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[en] Two different fuel cycles are possible in all types of high temperature gas-coole reactors: • the thorium-uraniusv cycle and • the uranium-plutonium cycle with low enrichment. Originally only the thorium cycle was considered, because ef its excellent conversion ratios. In this case comparatively highly enriched uranium is needed. Economically the optimum enrichment is between 80 and 93% of U235 if the uranium-Plutonic cycle is adapted, enrichments between 4 and 8% U235 can be adapted. In both cycles U235 can be replaced by plutonium. This can. be economical only if the plutonium prices are comparatively low.
[en] The second International Survey Course on Technical and. Economic Aspects of Nuclear Power was held from 1-12 September 1969 in Vienna. The object of the Course was to review the latest available information on pertinent aspects of nuclear power which would, be useful in planning and implementing of nuclear power programmes. The main topics discussed were current technical and economic status, operating experience with and future outlook of the available nuclear power systems; prospects of small and medium power reactors of potential interest to developing countries; development of advanced and fast breeder reactors nuclear fuel cycles including the problems of prospecting and processing uranium ores, supply of fissionable material through the IAEA, and fuel cycle services; comparative economics of nuclear and conventional plants; regulatory aspects; nuclear desalination and agro-industrial complexes; and finally the problems of introducing nuclear power and management of nuclear power projects.
[en] This report on operating experience with reactors in the United States discusses the major operating difficulties and notable achievements associated with seven power reactors in utility service today. Before reporting on this experience, however, I should like to review briefly the events which led to the development of light water reactors in the United States. The power reactor program had its beginnings in the Naval Reactor program which was initiated in the United States shortly after the end of World War II. The first program for development of a nuclear propulsion system for submarines began in 1950. when construction of a land based prototype at the National Reactor Test Station at.Idaho Falls was authorized. The prototype, known as the S1W, went critical in mid 1953 and led to the launching and sea trials of the Nautilus, the first nuclear propelled submarine in 1954. This, the first pressurized water type reactor for power purposes, was a joint development effort by Argonne National Laboratory, Westinghouse, the Atomic Energy.Commission and the Navy.
[en] The High Temperature Gas-Cooled Reactor (HTGR) has now reached the stage of a practical operating power reactor system in the U.S. One HTGR plant, the 40-MW(e) Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station, has been in successful commercial operation on the system of the Philadelphia Electric Company since June 1967. A second, larger HTGR plant, the 330-MW(e) Fort St. Vrain Nuclear Station of the Public Service Company of Colorado, is well along in construction, with commercial operation scheduled for early 1972. Development and design work is also proceeding rapidly for HTGRs in the 1100-MW(e) range, These larger HTGR plants use the fundamental principles, demonstrated by the Peach Bottom prototype and the component and systems technology being employed in the Colorado plant.
[en] The Vulcain programme has been set up with the aim of developing a water reactor type specially designed to be attractive in the range of small and medium power outputs, especially in view of its application in developing countries. There is a market on economic grounds for small and medium size nuclear power stations whose specific investment cost is below a threshold. Extra-economic considerations may also justify the erection of small and medium size nuclear power stations. We believe that nuclear power stations of the Vulcain type are an interesting proposal for these markets.
[en] The design construction and operation of the Ågesta and the Marviken nuclear power plants have been and are indispensable parts in the Swedish development of large size, heavy water power reactors. Both reactors are based on the use of pressure vessels, the Ågesta reactor giving experience of pressurised water cooling and the Marviken reactor being aimed for demonstrating the heavy water boiling reactor in a direct cycle. It is obvious that the main body of the knowledge and the experience gathered is in the hands and in the mind of each individual who has participated in the development and the operation of the reactors and it should be clear that the major part of this store of knowledge can never be made available by words - but better by deeds. The questioner can, however, share some glimpses of this by studying the available statistics, and by investigating the more spectacular occurrences. It is intended that this report should give the reader an appreciation of such records.
[en] In most countries developments for the large-scale application of nuclear power to electricity generation and later other utility purposes are following a pattern which is: (a) Development of nuclear technology by experimental work, observation of nuclear developments in other countries and construction of a prototype nuclear reactor to gain basic operating experience and training. (b) Demonstration on a commercial scale with a first power station that the new nuclear primary source of energy can be applied economically, reliably and safely, supplementing domestic industrial effort and technology as may be necessary by purchases from other countries. (c) Establishment of the industry to construct subsequent power stations, the fuel manufacturing plants and the fuel reprocessinng plants. (d) Provision of fully economic nuclear power stations for base-load operation, making the best use of the very low fuel costs to offset the inititally high capital costs, so revieling the pressure on coal and oil used in tradititional power stations and supplementing valuable hydro-power resources. (e) Provision of advanced nuclear power stations which utilise fissile materials resources to the full and which, because of their extremely low fuel costs, force earlier nuclear plants at the end of their economic lives into the role of flexible power output operation resulting in lower load factors.
[en] The Atomic Energy Commission of India has so far approved setting up of three nuclear power stations. The first nuclear station which has recently gone into operation, is located at Tarapur, about 60 miles north of Bombay on the western coast of India. The second nuclear station which is in an advanced stage of construction is located at Rana Pratap Sagar in Bajasthan; and the third station on which work has recently started is located at Kalpakkam, about 55 miles south of Madras on the eastern coast of India.
[en] The efforts within the Federal Republic of Germany for the development of high temperature reactors will be further increased during the next years. The continuing operation of the AVR reactor will prove its feasibility for power production and at the same time it will give an excellent possibility of testing advanced fuel elements. The simultaneous construction of the KSH -reactor in Geesthacht and the THTR 300 MWe prototype will give valuable Construction experience. The extensive five years' HTR helium turbine program started in the beginning of 1969, the construction and operation of the big helium test facility in Jülich and 50 MWe fossil fueled power plant with helium turbine are expected to give sufficient experience in the years up to 1974 for the decision, to construct the first full sized HTR power reactor with helium turbines. (author)
[en] Swedish model reactor development work has already reaped rewards in the. form of four sales of BWR's (without foreign license). Now the time for marketing decision on BHWR's with their allied technology is approaching. The simplicity and safety of the natural circulation BHWR's with concrete pressure vessels of integral design and the attractive fuel cycle could open a market for this type. Next year, results from Marviken BHWK operation and the Scandinavian model concrete pressure vessel testing will provide residual technology demonstration, and this and the results of a current evaluation study of a 750 MWe natural uranium version are expected to prove the viability of the concept. Experience, designs characteristics, and economy are reviewed. (author)