The Supercritical Water Cooled Reactor: Ongoing Research and Development in the U.S
The Supercritical Water Cooled Reactor: Ongoing Research and Development in the U.S Supercritical water-cooled reactors (SCWRs) are among the most promising advanced nuclear systems because of their high thermal efficiency and considerable plant simplification. SCWRs are basically LWRs operating at higher pressure and temperatures with a direct once-through cycle. Operation above the critical pressure eliminates coolant boiling, so the coolant remains single-phase throughout the nuclear island. The need for recirculation and jet pumps, pressurizer, steam generators, steam separators and dryers is eliminated. The main mission of the SCWR is generation of low-cost electricity. SCWRs build upon two proven technologies, LWRs, which are the most commonly deployed power generating reactors in the world, and supercritical coal-fired boilers, a great many of which are also in use around the world. The SCWR concept is being investigated by 32 organizations in 13 countries and is one of only six reactor technologies selected for further development under the Generation-IV program. This paper outlines the main SCWR characteristics, its technical challenges and related research activities in the U.S. (author)
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