atw - October 2018

_World Nuclear Performance Report 2018
_Powering Future Reactor Concepts
_Laser Cutting for Nuclear Decommissioning
_Training and More on the Reactor-glass Model
_Diagnosis & Prognosis Tool for Severe Accidents

US Says Nuclear is Vital to National Security as DOE Works on Rescue Proposals

NucNet | Kamen Krav

In the face of rising electricity demand, US energy secretary Rick Perry has confirmed that work is underway on a plan to preserve some of the nation’s key nuclear power plants. The US Department of Energy (DOE) is studying ways to bail out nuclear (and coal) facilities, including potentially by mandating grid operators to purchase power from them. The US has the largest number of nuclear plants in the world – 99 in commercial operation providing 20 % of its electricity generation – but its industry leadership is declining as efforts to build a new generation of reactors have been plagued by problems, and aging plants have been retired or closed in the face of economic, market, and financial pressures.

Highlights of the World Nuclear Performance Report 2018

Jonathan Cobb

There is no sustainable energy future without nuclear energy. To meet the growing demand for reliable, affordable and clean electricity, we will need all low-carbon energy sources to work together. Nuclear capacity must expand to achieve this. The nuclear industry’s Harmony goal is for 25 % of the world’s electricity  to be supplied from nuclear energy by 2050 as part of a low-carbon mix. The World Nuclear Performance Report records current progress towards the Harmony goal. The world’s nuclear reactors performed excellently in 2017. Global generation reached a total of 2506 TWh, up from 2477 TWh in 2016. The total net capacity of nuclear power in operation during 2017 was 394 GWe, up from 391 GWe in 2016.

TerraPower: Powering Future Reactor Concepts

Phil Sgro

In 2006, Bill Gates and Nathan Myhrvold wanted to find a way to use technology to mitigate the world’s poverty problems by providing abundant, economical, safe and secure base load energy. They explored all the available technological options and settled on nuclear energy as the best path forward. In 2008, TerraPower was established to lead the effort of developing more efficient nuclear energy technologies. TerraPower’s work has focused on developing advanced nuclear technologies, such as the traveling wave reactor and molten chloride fast reactor designs, that aim to address global issues such as economic development, safe and emission free base load power generation.

Scenarios and Forecasts on the Development of World Energy Supply

Hans-Wilhelm Schiffer

A number of institutions regularly submit analyses on the future global development of supply and demand in the energy sector. These include in particular the World Energy Council (WEC), the International Energy Agency (IEA), the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) and the international oil and gas companies ExxonMobil, Shell and BP. The results of currently published studies are outlined. The International Energy Outlook 2017 of the EIA, the World Energy Outlook 2017 of the IEA, the 2018 Outlook for Energy: A View to 2040 of ExxonMobil and the BP Energy Outlook – 2018 Edition are taken into account. Shell’s latest global scenario study was published in 2013. The WEC will present a new edition of the World Energy Scenarios last at the World Energy Conference in Abu Dhabi in 2019.

Apportionment Decisions and Site Search: Small Change of Jurisdiction – Big Effect?

Marc Ruttloff

Sometimes things are rather unimpressive. This certainly cannot be said in its entirety about the Location Selection Act (StandAG). This is shown impressively by § 1, in which the purpose of the law is described in no less than six paragraphs. §§ 30 et seq. regulate the procedure for determining the levy amount as well as for collecting the levy and for the advance payments to be made by those subject to the levy. These provisions have essentially remained unchanged. The only major change is that the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) is now responsible for the determination and collection of the determined levy amounts. But what considerations are behind this transfer of responsibility to the Federal Ministry?

Laser Cutting for Nuclear Decommissioning: An Integrated Safety Approach

Howard Chapman, Stephen Lawton and Joshua Fitzpatrick

The use of high powered lasers for decommissioning purposes is a new technology to the nuclear industry. The National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) has successfully completed achievements in the deployment of robotic laser cutting methods on a nuclear licensed site. NNL has brought the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of this method from proof of concept TRL 3, to demonstration in a relevant environment TRL 6, in anticipation of making this technology ready for wider deployment throughout the nuclear industry. Assessment of the novel hazards associated with the use of semi-automated robotic laser cutting methods in conjunction with more traditional radiological, chemotoxic and laser hazards has led to the production of an integrated safety case for the NNL’s Robot Controlled Laser Cutting Facility. The philosophy behind the safety case is explored, highlighting some of the combinations of different hazards that can occur during work of this nature and how they can be managed.

