Learn how and when to remove this template message, conventional, water-cooled nuclear power plant, "A future for nuclear energy: pebble bed reactors, Int. Based on the Westinghouse AP1000 design, the CAP 1400 nuclear power technology was independently developed by the State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation (SNPTC). CAP1400 is a pressurised water reactor (PWR) with 1,500MW electric power. The expected project construction period from pouring the first tank of concrete to generating electricity for the grid is scheduled to be 50 months. It sublimates at 4000 °C, more than twice the design temperature of most reactors. Since the fuel is contained in graphite pebbles, the volume of radioactive waste is much greater, but contains about the same radioactivity when measured in becquerels per kilowatt-hour. The plant, designated as HTR-PM, will be a 200 MWe pebble bed reactor heated steam plant with two reactors, each with a single steam generator (boiler) feeding a single turbine. This reduces the number of neutrons available to cause fission, and reduces the power of the reactor. In 2008, a report about safety aspects of the AVR reactor in Germany and some general features of pebble-bed reactors have drawn attention. who we are : Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (SOC) (PBMR â¢) was established in 1999 with the intention to develop and market small-scale, high-temperature reactors both locally and internationally. Our concept was based on an adaptation of the successful German pebble bed demonstration reactor called the AVR. In contrast, a pebble-bed reactor is gas-cooled, sometimes at low pressures. Most pebble-bed reactor designs contain many reinforcing levels of containment to prevent contact between the radioactive materials and the biosphere: Pyrolytic graphite is the main structural material in these pebbles. The reactor is a pebble-bed, high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR), a new design that is ostensibly safer but that researchers in the U.S. and Germany warn does not eliminate the possibility of a serious accident. Feb 2009 status of Chinaâs High Temperature modular pebble bed reactor project ( 8 page pdf) by Zhang.  In February 2010 the South African government stopped funding of the PBMR because of a lack of customers and investors. The AVR was originally designed to breed uranium-233 from thorium-232. The NPP site is in the Ningjin Township area, Rongcheng city, Shangdong province. Additional issues are that the core irradiates the water with neutrons causing the water and impurities dissolved in it to become radioactive and that the high-pressure piping in the primary side becomes embrittled and requires continual inspection and eventual replacement. Similarly, the moderator is solid carbon; it does not act as a coolant, move, or have phase transitions (i.e., between liquid and gas) as the light water in conventional reactors does. The PBMR is a variant of the HTGR. , The overly complex design of the reactor, which is contrary to the general concept of self moderated thorium reactors designed in the U.S., also suffered from the unplanned high destruction rate of pebbles during the test series at the start up, and the resulting higher contamination of the containment structure. Some examples of this type of reactor are claimed to be passively safe; that is, it removes the need for redundant, active safety systems. 1, 2003 - Nuclear Power and Research Reactors", http://www.wmsym.org/archives/2000/pdf/36/36-5.pdf, "China leading world in next generation of nuclear plants", "South Africa: Energy and Environmental Issues", "Earthlife Africa Sues for Public Power Giant's Nuclear Plans", Pebble Bed Modular Reactor Company is Contemplating Restructuring Measures, "Hogan ends pebble bed reactor project | Archive | BDlive", "Company formerly known as Adams Atomic Engines", High Temperature Reactor 2006 Conference, Sandton, South Africa, Research on innovative reactors in Jülich, Differences in American and German TRISO-coated fuels, Conceptual Design of a Very High Temperature Pebble-Bed Reactor 2003, NGNP Point Design - Results of the Initial Neutronics and Thermal-Hydraulic Assessments During FY-03, Rev. The preferred gas, helium, does not easily absorb neutrons or impurities. Other coolants such as FLiBe[clarification needed] (a molten salt) have also been suggested for implementation with pebble fuelled reactors. Afterward, the fuel balls were sampled and examined for damage - there was none. The company is planning to bring twin 105-megawatt reactors online that would be immune to meltdown. This solves a problem discovered in an infamous accident, the Windscale fire. A technical advantage is that some designs are throttled by temperature, not by control rods. A further 18 such HTR-PM units are proposed for the same site in Shidaowan. This is the main passive safety feature of the pebble-bed reactor, and it distinguishes the pebble-bed design (as well as most other very-high-temperature reactors) from conventional light-water reactors, which require active safety controls.  Even a cracked pebble will not burn without oxygen, but the fuel pebble may not be rotated out and inspected for months, leaving a window of vulnerability. Unit one: 200MW, Units two and three: 1,500MW each, Huaneng Shandong Shidao Bay Nuclear Power Company. Cold testing of the second unit at the plant has now begun. The facility ran successfully for 21 years, and was decommissioned on December 1, 1988, in the wake of the Chernobyl disaster and operational problems. , Pebble-bed reactors are also capable of using fuel pebbles made from different fuels in the same basic design of reactor (though perhaps not at the same time). In June 2004, it was announced that a new PBMR would be built at Koeberg, South Africa by Eskom, the government-owned electrical utility. It is a conventional helium-cooled, helium-turbine design. The liquid fluoride thorium reactor is another advanced nuclear power source, even more promising than the pebble bed reactor. The HTR-PM demonstration project site is located approximately 68km to the south of Weihai city and 185km to the northeast of Qingdao city.  