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Startup Thermal Considerations for Supercritical-Pressure Light Water-Cooled Reactors

Toru Nakatsuka, Yoshiaki Oka, Seiichi Koshizuka

Nuclear Technology

Volume 134 / Number 3 / June 2001 / Pages 221-230


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Supercritical-pressure light water-cooled reactors (SCRs) are innovative systems aimed at high efficiency and cost reduction. The once-through direct-cycle plant system is the leading system of fossil-fired power plants (FPPs). Estimates of the coolability and necessary sizes of the SCR startup systems, sequences, and required equipment for startup are investigated with reference to supercritical FPPs. There are two types of supercritical boilers. One is a constant pressure boiler, and the other is a variable pressure boiler.

First, startup of the constant pressure boiler is examined. The reactor starts at a supercritical pressure. A startup bypass system consisting of a flash tank and pressure-reducing valves is required. Second, startup of the variable pressure boiler is investigated. The reactor starts at a subcritical pressure, and the pressure increases with the load. A steam-water separator and a drain tank are required for startup.

The results of computer calculations show that with both constant pressure and variable pressure startup, the peak cladding temperature does not exceed the operating limit through startup, and both startup sequences are feasible. The sizes of the components required for the startup systems are assessed. To simplify the plant system and to reduce the component size, variable pressure startup with steam separators in the bypass line appears desirable.

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