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Title: Preliminary materials selection issues for the next generation nuclear plant reactor pressure vessel.

Abstract

In the coming decades, the United States and the entire world will need energy supplies to meet the growing demands due to population increase and increase in consumption due to global industrialization. One of the reactor system concepts, the Very High Temperature Reactor (VHTR), with helium as the coolant, has been identified as uniquely suited for producing hydrogen without consumption of fossil fuels or the emission of greenhouse gases [Generation IV 2002]. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has selected this system for the Next Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP) Project, to demonstrate emissions-free nuclear-assisted electricity and hydrogen production within the next 15 years. The NGNP reference concepts are helium-cooled, graphite-moderated, thermal neutron spectrum reactors with a design goal outlet helium temperature of {approx}1000 C [MacDonald et al. 2004]. The reactor core could be either a prismatic graphite block type core or a pebble bed core. The use of molten salt coolant, especially for the transfer of heat to hydrogen production, is also being considered. The NGNP is expected to produce both electricity and hydrogen. The process heat for hydrogen production will be transferred to the hydrogen plant through an intermediate heat exchanger (IHX). The basic technology for the NGNP hasmore » been established in the former high temperature gas reactor (HTGR) and demonstration plants (DRAGON, Peach Bottom, AVR, Fort St. Vrain, and THTR). In addition, the technologies for the NGNP are being advanced in the Gas Turbine-Modular Helium Reactor (GT-MHR) project, and the South African state utility ESKOM-sponsored project to develop the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR). Furthermore, the Japanese HTTR and Chinese HTR-10 test reactors are demonstrating the feasibility of some of the planned components and materials. The proposed high operating temperatures in the VHTR place significant constraints on the choice of material selected for the reactor pressure vessel for both the PBMR and prismatic design. The main focus of this report is the RPV for both design concepts with emphasis on material selection.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
NE
OSTI Identifier:
925328
Report Number(s):
ANL/EXT-06-45
TRN: US200809%%749
DOE Contract Number:
DE-AC02-06CH11357
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
ENGLISH
Subject:
08 HYDROGEN; 29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY AND ECONOMY; DEMONSTRATION PLANTS; DESIGN; ELECTRICITY; ENERGY SUPPLIES; FOSSIL FUELS; GRAPHITE; GREENHOUSE GASES; HEAT EXCHANGERS; HELIUM; HYDROGEN; HYDROGEN PRODUCTION; MOLTEN SALTS; PRESSURE VESSELS; PROCESS HEAT; REACTOR CORES; TEST REACTORS; THERMAL NEUTRONS

Citation Formats

Natesan, K., Majumdar, S., Shankar, P. S., Shah, V. N., and Nuclear Engineering Division. Preliminary materials selection issues for the next generation nuclear plant reactor pressure vessel.. United States: N. p., 2007. Web. doi:10.2172/925328.
Natesan, K., Majumdar, S., Shankar, P. S., Shah, V. N., & Nuclear Engineering Division. Preliminary materials selection issues for the next generation nuclear plant reactor pressure vessel.. United States. doi:10.2172/925328.
Natesan, K., Majumdar, S., Shankar, P. S., Shah, V. N., and Nuclear Engineering Division. Wed . "Preliminary materials selection issues for the next generation nuclear plant reactor pressure vessel.". United States. doi:10.2172/925328. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/925328.
@article{osti_925328,
title = {Preliminary materials selection issues for the next generation nuclear plant reactor pressure vessel.},
author = {Natesan, K. and Majumdar, S. and Shankar, P. S. and Shah, V. N. and Nuclear Engineering Division},
abstractNote = {In the coming decades, the United States and the entire world will need energy supplies to meet the growing demands due to population increase and increase in consumption due to global industrialization. One of the reactor system concepts, the Very High Temperature Reactor (VHTR), with helium as the coolant, has been identified as uniquely suited for producing hydrogen without consumption of fossil fuels or the emission of greenhouse gases [Generation IV 2002]. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has selected this system for the Next Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP) Project, to demonstrate emissions-free nuclear-assisted electricity and hydrogen production within the next 15 years. The NGNP reference concepts are helium-cooled, graphite-moderated, thermal neutron spectrum reactors with a design goal outlet helium temperature of {approx}1000 C [MacDonald et al. 2004]. The reactor core could be either a prismatic graphite block type core or a pebble bed core. The use of molten salt coolant, especially for the transfer of heat to hydrogen production, is also being considered. The NGNP is expected to produce both electricity and hydrogen. The process heat for hydrogen production will be transferred to the hydrogen plant through an intermediate heat exchanger (IHX). The basic technology for the NGNP has been established in the former high temperature gas reactor (HTGR) and demonstration plants (DRAGON, Peach Bottom, AVR, Fort St. Vrain, and THTR). In addition, the technologies for the NGNP are being advanced in the Gas Turbine-Modular Helium Reactor (GT-MHR) project, and the South African state utility ESKOM-sponsored project to develop the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR). Furthermore, the Japanese HTTR and Chinese HTR-10 test reactors are demonstrating the feasibility of some of the planned components and materials. The proposed high operating temperatures in the VHTR place significant constraints on the choice of material selected for the reactor pressure vessel for both the PBMR and prismatic design. The main focus of this report is the RPV for both design concepts with emphasis on material selection.},
doi = {10.2172/925328},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Wed Mar 21 00:00:00 EDT 2007},
month = {Wed Mar 21 00:00:00 EDT 2007}
}

