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China starts construction on 2 reactors
Construction formally began this week on two new nuclear reactors in China.
The China National Nuclear Corporation held a ground-breaking ceremony to mark the first phase of construction of the Jinqimen nuclear power plant in the eastern province of Zhejiang.
Joffrey Dorville, Jacob Tellez, Conner Glatt, Andrew Osborne, Jenifer Shafer, Jeffrey King
Nuclear Technology | Volume 208 | Number 1 | December 2022 | Pages S26-S51
Technical Paper | doi.org/10.1080/00295450.2022.2072649
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
The Megawatt Implementation of a NuclEar ReActor using Low-enrichment uranium (MINERAL) is designed to deliver 2 MW(electric) of steady-state electricity to a colony established on the surface of Mars with a minimum lifetime of 10 years. The main challenge associated with a low-enrichment uranium fission surface power system is reducing the total mass, which will be higher than that of an equivalent high-enrichment uranium system. Optimizing the mass of the system is crucial to limit the amount of Earth-Mars cargo needed to deploy a MINERAL unit. The use of yttrium hydride as a moderator has shown promise in reducing the overall mass of the reactor. An in-house Python framework evaluates the neutronic, thermal-hydraulic, and heat rejection performance throughout the design process. The final design iteration uses a CO2 Brayton cycle cooled by a passive heat rejection system consisting of six panels with a total surface area of 4752 m2. The cylindrical core is fueled with low-enrichment uranium monocarbide with 0.83 wt% of pure 157Gd moderated with yttrium hydride and surrounded by a beryllium oxide reflector. The reactivity is controlled by ten control drums and a central control rod, which provide enough margin to operate the reactor and ensure its subcriticality in case of a submersion accident. The mass of the core with the reflector, reactivity control system, and shield is 7.2 tonnes.