Determination of Minor Actinides in Irradiated Fuel Rod Components

Ron Dagan, Michel Herm, Volker Metz and Maarten Becker

The measurement and simulation of several isotopes, in particular C-14 and Cs-137 in components of an irradiated PWR fuel rod segment, is presented. The current research deals with minor actinides (MA) inventory within the Zry-4 cladding. The relevance of MA for the fuel waste is evident; being important long lived radio-toxic contributors besides long lived fission and activation products. The current study shows that the amount of minor actinides is only partially due to traces of uranium entering, during the manufacturing process, to the cladding. The major concentration of MA is found on the inner surface of the cladding and is corollary to friction between pellets and the inner surface of the cladding during the fabrication of fuel rods.

Training and More on the Reactor-glass Model of the Simulator Center

Frieder Hecker

At the Simulator Centre of KSG|GfS, the worldwide unique reactor glass model demonstrates complex thermal hydraulic phenomena in an extremely hands-on manner. In our forty years of experience in classroom teaching and practical trainings, the efficiency of this unique teaching tool has proven superior to any other didactic means. The reactor glass model is a reproduction of a two-loop pressurized water reactor (Siemens/KWU design) at a scale of 1:10. It allows visualizations of operational procedures, incidents and accidents as well as thermal hydraulic effects in a light-water reactor. All the phenomena visible in the reactor glass model have occurred in real nuclear power plants. At the reactor glass model, seeing is understanding. Processes that normally happen out of sight inside ducts and vessels become visible in an unforgettable first-hand experience. Training sessions are on offer for national and international audiences from a wide range of fields.

Diagnosis & Prognosis Tool for Severe Accidents in European Nuclear Power Plants

Juan C. de la Rosa Blul, Miodrag Strucic, Patricia Pla and Luca Ammirabile

The Joint Research Centre is embarked in a project aimed at diagnosing and predicting with adequate confidence the progression and consequences of a severe accident in Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs) located in European countries. The assessment tool is based on performing plant-specific simulations of the most risk-significant severe-accident sequences integrating probabilistic and deterministic safety analysis methods. By building up a plant-specific surrogate model of the plant based on up-to-date available information specific for each of the European NPPs (except for the AGR and CANDU designs), the most relevant events are predicted, including a thorough prognosis of released source term characterization in magnitude and timing and at a radionuclide level.

Investigation of Hydrogen Distribution within the Containment of 330 MWe PWR using CFD

R. Nawaz, M. Z. Nazir, A. Shah, K. Qureshi, A. Basit, R. Khan

During a severe accident, hydrogen and steam are produced due to intensive temperature rise of the core. The hydrogen produced in the core can readily diffuse to various zones of the containment. If the hydrogen concentration reaches a prescribed threshold value at a specific location, it can result in deflagration and even detonation. A large temperature and pressure spike may occur to challenge the relevant safety system of the containment. In worst case scenario, safety system of the containment can be breached.

49th Annual Meeting on Nuclear Technology(AMNT) | Nuclear Energy Campus

Florian Gremme and Sebastian Hahn

The report summarises the presentations of the Focus Session “International Operational Experience” and the “Nuclear Energy Campus” presented at the 49th AMNT 2018, Berlin, 29 to 30 May 2018.

Our Planet will be the Loser if we Allow Nuclear Energy to Ebb Away

John Shepherd

A newly-released report from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which suggests nuclear power may “struggle” to keep its current place in the world’s energy mix, should serve as a wake-up call. We must not allow the nuclear energy industry to be wrong footed. We’ve made huge advances in demonstrating nuclear’s environmental credentials over the past 20 years or so.


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