel Several passive systems for reactor heat removal Prolonged operation without refuelling Status: Design of most of the systems worked out. Fuel and materials under development. Experimental facilities for thermal hydraulics setup. Facilities for design validation are under design. Status: Optimisation of reactor physics and thermal hydraulics design, selection of salt and structural materials in progress. Experimental facilities for molten salt based thermal hydraulics and material compatibility studies set-up. Innovative High Temperature Reactor for Hydrogen Production (IHTR) 600 MWth , 1000 °C, TRISO coated particle fuel Small power version for demonstration of technologies Active & passive systems for control & cooling On-line refuelling Indian Molten Salt Breeder Reactor (MSBR) Large power, moderate temperature, and based on 233U-Th fuel cycle Small power version for demonstration of technologies Emphasis on passive systems for reactor heat removal under all scenarios and reactor conditions Status: Initial studies being carried out for conceptual design 41

42 Technology for fuel kernel by sol-gel technique is well established – Focus is on technologies for TRISO coating and fuel compact Initial trials with zirconia kernels completed Fabrication trials of TRISO fuel using natural UO2 kernel carried out Fuel compact prepared by two different techniques High packing density (45-50%) achieved OPyC SiC Zirconia IPyC Buffer PyC X-ray radiographic image of TRISO particle with Zirconia kernel Radiograph and tomograph of fuel compact made by different technique SEM images of particle with Nat. UO2 kernel Fuel Compacts

43 Fabrication of C/C composite tubes and coating with SiC
High Temperature Fluidized bed Coater (Inset shows fluidized bed distributor assembly) Cooling tower Induction heating system Sample with graphite fixtures and graphite susceptor Fluidized Bed Distributor Heated graphite being dipped in fluidized bed Ar rotameter Fluidised bed based SiC coating method developed High density C-C composite fuel tube samples fabricated in collaboration with National Physical Laboratory, New Delhi Pre-form was made using high strength carbon fibers Pre-form subjected to multiple cycles of resin impregnation and hot iso-static pressing with intermediate machining cycles Machining trials of graphite components (AFD)

44 Thermal hydraulic studies for liquid metal (Pb-Bi)
Liquid Metal Loop (2009) Major areas of development Analytical studies and development of computer codes Liquid metal loop for experimental studies Loop at 550 °C in operation since 2009 Loop at 1000 °C under commissioning Steady state and transient experiments carried out In-house developed code validated Experimental and analytical studies for freezing and de-freezing of coolant Test bed for development of instrumentation –level probes, oxygen sensor, EM pump and flowmeters YSZ based oxygen sensor Comparison of steady state correlation [Vijayan, 2002] with experimental data 44

45 Sufficient time margin before shutdown or passive alternate heat removal system needs to act
Case-1 250% step increase in power LOCA No heat sink Case-2 Similar to case-1, but with a 300% “spike” in power before stabilizing at 250% ~40 min ~58 min Sufficient time available to activate primary and/or secondary shutdown system, or passive gas-gap filling system

46 Negligible rise in peak temperatures after shutdown due to decay heat
Minimum temperatures well above freezing point of coolant even after 1 hour

47 Innovative High Temperature Reactor (IHTR) for commercial hydrogen production
600 MWth, 1000 °C, TRISO coated particle fuel Pebble bed reactor concept with molten salt coolant Natural circulation of coolant for reactor heat removal under normal operation Current focus on development: Reactor physics and thermal hydraulic designs – Optimisation Thermal and stress analysis Code development for simulating pebble motion Experimental set-up for tracing path of pebbles using radio-tracer technology Pebble feeding and removal systems TRISO coated particle fuel Pebble Hydrogen: 80,000 Nm3 /hr Electricity: 18 MWe, Water: 375 m3/hr No. of pebbles in the annular core ~150000 Packing fraction of pebbles ~60% Packing fraction of TRISO particles ~ 8.6 % 233U Requirement 7.3 %

48 Molten salt corrosion test facility
Thermal hydraulic studies and material compatibility studies for molten salt coolant Molten salt loop Major areas of development Analytical studies and development of computer codes Molten salt natural circulation loop for experimental studies Molten fluoride salt corrosion facility using FLiNaK Experiments being carried out upto 750 °C mainly on Inconel materials Molten salt corrosion test facility 48

