Russia may return to the elaboration of the design of VVER-1500 reactor. It became obvious after the speech of scientific-technical policy director of a "Rosenergoatom" corporation Vladimir Asmolov in Moscow at the International Scientific Technological Conference - 2008 "Safety, effectiveness and economy of the nuclear energy".
"We have reserve of researches, which we had been realizing from 2001 to 2004… This program (VVER-1500) is frozen today. I think, that when the unit of this type will be demanded, those approaches, that have been realized and are being realized by "NPP-2006"designing and constructing, will be applied at a so-called serial "NPP-2006" unit of an increased capacity", - stated Asmolov.
"Rosenergoatom" representative was rather skeptical about the future of low-capacity facilities: "We think that facilities under 20 MWe capacity - "very low-capacity" facilities or local facilities - can't be economically justified."
"Certainly we have discussed all for and against. For - is that such regional-type stations are necessary - it is the replacement of units on the organic fuel in the areas where energy networks are weak, factory producing, that "compensates" low capacity and approaches to the big energy parameters from the point of view of economic efficiency, and also the fact, that there is no concurrence in this sector on the world market", - noted Asmolov.
World market lacks thorough elaborated small NPP designs in Asmolov's opinion: "But a question occurs - why? May be our colleagues had considered all pro and contra before we did it. Among serious arguments against the development of small energy corporation representative named a high price for the installed kWh and a necessity to devote a special attention to safety because of the close stationing of small facilities to the consumers.
"Opinion that safety demands there (in the small energy sector) are not so tough is false. Closeness to the consumers only toughens the safety demands" - said Asmolov. He also added, that an expensive modification of the industry, servicing base and spent fuel reprocessing facilities is needed.
"And certainly, for the large exploiting company low investment attractiveness is one of the main arguments contra… Our experience shows that we have to think twice before speaking about small and very small facilities" - concluded Asmolov. He stressed that nevertheless the first power unit with KLT-40 reactor is built nowadays and it will give Russian operatives necessary knowledge for the correct decision taking process.
Speaking about reactors with the capacity from 300 to 600-700 MWe (el.), scientific-technical policy director of the corporation was more optimistic: "This piece of the market is rather interesting and attractive nowadays".
During presentation of the projects, that can cause "Rosenergoatom's" interest Vladimir Asmolov mentioned VBER-300: "It is a so-called direct continuation of the submarine-direction, though with a significant scaling. The offer is beautiful… But it is possible to say, that it is a venture proposal, and only after nuclear facility designing with this reactor we can speak about the seriousness of intensions in this direction."
"As a one more interesting idea" Asmolov named a proposal to make a "half" of VVER-1200 reactor - it means VVER-600.
"Today as you know we have a licensed VVER-640 project, project of 1995. Its capacity is made within the vessel of the 1000 MWe reactor and it is a drawback rather then an advantage. That is why an idea to take everything we have made for "NPP-2006" with the capacity 1200 MWe and realize a double-loop facility is discussed by "Gidropress" and AEP from St.Petersburg. I think, that cooperation in this direction will start this year" - noted Asmolov.
"Desire to stop at VVER-640 project and develop it is not correct from my point of view and from the point of view of the most of my colleagues, as those passive systems, that were applied at VVER-640 project demand rather serious and expensive justification", - considers the representative of the corporation. He believes that for VVER-640 justification we had to create stands, which should demand investments.
One more prospective heat-neutron reactor project, mentioned by Asmolov, was a project of a super-small facility with ABV-6 reactor. He stressed, that one of ABV's designs was realized in early nineties for the Russian New Earth.
"We have to foresee our future, where "Rosenergoatom" should be integrated in the middle of the 21st century to live well and successfully" - said Asmolov. In his opinion the following demands will be applied to the nuclear facilities during next 50 years:
One of the possible ways of developing nuclear energy in Russia in the second half of the 21st century provides the appearance of "good" water-water reactors with 0.9 efficiency and commercial breeders with the mild efficiency coefficient that work in the closed nuclear cycle so that the sum efficiency of the whole system should be close to 1. "We have to take a decision upon regional stations and as a supplementary option we have to explore a possibility to apply high-temperature reactors to that time" - believes Asmolov.
Scientific-technical policy director of the corporation announced the following demands to the VVER of the future:
Future VVER reactor has got his name "Super-VVER" (light-water vessel module reactor). Vladimir Asmolov especially noted, that the word "heat" is absent in the name of the new reactor. Its principal designing is going to start this year.
Capacity level (600-1200-1600 MWe), type of the coolant (pressurized water, boiling, water-steam mixture), fuel type (oxide, carbide, metal) are estimated now. Super-VVER will be designed also for the plutonium fuel. Fuel assemblies and fuel elements are also free parameters by the designing.
According to Asmolov's words Super-VVER justification should be completed to 2014. Designing stage of the first facility will be 2009-2019, and a heat unit construction is planned to 2020-2025.
DATE: June 02, 2008
Topics: NPP, Russia