Technical Report:

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  • The U.S. Department of Energy has selected the High Temperature Gas-cooled Reactor design for the Next Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP) Project. The NGNP will demonstrate the use of nuclear power for electricity and hydrogen production. It will have an outlet gas temperature in the range of 900°C and a plant design service life of 60 years. The reactor design will be a graphite moderated, helium-cooled, prismatic, or pebble-bed reactor and use low-enriched uranium, Tri-Isotopic-coated fuel. The plant size, reactor thermal power, and core configuration will ensure passive decay heat removal without fuel damage or radioactive material releases during accidents. Themore » NGNP Materials Research and Development Program is responsible for performing research and development on likely NGNP materials in support of the NGNP design, licensing, and construction activities. Selection of the technology and design configuration for the NGNP must consider both the cost and risk profiles to ensure that the demonstration plant establishes a sound foundation for future commercial deployments. The NGNP challenge is to achieve a significant advancement in nuclear technology while setting the stage for an economically viable deployment of the new technology in the commercial sector soon after 2020. Studies of potential Reactor Pressure Vessel (RPV) steels have been carried out as part of the pre-conceptual design studies. These design studies generally focus on American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Code status of the steels, temperature limits, and allowable stresses. Three realistic candidate materials have been identified by this process: conventional light water reactor RPV steels A508/533, 2¼Cr-1Mo in the annealed condition, and modified 9Cr 1Mo ferritic martenistic steel. Based on superior strength and higher temperature limits, the modified 9Cr-1Mo steel has been identified by the majority of design engineers as the preferred choice for the RPV. All of the vendors have concluded, however, that with adequate engineered cooling of the vessel, the A508/533 steels are also acceptable.« less
  • The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has selected the High-Temperature Gas-cooled Reactor (HTGR) design for the Next Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP) Project. The NGNP will demonstrate the use of nuclear power for electricity and hydrogen production, with an outlet gas temperature in the range of 750°C, and a design service life of 60 years. The reactor design will be a graphite-moderated, helium-cooled, prismatic, or pebble bed reactor and use low-enriched uranium, Tri-Isotopic (TRISO)-coated fuel. The plant size, reactor thermal power, and core configuration will ensure passive decay heat removal without fuel damage or radioactive material releases during accidents. Selection ofmore » the technology and design configuration for the NGNP must consider both the cost and risk profiles to ensure that the demonstration plant establishes a sound foundation for future commercial deployments. The NGNP challenge is to achieve a significant advancement in nuclear technology while setting the stage for an economically viable deployment of the new technology in the commercial sector soon after 2020. This technology development plan details the additional research and development (R&D) required to design and license the NGNP RPV, assuming that A 508/A 533 is the material of construction. The majority of additional information that is required is related to long-term aging behavior at NGNP vessel temperatures, which are somewhat above those commonly encountered in the existing database from LWR experience. Additional data are also required for the anticipated NGNP environment. An assessment of required R&D for a Grade 91 vessel has been retained from the first revision of the R&D plan in Appendix B in somewhat less detail. Considerably more development is required for this steel compared to A 508/A 533 including additional irradiation testing for expected NGNP operating temperatures, high-temperature mechanical properties, and extensive studies of long-term microstructural stability.« less
