UC Berkeley Contributions to High Temperature Reactor Technology: Recent Advances

Peterson
SPEAKER:
PER F. PETERSON
DATE/TIME:
MON, 02/24/2014 - 4:00PM TO 5:00PM
LOCATION:
3105 ETCHEVERRY HALL
Spring 2014 Colloquium Series
Abstract:

With its investment in small modular reactors (SMRs) based upon light water reactor (LWR) technology, the U.S. Department of Energy is encouraging industry to explore a radically different paradigm for finance, manufacturing, and deployment of nuclear energy infrastructure, that builds upon major U.S. success in developing and licensing passive safety systems for large LWRs. The commercial markets for large reactors will likely always exist. But the major innovation and improvement in future nuclear energy technology is far more likely to occur within the energy ecosystems where SMRs will increasingly compete, particularly inland markets limited to the use of rail-transportable components, mature electricity markets with transmission
constraints and/or impending closures of coal power plants, installations needing reliable long-term electricity supply under conditions with disrupted off-site electricity or fuel supply, and markets with small grids.

Within this context, UC Berkeley, in collaboration with MIT and UW Madison, is now studying advanced reactor technology with the goal of further shifting the nuclear energy paradigm toward accelerated innovation. This talk will provide an overview of the Mk-1 PB-FHR design, a novel 236-MWth small-modular fluoride-salt-cooled, high temperature reactor (FHR) designed to be coupled to a modified GE 7FB gas turbine. In combined-cycle configuration, the Mk1 PB-FHR produces 100 MWe in base-load mode using only nuclear heat, and can rapidly cycle up to 240 MWe with gas co-firing, with a gas-to-electricity efficiency of 66%. This talk will review recent source-term and safety studies for the PB-FHR, as well as progress to develop an American Nuclear Society 20.1 safety standard for FHRs.

About the Speaker:

Per F. Peterson performs research at U.C. Berkeley related to high-temperature fission energy systems, as well as studying topics related to the safety and security of nuclear materials and waste management. He was appointed in February 2010 as a member of the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future and co-chaired its Reactor and Fuel Cycle Technology Subcommittee. He participated in the development of the Generation IV Roadmap in 2002 as a member of the Evaluation Methodology Group, and co-chairs its Proliferation Resistance and Physical Protection Working Group. His research in the 1990’s contributed to the development of the passive safety systems used in the GE ESBWR and Westinghouse AP-1000 reactor designs. Currently his research group focuses primarily on heat transfer, fluid mechanics, and regulation and licensing for advanced reactors.

Post Irradiation Characterisation of FBR Fuels and Structural Materials at Indira Gandhi Centre of Atomic Research, Kalpakkam

Kasiviswanathan
SPEAKER:
K.V. KASIVISWANATHAN
DATE/TIME:
MON, 02/10/2014 - 4:00PM TO 5:00PM
LOCATION:
3105 ETCHEVERRY HALL
Spring 2014 Colloquium Series
Abstract:

India has an ambitious nuclear energy programme including the development of a closed fuel cycle Fast Breeder Reactor systems. The Fast Breeder Test Reactor (FBTR) at The Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research, Kalpakkam, India has operated successfully for the last 25 years with a unique mixed carbide fuel (U0.3Pu0.7)C as its driver fuel. The fuel has been taken to very high burnup levels of 155 GWd/t. The 20 % cold worked SS316 material used as structural material has seen a cumulative neutron damage in excess of 80dpa. The 500 MWe Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) which is in advanced stage of construction at Kalpakkam, India, will use mixed oxide (MOX) fuel and D9 as structural material with a target burnup of 100 GWd/t. Systematic performance evaluation of the fuel and structural materials through Post Irradiation Examination (PIE) at different burnups has enabled understanding the behavior of plutonium rich carbide fuel well beyond the initial burnup limit of 50 GWd/t. A brief description of the PIE facilities established will be presented. Post irradiation examinations have also been carried out on Prototype Fast Breeder Rector (PFBR) MOX fuel irradiated in FBTR after attaining a burnup of 112 GWd/t . This presentation will discuss the results of various examinations carried out for understanding the performance fast reactor fuels and structural materials irradiated in FBTR. Results of post irradiation mechanical property evaluation and structure property correlations done including the miniature specimen test techniques will be also discussed. The materials development programme for future FBRs envisaged in India like improved D9, ODS and ferritic-martensitic steels will be highlighted briefly along with the description of the irradiation test facilities in FBTR.

About the Speaker:

K.V. Kasiviswanathan currently is a Raja Ramanna Fellow of the DAE attached to the IGCAR, Kalpakkam. He has more than 40 years of experience in the Department of Atomic Energy and has held various R&D, project management and implementation positions from 1970 onwards. He is an Out Standing Scientist with the department and was the Associate Director, Metallurgy and Materials Group at the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research, Kalpakkam.

Stability, Asymmetry and Risk

Goodwin
SPEAKER:
BRUCE T. GOODWIN, PH.D.
DATE/TIME:
MON, 02/03/2014 - 4:00PM TO 5:00PM
LOCATION:
3110 ETCHEVERRY HALL
Spring 2014 Colloquium Series
Abstract:

As the U.S. considers potential paths towards nuclear arms reduction, key considerations are asymmetry (the state of the US nuclear stockpile deterrent and variations in international nuclear capabilities) and risk (degree of transparency/trust and ability to verify commitments). As stockpile numbers go down, each weapon takes on increased importance and stability of deterrence will be essential. Technically we can achieve reduced risk levels in our stockpile and the ability to verify compliance, if we plan and prepare. Increased transparency and dialogue could enable better understanding of the risks and help direct future negotiations in an environment of increased confidence.

About the Speaker:

BRUCE GOODWIN is the Associate Director at Large for National Security Policy and Research and the Director of the Center for Global Security Research (CGSR). In these roles he is responsible for the LLNL Nation Security Office and CGSR. He previously was the Principal Associate Director for Weapons and Complex Integration at Lawrence Livermore from 2001 until 2013. He has been a key player in the success of the nuclear weapons program since 1981, first at Los Alamos National Laboratory and then at LLNL since 1985. He led the process to certify LLNL nuclear weapons and was responsible for establishing priorities, developing strategies and designing and maintaining LLNL’s nuclear weapons; for the past 12 years he has been responsible for leading the Stockpile Stewardship Program. Goodwin was instrumental in developing the Quantification of Margins and Uncertainties methodology for sustaining the deterrent without nuclear testing. He lead the development of innovative reuse methods to extend stockpile lifetimes and streamline manufacturing. He championed cutting edge high performance computing for national security and competitiveness. He won the Department of Energy E.O. Lawrence Award for innovative weapons science for demonstrating that plutonium behaves in a fundamentally different way than previously thought – now the basis for understanding weapons performance. Goodwin received his doctorate and master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Illinois, and a bachelor’s degree in Physics from City College of New York. He is a recipient of many awards and the author of numerous technical and policy papers. As one of the world’s leading theoretical experts in plutonium and implosion dynamics, he often presents weapons physics to the community, officials and members of Congress.

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