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Chapter 4
Supercritical Water-Cooled Nuclear Reactor Concepts: Review and Status

Excerpt

Concepts of nuclear reactors cooled with water at supercritical pressure were studied as early as the 1950s and 1960s in the USA and former USSR (Oka 2000; Wright and Patterson 1966; Bishop et al. 1962; Skvortsov and Feinberg 1961; Marchaterre and Petrick 1960; Supercritical pressure power reactor 1959). The main characteristics of the first concepts of SCWRs are listed in Table 4.1.

After a 30-year interval, the idea of developing nuclear reactors cooled with supercritical water became attractive as the ultimate development path for water cooling. Several countries (Canada, Germany, Japan, Korea, Russia, USA, and others) have started R&D work in that direction. However, none of these concepts is expected to be implemented in practice before 2015–2020.

The main objectives of using supercritical water in nuclear reactors are:

1. Increase the efficiency of modern nuclear power plants (NPPs) from 33%–35% to about 40%–45%; and

2. Decrease capital and operational costs and hence decrease electrical energy costs (∼$1000 US∕kW).

  • General Considerations
  • Design Considerations
  • Supercritical Water-Cooled CANDU Nuclear Reactor Concept
  • Some Design Features of RDIPE Pressure-Channel SCWR
  • Heat-Transfer Optimization

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