In 1978, the AVR suffered from a water/steam ingress accident of 30 metric tons, which led to contamination of soil and groundwater by strontium-90 and by tritium. The high-temperature reactor pebble-bed module (HTR-PM) is a new generation modular high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR) with an outer diameter of 3m and a height of 11m. The pebble-bed reactor has an advantage over traditional reactors in that the gases do not dissolve contaminants or absorb neutrons as water does, so the core has less in the way of radioactive fluids.  The AVR design was licensed to South Africa as the PBMR and China as the HTR-10, the latter currently has the only such design in operation. China is poised to develop the world's first commercially operated âpebble bedâ nuclear reactor after a Chinese energy consortium chose a site in the eastern province of Shandong to build a 195MW gas-cooled power plant. Their design was for a nitrogen coolant passing directly though a conventional low-pressure gas turbine, and due to the rapid ability of the turbine to change speeds, it can be used in applications where instead of the turbine's output being converted to electricity, the turbine itself could directly drive a mechanical device, for instance, a propeller aboard a ship. Development of this in Germany was eventually abandoned but the idea was taken up during the 1990s by the South African utility Eskom, which continued development until 2010 when it appears to have been halted. The company is also responsible for plant design. 1, Next Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP) Project – Preliminary Assessment Of Two Possible Designs, The Next Generation Nuclear Plant – Insights Gained from the INEEL Point Design Studies, Computation of Dancoff Factors for Fuel Elements Incorporating Randomly Packed TRISO Particles, Coalition Against Nuclear Energy South Africa, Earthlife Africa: Nuclear Energy Costs the Earth campaign, "The Economic Impact of the Proposed Demonstration Plant for the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor Design", NPR: South Africa Invests in Nuclear Power, Small sealed transportable autonomous (SSTAR), https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Pebble-bed_reactor&oldid=994335790, Articles needing additional references from September 2013, All articles needing additional references, Wikipedia articles needing clarification from January 2020, Articles with unsourced statements from January 2020, Articles with unsourced statements from August 2019, Articles with unsourced statements from January 2019, Articles with unsourced statements from February 2009, Articles with unsourced statements from May 2008, Articles with unsourced statements from October 2015, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, The reactor itself is usually in a two-meter-thick-walled room with doors that can be closed, and cooling, Each pebble, within the vessel, is a 60 millimetres (2.4 in) hollow sphere of, Low density porous pyrolytic carbon, high density nonporous pyrolytic carbon, The fission fuel is in the form of metal oxides or carbides, No possibility to place standard measurement equipment in the pebble-bed core, i.e. The 600MW demonstration unit, which is due to be complete in 2023, follows a 20MW experimental reactor completed in 2011. Shanghai Electric supplied several components, including metallic reactor internals, steam turbine, helium circulators and reactor pressure vessel (RPV).  This failure led to a long-term shut-down for inspections. The reactor uses graphite as a moderator, while helium of low radioactivity level will serve as a coolant.  Current US legislation requires all waste to be safely contained, therefore pebble-bed reactors would increase existing storage problems. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. The company’s partners in the JV include Tsinghua University and China Nuclear Engineering. Defects in the production of pebbles may also cause problems. The Chinese were, as of 2015, building a 250 MW demonstration pebble-bed reactor: HTR-PM. Ideally, the heated gas is run directly through a turbine. The NPP will be operated by Huaneng Shandong Shidao Bay Nuclear Power Company, which is a joint venture (JV) led by China Huaneng Group. It simply goes up to a designed "idle" temperature, and stays there. In December 2012, the HTR-PM demonstration project received the construction permit from the National Nuclear Safety Administration, marking the official start of construction with the pouring of the first concrete for the first unit. Harbin Electric supplied steam generators. Multiple single-size pebble-bed helium-cooled reactors have been built. The passive residual heat removal system improves reactor safety features. 24 (1986) p. 28–30. All kernels are precipitated from a sol-gel, then washed, dried and calcined. However, the current emphasis on reactor safety means that any new design will likely have a strong reinforced concrete containment structure. In China however recent developments have been made to increase domestic nuclear energy production. The radioactive waste must either be safely stored for many human generations, typically in a deep geological repository, reprocessed, transmuted in a different type of reactor, or disposed of by some other alternative method yet to be devised.  