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Construction of the core of the 'heavy water-gas' reactor EL 4; Structures du coeur du reacteur 'eau- lourde-gaz EL 4'

Abstract

The core of this reactor consists of a vessel containing heavy water, through which pass a series of pressure tubes for circulation of the cooling gas under boat pressure. The basic specifications which greatly influenced the design of this construction relate to aspects of safety in operation (fuel loading from both faces of the reactor, replacement of the components on both faces), neutronic demands (minimum absorption of the components lattice parameter, diameter of the pressure tubes) and thermal considerations (output temperature 500 C). These specifications have led to a' horizontal arrangement of the pressure tubes and raised very difficult problems of clearance, which make it impossible (for the dimensions of EL 4) to resort to expansion bellows on the pressure tubes. The result is a semi-rigid vessel in which the pressure tubes contribute to a large extent the mechanical resistance of the system by acting as a brace, whence the high stresses on the joints and pressure tubes (and the choice of zirconium alloys). The construction components include the pressure tube, the joints, the thermal insulation and the liner tube. A brief account is given of the testing methods used and the performances of these various units is particular. The  More>>
Authors:
Bernard, J L; Foulquier, H; Thome, P [1] 
  1. Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique, Saclay (France). Centre d'Etudes Nucleaires
Publication Date:
Jul 01, 1964
Product Type:
Technical Report
Report Number:
CEA-R-2665
Resource Relation:
Other Information: 13 refs
Subject:
21 SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS; EL-4 REACTOR; HEAVY WATER; PRESSURE TUBES; REACTOR SAFETY; THERMAL INSULATION
OSTI ID:
20668359
Research Organizations:
CEA Saclay, 91 - Gif-sur-Yvette (France)
Country of Origin:
France
Language:
French
Other Identifying Numbers:
TRN: FR05R2665107060
Availability:
Available from INIS in electronic form
Submitting Site:
FRN
Size:
20 pages
Announcement Date:
Dec 19, 2005

Citation Formats

Bernard, J L, Foulquier, H, and Thome, P. Construction of the core of the 'heavy water-gas' reactor EL 4; Structures du coeur du reacteur 'eau- lourde-gaz EL 4'. France: N. p., 1964. Web.
Bernard, J L, Foulquier, H, & Thome, P. Construction of the core of the 'heavy water-gas' reactor EL 4; Structures du coeur du reacteur 'eau- lourde-gaz EL 4'. France.
Bernard, J L, Foulquier, H, and Thome, P. 1964. "Construction of the core of the 'heavy water-gas' reactor EL 4; Structures du coeur du reacteur 'eau- lourde-gaz EL 4'." France.
@misc{etde_20668359,
title = {Construction of the core of the 'heavy water-gas' reactor EL 4; Structures du coeur du reacteur 'eau- lourde-gaz EL 4'}
author = {Bernard, J L, Foulquier, H, and Thome, P}
abstractNote = {The core of this reactor consists of a vessel containing heavy water, through which pass a series of pressure tubes for circulation of the cooling gas under boat pressure. The basic specifications which greatly influenced the design of this construction relate to aspects of safety in operation (fuel loading from both faces of the reactor, replacement of the components on both faces), neutronic demands (minimum absorption of the components lattice parameter, diameter of the pressure tubes) and thermal considerations (output temperature 500 C). These specifications have led to a' horizontal arrangement of the pressure tubes and raised very difficult problems of clearance, which make it impossible (for the dimensions of EL 4) to resort to expansion bellows on the pressure tubes. The result is a semi-rigid vessel in which the pressure tubes contribute to a large extent the mechanical resistance of the system by acting as a brace, whence the high stresses on the joints and pressure tubes (and the choice of zirconium alloys). The construction components include the pressure tube, the joints, the thermal insulation and the liner tube. A brief account is given of the testing methods used and the performances of these various units is particular. The safety factors foreseen for the pressure tube, and the design and manufacture, taking account of tolerances of the thickened ends necessary for fitting the tubes in place and designing the joints. The joints connecting the pressure tubes to the reactor tank, which are only accessible through the inside of the channel prolonging the pressure tube. These joints must not be a weak part in the construction. Two types have been developed: a rolled joint where the ends of the pressure tube are directly flanged onto the tank, and a welded joint using zircaloy-stainless steel transition pieces added to the ends of the pressure tube. All these joints are made by remote control and are removable. Two solutions have been found to the problem of thermal insulation around a zirconium alloy liner tube. The neutron absorption equivalent is about 1, 1 mm of Al, and the mean loss around 2 p. 100 of the thermal power of the reactor. The methods proposed have proved practicable as a result of important research and developments on automatic remote control for all the operations which make up the sequences of mounting, demounting and repairing of the construction components. In particular the possibilities opened up by the new techniques of welding tubes from the inside have been extended to other problems connected with the assembling of a reactor. (authors) [French] Le coeur de ce reacteur est constitue par une cuve contenant l'eau lourde, cuve traversee d'une serie de tubes de force dans lesquels circule le gaz caloporteur sous pression de 60 at. Les specifications de depart qui ont joue un role important dans la conception de ces structures concernent des aspects de securite de fonctionnement (chargement du combustible par les deux faces du reacteur, remplacement des structures sur les deux faces du reacteur), des necessites neutroniques (absorption des structures minimum, pas du reseau, diametre des tubes de force) et des considerations thermiques (temperature de sortie 500 C). Ces specifications ont entraine une disposition horizontale des tubes de force et des problemes d'encombrement tres delicats qui ont elimine (pour les dimensions d'EL 4) toute possibilite de recourir a des compensateurs de dilatation sur les tubes de force. II s'ensuit un dessin de cuve semi-rigide dans lequel les tubes de force contribuent pour une part importante a la resistance mecanique de l'ensemble en jouant le role de tirant, d'ou des contraintes elevees sur les jonctions et tubes de force (et le choix des alliages de zirconium). Les structures comprennent le tube de force, les jonctions, l'isolement thermique et le tube de guidage. On expose brievement les moyens d'essais mis en oeuvre et les performances de ces diverses structures. En particulier les facteurs de securite envisages pour le tube de force et la realisation d'extremites surepaissies necessaires a la mise en place des tubes compte tenu des tolerances de fabrication, et a la realisation des jonctions. Les jonctions des tubes de force a la cuve du reacteur, dont le seul acces possible est par l'interieur du canal prolongeant le tube de force. Ces jonctions ne doivent pas constituer une zone faible des structures. Deux types de jonctions ont ete mis au point, une jonction mandrinee ou les extremites du tube de force sont directement dudgeonnees sur la cuve et une jonction soudee qui fait appel a un tube de force aux extremites duquel sont rapportees des pieces de transition zircaloy-inox. Toutes ces jonctions s'effectuent a distance et sont demontables. Deux solutions ont ete mises au point pour l'isolement thermique entourant un tube de guidage en alliage de zirconium. L'absorption neutronique equivalente est voisine de 1,1 mm d'Al, la perte moyennee est environ 2 p. 100 de la puissance thermique du reacteur. Les solutions proposees ont pu se concretiser grace a des recherches et developpements importants sur la realisation automatique a distance de toutes les operations formant les sequences de montage, demontage et refection des structures. En particulier les possibilites offertes par les techniques nouvelles de soudage de tubes par l'interieur ont ete etendues a d'autres problemes d'assemblage du reacteur. (auteurs)}
place = {France}
year = {1964}
month = {Jul}
}