skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Operating margin of Soviet RBMK-1000 nuclear power reactors

Abstract

This paper reports on a coupled thermal- hydraulic analysis that is performed for the Soviet-designed RBMK-1000 nuclear power reactor to assess the operating margin to critical heat flux (CHF); the Chernobyl-4 reactor serves as the principal model for this study. Calculations are performed using a simplified subchannel analysis. The overall analysis involves an iterative search to determine the individual subchannel flow rates, and a boiling transition analysis is performed to obtain a measure of the core operating margin. The operating margin is determined via two distinct methods. The first involves a calculation of the core critical power ratio (CPR) using an empirically derived correlation that the Soviets developed expressly for the RBMK-1000. Additionally, various subchannel CHF correlations typical of those used in the design of nuclear-powered reactors in the United States are also employed. When the Soviet critical power correlation is used, the calculations carried out for both normal operating and reference overpower conditions result in CPRs of 1.115 and 1.019, respectively. In most cases, the subchannel CHF correlations indicate that additional operating margin over that calculated by the Soviet critical power correlation exists for this design.

Authors:
;  [1];  [2]
  1. (Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park, PA (United States). Dept. of Nuclear Engineering)
  2. (Westinghouse Electric Corp., Pittsburgh, PA (United States))
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
5420200
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 5420200
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Nuclear Technology; (United States); Journal Volume: 96:3
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
21 SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS; CHERNOBYLSK-4 REACTOR; HEAT FLUX; ITERATIVE METHODS; NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS; OPERATION; REACTOR CORES; USSR; ASIA; DEVELOPED COUNTRIES; ENRICHED URANIUM REACTORS; EUROPE; GRAPHITE MODERATED REACTORS; LWGR TYPE REACTORS; NUCLEAR FACILITIES; POWER PLANTS; POWER REACTORS; REACTOR COMPONENTS; REACTORS; THERMAL POWER PLANTS; THERMAL REACTORS; WATER COOLED REACTORS 210500* -- Power Reactors, Breeding

Citation Formats

Adams, J.M., Robinson, G.E., and Hochreiter, L.E. Operating margin of Soviet RBMK-1000 nuclear power reactors. United States: N. p., 1991. Web.
Adams, J.M., Robinson, G.E., & Hochreiter, L.E. Operating margin of Soviet RBMK-1000 nuclear power reactors. United States.
Adams, J.M., Robinson, G.E., and Hochreiter, L.E. Sun . "Operating margin of Soviet RBMK-1000 nuclear power reactors". United States. doi:.
@article{osti_5420200,
title = {Operating margin of Soviet RBMK-1000 nuclear power reactors},
author = {Adams, J.M. and Robinson, G.E. and Hochreiter, L.E.},
abstractNote = {This paper reports on a coupled thermal- hydraulic analysis that is performed for the Soviet-designed RBMK-1000 nuclear power reactor to assess the operating margin to critical heat flux (CHF); the Chernobyl-4 reactor serves as the principal model for this study. Calculations are performed using a simplified subchannel analysis. The overall analysis involves an iterative search to determine the individual subchannel flow rates, and a boiling transition analysis is performed to obtain a measure of the core operating margin. The operating margin is determined via two distinct methods. The first involves a calculation of the core critical power ratio (CPR) using an empirically derived correlation that the Soviets developed expressly for the RBMK-1000. Additionally, various subchannel CHF correlations typical of those used in the design of nuclear-powered reactors in the United States are also employed. When the Soviet critical power correlation is used, the calculations carried out for both normal operating and reference overpower conditions result in CPRs of 1.115 and 1.019, respectively. In most cases, the subchannel CHF correlations indicate that additional operating margin over that calculated by the Soviet critical power correlation exists for this design.},
doi = {},
journal = {Nuclear Technology; (United States)},
number = ,
volume = 96:3,
place = {United States},
year = {Sun Dec 01 00:00:00 EST 1991},
month = {Sun Dec 01 00:00:00 EST 1991}
}
  • This paper presents the results of a project in the course of which the rate of formation and the intensity of the discharge of C-14 by n..mu..clear power stations with RBMK-1000 reactors were determined by a computational and experimental route. The systems of a reactor in which the formation of C-14 takes place are presented and include: the coolant, the cooling system of the control and safety rod channels, the nitrogen-helium purging circuit of the reactor space, the nitrogen purging circuit of the metal structure of the circumreactor space, the fuel elements, and graphite brickwork. The results of a numericalmore » estimate of the normalized values of the rate of formation and intensity of the discharge of C-14 for the RBMK-1000 when operating at a nominal power are shown.« less
  • The use of the RBMK-1000 reactor to irradiate large unconditioned silicon ingots with a uniform neutron beam in order to obtain large quantities of uniform neutron-doped silicon, useful in nuclear and other radiation detectors, is described. This correction is accomplished by irradiating the bars in a nonuniform beam so that the steep longitudinal dopant concentration decreases in a controlled way. After the resistivity has become equal at the two ends of the bar, the silicon is further irradiated in a uniform beam until the resistivity reaches the desired value. The height distribution of the neutron beam as a function ofmore » time is shown and discussed, and results from successive measurements of the resistivity distribution along a bar after irradiation in a neutron beam are described.« less
  • As a result of the Chernobyl accident, the Soviets have studied and implemented various design changes to improve the safety of the RBMK reactors. The safety measurements include modifications of the control rod configuration, fuel enrichment increase from 2.0 to 2.4 weight percent U-235, and installation of additional supplemental absorbers. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of increased fuel enrichment, different control rod positions, and supplemental absorber loadings on reactivity control, power distribution within the large RBMK core, and relative stability against power oscillations.
  • The current level of power engineering development in the USSR is characterized by a progressively increasing proportion of nuclear power plants. In line with plans for developing the national economy the supply of electric power into the European USSR will be done primarily through construction of nucelar power plants with a capacity of 4 to 8 million kW. The problem of providing stable parallel operations of a nuclear power plant in the power system is discussed. The use of the turbogenerators for controlling power system loading in transient conditions is described.
  • Water-chemical cycles for loops I and II of VVER reactors are discussed. These cycles are mixed ammonia-sodium with a variable concentration of boric acid and ammonia hydrazine with a pH factor of 9.1 +/- 0.1. New water-chemical cycles are considered for use in both existing and new nuclear power plants. Application of these new water-chemical cycles showed produce a significant improvement in operating conditions of nuclear power plants. Upon accumulation of sufficient operating experience with these cycles, it should be possible to raise the issue of revising applicable standard documentation.