Power Generation

Pressurized Water Reactor Common features
1. Pressure vessel contains small
    core & high-pressure water.
2. High-pressure driven primary
    heat exchanger circuit.
3. Lower-pressure secondary
    coolant circuit for steam and
    turbine/electric generator.
4. Containment structure; with
    std power plant outside.

Safety Features of Pressurized Water Reactor.

  1. Closed loop prevents radiativity loss.
  2. Fuel: ceramic pellets sealed in metal tubes.
  3. Ten-inch thick steel reactor vessel
    Davis-Besse corrosion 2001-4(Repair$600M/Fines28M)Text starts with bottom entry on Aging Reactors
  4. Containment bldg prevents "incident" escaping.
  5. Closed loop prevents radiativity loss.
  6. Water thermalizes neutron for effective fission.
  7. Control rods (e.g., B or Cd) absorb neutrons to fine-tune reactor operation.
  8. Emergency coolant water.

Details complicate design

Too Many Designs for Nuclear Safety

Lack of international and business good sense proliferated designs of nuclear reactors.


Nuclear electric capacity (GW): 372 World (65 under construction); Country: 102 USA, 65 Fr, 44 Japan, 24 Russia (10), 21 Korea (4), 14 Canada, 12 Ukraine, 13 China (29), 12 Germany, 10 UK, 9 Sweden, 8 Spain, 6 Belgium, 5 Taiwan (3), India (5); 4 Czech; 3 Switzerland, Finland; 2 Bulgaria, Hungary, Brazil, S Africa, Slovakia, Mexico; 1 Romania, Argentina, Iran, Pakistan; Slovenia, Netherland, Armenia.

A Single Design

In 2000 the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission settled on a standard design AP600 that incorporates the best foreign/US practices and ideas.
But none have been ordered, quickly. see below.

Steps in Changing the Approve Design

New design AP1000 was proposed to replace AP600: timeline

What is being built?

NYTimes 22 Dec 2011 reports NRC unanimously approving a radical new design (AP1000), thus clearing path for pair of plants being built near Augusta GA by Southern Co. and another pair being added to Summer plant of Carolina E & G in Fairfield county, SC in Augusta, GA. First authorization since 1978! Other news outlet follow the story with Fox news at tail end: 09 February 2012. Fox stresses the now replaced NRC chair (Gregory Jaczko) was the only no vote.

Congress authorized $17.5 billion for loan guarantee, but banks haven't stepped forward. Whoops! two days later NYT corrected story to NRC approving design but not their actual construction. Couldn't find that any new site being constructed.


The textbook goes thru the argument that the reaction
    21H + 21H = 31H + proton
could produce the world's energy resources for 30 million years.

So why aren't we?

Technical Limitations

Operating conditions.

What are our chances? Ordinary matter has roughly 6 1027 atoms/m3. So we only need to confine it for 100 ps. Will matter wait that long at 108 K?

Confinement schemes.

======= ignore below; wait for time to tell

For the future.

If we want more nuclear energy now, the only possibility is building nuclear reactors. March 2013, World Nuclear Association:

2013: completionn expected (GWe) Iran 1, India 2, China ~9, Korea KHNP 2.4, Argentia 0.7, Russian 1.

2014: Russia 2, Slovakia 0.9, Taiwan 1.3, China 10.5, Korea KhNP 1.3, Japan 1.4?, India 0.5.

2015: USA 1, Taiwan 1.3, China 7.5, India 0.6, Japan 1.4

2016: Finland 1.6, France 1.6, Russia 2.3, India 1.2, Pakistan, China 5.5.

2017 (updated Sept 2017): 50 reactors under contruction; most in Asian region; capacity being created by plant upgrading; also lifetime extension program, esp, in USA). Currently 440 nuclear power reactors operating in 30 counties with 390 GWe. Under construction are 50 in 13 countries: Brazil 1 (CNNC); Chine 20 including world's first Westinghou AP1000; Finland fifth very large reactor; France 1600 MWe, India 6 to supplement current 22; Japan 2 (nothing on closed reactors); Russia "several"; Slovakia 2 440 MWe; South Korea 3 1400 MWe adv PWRs; USA 4 under construction altho 2 cancelled in August 2017. [These add to 38.]. URL: http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/current-and-future-generation/plans-for-new-reactors-worldwide.aspx

Power Generation
[Thursday, 14-Dec-2017 15:40:00 EST]
Edited by: wilkins@mps.ohio-state.edu on Monday, 25-Sep-2017 14:22:29 EDT