Chapter 16
New Generation of BWRs


Nuclear energy plays a major role in meeting the world's energy needs. At the end of 2005, there were 443 nuclear power plants operating in 32 countries, with 25 more units under construction. These plants account for 17% of world's electricity. In a nuclear power plant, steam to turn the turbine and in turn the generator to produce electricity is produced through a controlled nuclear fission reaction. The steam producing part of a nuclear power plant, including the supporting systems, is called the nuclear steam supply system (NSSS). Beyond the NSSS, the remaining part of a nuclear power plant, the turbine/generator and remainder of the steam cycle, is called the balance of plant (BOP). In a boiling water reactor (BWR) NSSS, the steam is directly produced in the reactor pressure vessel (RPV). In the pressurized water reactors (PWRs), the steam is produced in steam generators that are connected to RPV. Both the BWRs and PWRs are classed as light water reactors (LWRs) since they use light water (as opposed to heavy water, D2O) as coolant and moderator. In the United States and many countries of the world, the RPV and the most of the NSSS components are designed, fabricated, tested, and inspected during service using the rules of ASME Boiler & Pressure Vessel Code. Specifically, Section II (for material selection and allowable stresses), Section III (for design and analysis), Section IX (for welding), and Section XI (for in-service inspection) of the Code are used. The overall objective of this chapter is to provide a description of the evolution of the BWR product line, including the current offerings (the Advanced Boiling Water Reactor, ABWR, and the Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor, ESBWR), along with the discussion on the role of ASME Code in the material selection, fabrication, design, and in-service inspection (ISI) of the BWR NSSS system.

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