Fast Breeder Reactors now In Indian Power Plants: Everything You Should Know About Reactors (Download PDF)

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Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR) carrying out a R&D on sodium cooled fast breeder reactor technology for the past 30 years. A test Fast Breeder Test Reactor (FBTR), is in operation from 1985 onwards which has provided valuable feedback. Based on this 500MWe Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) is now in advanced stage of commissioning at Kalpakkam.

Image shows the Location of Kalpakkam

Image Shows the Location of Kalpakkam

Image shows the Location of Kalpakkam

  • Designed peer reviewed by international design agencies

From Test to Reality

  • Elaborate manufacturing technology development program undertaken to identifying major industrial requirements for indigenous capability.
  • All the components and equipment- including oversized heavy components successfully manufactured by Indian industries and erected in PFBR project.
  • India mastered the design and manufacturing of sodium cooled Fast Breeder Reactors (FBR)

Types of Nuclear Reactors

Table contain shows the Types of Nuclear Reactors

Table contain shows the Types of Nuclear Reactors

Reactor Type

Light Water Reactor (LWR)

Heavy Water Reactor (HWR)

a. Boiling Water Reactor

b. Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR)

Purpose

electricity

electricity; nuclear powered ships (U. S. )

electricity; plutonium production

Coolant Type

water (H2O)

water

heavy water (deuterium oxide, D2O)

Moderator Type

water

water

heavy water

Fuel — Chemical Composition

uranium-dioxide (UO2)

uranium-dioxide

uranium-dioxide or metal

Fuel – Enrichment Level

low-enriched

low-enriched

natural uranium (not enriched)

Comments

steam generated inside the reactor goes directly to the turbine

steam is generated outside the reactor in a secondary heat transfer loop

used in Canada: called “CANDU” – “Canadian Deuterium Uranium; ” Also used in Savannah River Site reactors (metal fuel at SRS)

Reactor Type

Graphite Moderated Reactor

Fast Breeder Reactor (FBR)

a. Gas Cooled

b. Water Cooled

Liquid Metal (LMFBR) (most common type of breeder)

Purpose

electricity; plutonium production

electricity; plutonium production

electricity; plutonium production

Coolant Type

gas (carbon dioxide or helium)

water

molten, liquid sodium

Moderator Type

graphite

graphite

not required

Fuel — Chemical Composition

uranium dicarbide (UC2) or uranium metal

uranium dioxide (RBMK) or metal (N-reactor)

plutonium dioxide and uranium dioxide in various arrangements

Fuel – Enrichment Level

slightly-enriched, natural uranium

slightly-enriched

various mixtures of plutonium-239 and uranium-235

Comments

used in Britain, and France (e. g. : AGR, MAGNOX)

Used in former Soviet Union, e. g. Chernobyl (RBMK); N-reactor at Hanford.

Breeder reactors are designed to produce more fissile material than they consume. Monju; Phenix

Advantages of FBRs

  • Designed with several safety measures and features allowing redundancy and diversity
  • Benefits from environmental considerations- source of green energy as the waste from the first stage nuclear programme reprocessed and used as fuel in FBR
  • Spent fuel from FBR reactor with closed fuel cycle can be fed back to reactor core several times till the spent fuel contains only short lived fission products.
  • No need of large quantity of fuel materials or large capacity waste storage spaces with complex construction.
  • Indigenously produced Mixed Uranium & Plutonium Oxide to be used as the fuel in the Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor at Kalpakkam.

International Operations

  • Currently in operation in Russia- 600 MWe capacity, BN-600 in operation since 1980. Russia commenced operation of BN-800 (800 MWe capacity). New power reactor of 1200 MWe capacity is planned in Russia
  • China started test reactor of 65 MWt capacity in 2010.
  • Two reactors JOYO, MONJU in Japan are under shutdown. One test reactor is under construction (MBIR) in Russia.

- Published/Last Modified on: August 9, 2017

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