Also, any explosion would most likely be caused by an external factor, as the design does not suffer from the steam explosion-vulnerability of some water-cooled reactors. Convection of the gas driven by the heat of the pebbles ensures that the pebbles are passively cooled. The concept was first suggested by Farrington Daniels in the 1940s, said to have been inspired by the innovative design of the benghazi burner by British desert troops in WWII, but commercial development did not take place until the 1960s in the German AVR reactor by Rudolf Schulten. In January 2016 X-energy was awarded a five-year $53M U.S. Department of Energy Advanced Reactor Concept Cooperative Agreement award to advance elements of their reactor development. This particular reactor was built, despite strong criticism at the design phase. The machinery can be repaired or the fuel can be removed. Most of those design critiques by German physicists, and by American physicists at the National Laboratory level, went ignored until it was shut down. Simplified design of pebble bed reactor (Source: Wikimedia Commons) China has a 23 nuclear power plants operating, with another 27 third-generation plants under construction. SNPTC incorporated feedback from the Fukushima power plant accident and designed the reactor with improved safety features and thermal safety margin of more than 15%. These tennis ball-sized pebbles (approx. Skip to comments. Because of this, and because the pebble-bed reactor is designed for higher temperatures, the reactor will passively reduce to a safe power-level in an accident scenario. Simply piling enough pebbles together in a critical geometry will allow for criticality. Key Differences in the Fabrication of US and German TRISO-COATED Particle Fuel, and their Implications on Fuel Performance, E. Wahlen, J. Wahl, P. Pohl (AVR GmbH): Status of the AVR decommissioning project with special regard to the inspection of the core cavity for residual fuel. R. Baeumer, THTR-300 Erfahrungen mit einer fortschrittlichen Technologie, Atomwirtschaft, May 1989, p. 226. The Xe-100 reactor will generate 200MWt and approximately 76MWe. The reactor has inherent safety with fourth-generation safety features. A 15 MWe demonstration reactor, Arbeitsgemeinschaft Versuchsreaktor (AVR translates to experimental reactor consortium), was built at the Jülich Research Centre in Jülich, West Germany.  Its strength and hardness come from anisotropic crystals of carbon. Some hundred fuel elements remained stuck in the crack.  If the rate of fission increases, temperature will increase and Doppler broadening will occur, decreasing the rate of fission. These safety features were tested (and filmed) with the German AVR reactor. Pebble debris and graphite dust blocked some of the coolant channels in the bottom reflector, as was discovered during fuel removal some years after final shut-down. Much of the cost of a conventional, water-cooled nuclear power plant is due to cooling system complexity. Even though the power generation used primary coolant, it is reported that the AVR exposed its personnel to less than 1/5 as much radiation as a typical light water reactor. The reactor is cooled by an inert, fireproof gas, so it cannot have a steam explosion as a light-water reactor can. The reactor passed a safety review by the National Nuclear Safety Administration in February 2016. The fuel then sees a wider range of relative neutron speeds. Cold tests were completed at unit 1 on 19 October. The reactor unit has a thermal capacity of 250 MW, and two reactors are connected to a single steam turbine to generate 210 MW of electricity. PBRs are intentionally operated above the 250 °C annealing temperature of graphite, so that Wigner energy is not accumulated. The natural geometry of close-packed spheres then provides the ducting (the spaces between the spheres) and spacing for the reactor core. 4, pp.330–345", NGNP Point Design – Results of the Initial Neutronics and Thermal-Hydraulic Assessments During FY-03. Pebble-bed reactors have an advantage over conventional light-water reactors in operating at higher temperatures. Get ready for the mass-produced, meltdown-proof future of nuclear energy. The reactor can be simpler because it does not need to operate well at the varying neutron profiles caused by partially withdrawn control rods. China to pioneer âpebble bedâ N-reactor The Financial Times ^ | February 7, 2005 | Mure Dickie Posted on 02/08/2005 5:22:51 AM PST by Woodworker. AAE went out of business in December 2010. While silicon carbide is strong in abrasion and compression applications, it does not have the same strength against expansion and shear forces. Berkeley professor Richard A. Muller has called pebble-bed reactors "in every way ... safer than the present nuclear reactors".. SEPCO Electric Power Construction and Jiangsu Electric Power Construction conducted the civil installation of the conventional island. Some fission products such as xenon-133 have a limited absorbance in carbon, and some fuel kernels could accumulate enough gas to rupture the silicon carbide layer. The AVR used helium coolant. The pebble design is relatively simple, with each sphere consisting of the nuclear fuel, fission product barrier, and moderator (which in a traditional water reactor would all be different parts). During this examination it became also obvious that the AVR is the most heavily beta-contaminated (strontium-90) nuclear installation worldwide and that this contamination is present in the worst form, as dust. pebble bed = black box, Contamination of the cooling circuit with metallic fission products (, improper temperatures in the core (more than 200 °C above calculated values), necessity of a pressure retaining containment, unresolved problems with dust formation by pebble friction (dust acts as a mobile fission product carrier, if fission products escape the fuel particles), AVR, experimental high-temperature reactor : 21 years of successful operation for a future energy technology, This page was last edited on 15 December 2020, at 04:59. The reactor has inherent safety with fourth-generation safety features. Explosive growth has made the People's Republic of China the most power-hungry nation on earth. 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