Safety Benefits from CANDU Reactor Replacement -- A Case Study
International Conference on the Future of Heavy Water Reactors - 2011 October 02-05


Presented at:
International Conference on the Future of Heavy Water Reactors
2011 October 02-05
Location:
Ottawa, Canada
Session Title:
Refurbishment

Authors:
Ron Mottram (Bruce Power)
J.W.F. Millard (CANDU Energy)
Peter Purdy (Bruce Power)
  

Abstract

Both total core replacement and core retubing have been used in the CANDU® industry.  For future plant refurbishments, based on experience both in new construction and in recent refurbishments, the concept of total core replacement has been revisited.  This builds on practices for replacement of other large plant equipment like boilers. The Bruce CANDU reactors, with their local shield tanks built around the Calandria and containment closely located around that Calandria Shield Tank Assembly (CSTA), are believed to be good candidates for core replacement.

A structured process was used to design a replacement CSTA suitable for Bruce A use. The work started with a study of opportunities for safety enhancements in the core. This progressed into design studies and related design assist safety analysis on the reactor. A key element of the work involved consideration of how verified features from later CANDU designs, and from our new reactor design work, could be tailored to fit this replacement core. The replacement reactor core brings in structural improvements in both calandria and end shield, and safety improvements like the natural circulation enhancing moderator cooling layout and further optimized reactivity layouts to improve shutdown system performance.

Bruce Power are currently studying the business implications of this and retube techniques as part of preparation for future refurbishments. The work explained in this paper is in the context of the safety related changes and the work to choose and quantify them.

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