49 Design features of Indian HTRs leading to inherent safety
TRISO coated fuel particles: Retention of fission products up to 1600 °C High thermal inertia of ceramic core and low power density Sufficient margin between reactor operation and boiling point of the coolant Negative temperature coefficient of the core and coolant Natural circulation of liquid metal / molten salt coolant in single phase Low pressure of the system Passive removal of heat under normal operation and postulated accident scenarios High temperature heat pipe for CHTR Chemical inertness of the lead based coolant with air/water

50 Molten Salt Breeder Reactor (MSBR)
This concept is attractive to India because of large thorium reserves and possibility of breeding 233U in thermal spectrum – For the third stage of Indian Nuclear Power Programme

51 Schematic of Indian MSBR
Design guidelines Heat removal by natural circulation of molten salts Avoid moderator to reduce solid high level waste generation Ability to tolerate outage of reprocessing plant Enhanced safety as compared to current reactors for possible deployment near population centres Turbine IHX Condenser Redox control (Fertile Salt) Helium bubbling and Redox control (Fuel Salt) Pump Fuel Salt Selection of salts, materials and conceptual design in progress Fertile Salt Fertile salt drain tank Coolant salt drain tank Fissile salt drain tanks

52 Inherent safety features of MSBR (1/2)
Continuous addition of fuel to maintain criticality Less initial reactivity Fission products, including xenon and krypton, are continuously taken out of the system, No excess reactivity reaquired for xenon override No danger of their release under accident condition Entire fuel salt inventory can be dumped into smaller subcritical dump tanks, through freeze valves, Reducing the chances of any untoward incidents. The molten salt has a high boiling point (~1400°C), hence there is a very low vapor pressure Normal operating temperatures ~ 700 to 800 C 52

53 Inherent safety features of MSBR (2/2)
The density of fuel salts decreases with increase in temperature, With increase in temperature fuel salt is pushed out of the core leading to reduction of reactivity No scenario for ‘fuel melt down’ Modification of existing safety codes required for defining CDF Molten fluorides are simple ionic liquids Stable to the irradiation Do not undergo any violent chemical reactions with air or water Fuel has no burnup limits Life is dictate by life of moderator and structural materials 53

54 Accelerator Driven Systems

55 Accelerator-driven Sub-critical reactor system
BARC is developing technologies for Accelerator Driven System (ADS) mainly for Thorium utilization and waste transmutation Major Role: Accelerator-driven Sub-critical reactor system High conversion sub-critical blanket with thorium for producing 233U Incineration of minor actinides and some fission products Sub-critical reactor core Steam generator plant Turbo-electrical generation plant Accelerator-driven Sub-critical reactor system

56 Generation of fissile materials from thorium by spallation reaction using high energy proton accelerators Inherently safe, flexible fuel cycle Higher burn-up Reduced doubling time for ADS-breeders Intense, low-energy-cost neutron source Fissile factory for U-233 from Th-232 Suitability for transmutation & burning nuclear waste

57 ADS for Transmutation & with Th-fueled reactor

58 Summary In the Indian context, large scale deployment of nuclear reactors is required, with possible deployment near population centres Enhanced level of safety is one of the primary goals for advanced reactors under design in BARC Defence-in-depth Passive safety devices PSA studies Margin assessment Advanced materials Advanced Reactor concepts

59 Thank You

60 Modification to Strengthen “Severe Accident Prevention Features”
Improving availability of onsite power supply - Providing back up emergency DG (air cooled) at a higher location - Providing a smaller/mobile DG to power essential loads and charge station batteries Improving steam generator heat sink - Securing FFW diesel engines pumps from external flood and margins w.r. t earthquake evaluated Additional diesel engine operated pumps to transfer deaerator storage tank inventory to steam generator Provision of hook up connections outside reactor building, qualified for maximum anticipated earthquake and flood Provision for Passive Decay Heat Removal (PDHR) system for 700 MWe Improving onsite water storage for one month SBO period Augmentation of water inventory Sources of water near stations are identified for fire tenders Hook upto Primary Heat Transport System /ECCS - Injection into PHT system for making up leakage during SBO - Injection into PHT for unsuccessful long term ECCS operation

61 Other measures Introduction of Seismic Trip (already exists in NAPS & KAPS) Strengthening provision for monitoring of critical parameters under prolonged loss of power Creation of an emergency response facility capable of withstanding severe flood, cyclones & earthquake Provision for Tsunami early warning system

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