  • The Next Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP), which is an advanced high temperature gas reactor (HTGR) concept with emphasis on production of both electricity and hydrogen, involves helium as the coolant and a closed-cycle gas turbine for power generation with a core outlet/gas turbine inlet temperature of 900-1000 C. In the indirect cycle system, an intermediate heat exchanger is used to transfer the heat from primary helium from the core to the secondary fluid, which can be helium, nitrogen/helium mixture, or a molten salt. The system concept for the vary high temperature reactor (VHTR) can be a reactor based on themore » prismatic block of the GT-MHR developed by a consortium led by General Atomics in the U.S. or based on the PBMR design developed by ESKOM of South Africa and British Nuclear Fuels of U.K. This report has made a preliminary assessment on the issues pertaining to the intermediate heat exchanger (IHX) for the NGNP. Two IHX designs namely, shell and tube and compact heat exchangers were considered in the assessment. Printed circuit heat exchanger, among various compact heat exchanger (HX) designs, was selected for the analysis. Irrespective of the design, the material considerations for the construction of the HX are essentially similar, except may be in the fabrication of the units. As a result, we have reviewed in detail the available information on material property data relevant for the construction of HX and made a preliminary assessment of several relevant factors to make a judicious selection of the material for the IHX. The assessment included four primary candidate alloys namely, Alloy 617 (UNS N06617), Alloy 230 (UNS N06230), Alloy 800H (UNS N08810), and Alloy X (UNS N06002) for the IHX. Some of the factors addressed in this report are the tensile, creep, fatigue, creep fatigue, toughness properties for the candidate alloys, thermal aging effects on the mechanical properties, American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Code compliance information, and performance of the alloys in helium containing a wide range of impurity concentrations. A detailed thermal hydraulic analysis, using a model developed at ANL, was performed to calculate heat transfer, temperature distribution, and pressure drop inside both printed circuit and shell-and-tube heat exchangers. The analysis included evaluation of the role of key process parameters, geometrical factors in HX designs, and material properties. Calculations were performed for helium-to-helium, helium-to-helium/nitrogen, and helium-to-salt HXs. The IHX being a high temperature component, probably needs to be designed using ASME Code Section III, Subsection NH, assuming that the IHX will be classified as a class 1 component. With input from thermal hydraulic calculations performed at ANL, thermal conduction and stress analyses for both compact and shell-and-tube HXs were performed.« less
  • At the inception of the Next Generation Nuclear Plant Project and during predecessor activities, alternative reactor technologies have been evaluated to determine the technology that best fulfills the functional and performance requirements of the targeted energy applications and market. Unlike the case of electric power generation where the reactor performance is primarily expressed in terms of economics, the targeted energy applications involve industrial applications that have specific needs in terms of acceptable heat transport fluids and the associated thermodynamic conditions. Hence, to be of interest to these industrial energy applications, the alternative reactor technologies are weighed in terms of themore » reactor coolant/heat transport fluid, achievable reactor outlet temperature, and practicality of operations to achieve the very high reliability demands associated with the petrochemical, petroleum, metals and related industries. These evaluations have concluded that the high temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR) can uniquely provide the required ranges of energy needs for these target applications, do so with promising economics, and can be commercialized with reasonable development risk in the time frames of current industry interest – i.e., within the next 10-15 years.« less
  • The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has selected the Very High Temperature Reactor (VHTR) design for the Next Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP) Project. The NGNP will demonstrate the use of nuclear power for electricity and hydrogen production without greenhouse gas emissions. The reactor design is a graphite-moderated, helium-cooled, prismatic or pebble bed thermal neutron spectrum reactor with an average reactor outlet temperature of at least 1000 C. The NGNP will use very high burn up, lowenriched uranium, TRISO-Coated fuel in a once-through fuel cycle. The design service life of the NGNP is 60 years.