High Temperature Gas Reactors: Assessment of Applicable Codes and Standards

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Current interest expressed by industry in HTGR plants, particularly modular plants with power up to about 600 MW(e) per unit, has prompted NRC to task PNNL with assessing the currently available literature related to codes and standards applicable to HTGR plants, the operating history of past and present HTGR plants, and with evaluating the proposed designs of RPV and associated piping for future plants. Considering these topics in the order they are arranged in the text, first the operational histories of five shut-down and two currently operating HTGR plants are reviewed, leading the authors to conclude that while small, simple ... continued below

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McDowell, Bruce K.; Nickolaus, James R.; Mitchell, Mark R.; Swearingen, Gary L. & Pugh, Ray October 31, 2011.

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Description

Current interest expressed by industry in HTGR plants, particularly modular plants with power up to about 600 MW(e) per unit, has prompted NRC to task PNNL with assessing the currently available literature related to codes and standards applicable to HTGR plants, the operating history of past and present HTGR plants, and with evaluating the proposed designs of RPV and associated piping for future plants. Considering these topics in the order they are arranged in the text, first the operational histories of five shut-down and two currently operating HTGR plants are reviewed, leading the authors to conclude that while small, simple prototype HTGR plants operated reliably, some of the larger plants, particularly Fort St. Vrain, had poor availability. Safety and radiological performance of these plants has been considerably better than LWR plants. Petroleum processing plants provide some applicable experience with materials similar to those proposed for HTGR piping and vessels. At least one currently operating plant - HTR-10 - has performed and documented a leak before break analysis that appears to be applicable to proposed future US HTGR designs. Current codes and standards cover some HTGR materials, but not all materials are covered to the high temperatures envisioned for HTGR use. Codes and standards, particularly ASME Codes, are under development for proposed future US HTGR designs. A 'roadmap' document has been prepared for ASME Code development; a new subsection to section III of the ASME Code, ASME BPVC III-5, is scheduled to be published in October 2011. The question of terminology for the cross-duct structure between the RPV and power conversion vessel is discussed, considering the differences in regulatory requirements that apply depending on whether this structure is designated as a 'vessel' or as a 'pipe'. We conclude that designing this component as a 'pipe' is the more appropriate choice, but that the ASME BPVC allows the owner of the facility to select the preferred designation, and that either designation can be acceptable.

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  • Report No.: PNNL-20869
  • Grant Number: AC05-76RL01830
  • DOI: 10.2172/1031438 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1031438
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc836831

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  • October 31, 2011

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

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  • Dec. 9, 2016, 4:57 p.m.

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McDowell, Bruce K.; Nickolaus, James R.; Mitchell, Mark R.; Swearingen, Gary L. & Pugh, Ray. High Temperature Gas Reactors: Assessment of Applicable Codes and Standards, report, October 31, 2011; Richland, Washington. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc836831/: accessed October 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.