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Title: Advanced Control and Protection system Design Methods for Modular HTGRs

Abstract

The project supported the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in identifying and evaluating the regulatory implications concerning the control and protection systems proposed for use in the Department of Energy's (DOE) Next-Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP). The NGNP, using modular high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR) technology, is to provide commercial industries with electricity and high-temperature process heat for industrial processes such as hydrogen production. Process heat temperatures range from 700 to 950 C, and for the upper range of these operation temperatures, the modular HTGR is sometimes referred to as the Very High Temperature Reactor or VHTR. Initial NGNP designs are for operation in the lower temperature range. The defining safety characteristic of the modular HTGR is that its primary defense against serious accidents is to be achieved through its inherent properties of the fuel and core. Because of its strong negative temperature coefficient of reactivity and the capability of the fuel to withstand high temperatures, fast-acting active safety systems or prompt operator actions should not be required to prevent significant fuel failure and fission product release. The plant is designed such that its inherent features should provide adequate protection despite operational errors or equipment failure. Figure 1 shows an example modular HTGRmore » layout (prismatic core version), where its inlet coolant enters the reactor vessel at the bottom, traversing up the sides to the top plenum, down-flow through an annular core, and exiting from the lower plenum (hot duct). This research provided NRC staff with (a) insights and knowledge about the control and protection systems for the NGNP and VHTR, (b) information on the technologies/approaches under consideration for use in the reactor and process heat applications, (c) guidelines for the design of highly integrated control rooms, (d) consideration for modeling of control and protection system designs for VHTR, and (e) input for developing the bases for possible new regulatory guidance to assist in the review of an NGNP license application. This NRC project also evaluated reactor and process heat application plant simulation models employed in the protection and control system designs for various plant operational modes and accidents, including providing information about the models themselves, and the appropriateness of the application of the models for control and protection system studies. A companion project for the NRC focused on the potential for new instrumentation that would be unique to modular HTGRs, as compared to light-water reactors (LWRs), due to both the higher temperature ranges and the inherent safety features.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. ORNL
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
Work for Others (WFO)
OSTI Identifier:
1047629
Report Number(s):
ORNL/TM-2012/170
401001060; TRN: US1204104
DOE Contract Number:  
DE-AC05-00OR22725
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
08 HYDROGEN; 21 SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS; ACCIDENTS; CONTROL ROOMS; CONTROL SYSTEMS; COOLANTS; DESIGN; ELECTRICITY; FISSION PRODUCT RELEASE; GAS COOLED REACTORS; HYDROGEN PRODUCTION; LICENSE APPLICATIONS; PROCESS HEAT; REACTOR VESSELS; RECOMMENDATIONS; SAFETY; SIMULATION; TEMPERATURE COEFFICIENT

Citation Formats

Ball, Sydney J, Wilson, Jr, Thomas L, and Wood, Richard Thomas. Advanced Control and Protection system Design Methods for Modular HTGRs. United States: N. p., 2012. Web. doi:10.2172/1047629.
Ball, Sydney J, Wilson, Jr, Thomas L, & Wood, Richard Thomas. Advanced Control and Protection system Design Methods for Modular HTGRs. United States. https://doi.org/10.2172/1047629
Ball, Sydney J, Wilson, Jr, Thomas L, and Wood, Richard Thomas. Fri . "Advanced Control and Protection system Design Methods for Modular HTGRs". United States. https://doi.org/10.2172/1047629. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1047629.
@article{osti_1047629,
title = {Advanced Control and Protection system Design Methods for Modular HTGRs},
author = {Ball, Sydney J and Wilson, Jr, Thomas L and Wood, Richard Thomas},
abstractNote = {The project supported the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in identifying and evaluating the regulatory implications concerning the control and protection systems proposed for use in the Department of Energy's (DOE) Next-Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP). The NGNP, using modular high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR) technology, is to provide commercial industries with electricity and high-temperature process heat for industrial processes such as hydrogen production. Process heat temperatures range from 700 to 950 C, and for the upper range of these operation temperatures, the modular HTGR is sometimes referred to as the Very High Temperature Reactor or VHTR. Initial NGNP designs are for operation in the lower temperature range. The defining safety characteristic of the modular HTGR is that its primary defense against serious accidents is to be achieved through its inherent properties of the fuel and core. Because of its strong negative temperature coefficient of reactivity and the capability of the fuel to withstand high temperatures, fast-acting active safety systems or prompt operator actions should not be required to prevent significant fuel failure and fission product release. The plant is designed such that its inherent features should provide adequate protection despite operational errors or equipment failure. Figure 1 shows an example modular HTGR layout (prismatic core version), where its inlet coolant enters the reactor vessel at the bottom, traversing up the sides to the top plenum, down-flow through an annular core, and exiting from the lower plenum (hot duct). This research provided NRC staff with (a) insights and knowledge about the control and protection systems for the NGNP and VHTR, (b) information on the technologies/approaches under consideration for use in the reactor and process heat applications, (c) guidelines for the design of highly integrated control rooms, (d) consideration for modeling of control and protection system designs for VHTR, and (e) input for developing the bases for possible new regulatory guidance to assist in the review of an NGNP license application. This NRC project also evaluated reactor and process heat application plant simulation models employed in the protection and control system designs for various plant operational modes and accidents, including providing information about the models themselves, and the appropriateness of the application of the models for control and protection system studies. A companion project for the NRC focused on the potential for new instrumentation that would be unique to modular HTGRs, as compared to light-water reactors (LWRs), due to both the higher temperature ranges and the inherent safety features.},
doi = {10.2172/1047629},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/1047629}, journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2012},
month = {6}
}