Bastien, D. [Conservatoire National des Arts et Metiers (CNAM), 75 - Paris (France)
The Reactor Bolshoi Molshchnosti Kalani (RBMK) are pressure tubes reactor, boiling light water cooled. Exported since 1990 from the ex-USSR, they are today in three independent countries: Russian, Ukraine and Lithuania. Since this date, data exchange with the occident allowed the better knowledge of this reactor type. The design, the technical description (core, fuel, primary system), the safety and the improvement since Chernobyl are detailed. (A.L.B.)
Denschlag, J. O.
The chapter is devoted to the practical application of the fission process, mainly in nuclear reactors. After a historical discussion covering the natural reactors at Oklo and the first attempts to build artificial reactors, the fundamental principles of chain reactions are discussed. In this context chain reactions with fast and thermal neutrons are covered as well as the process of neutron moderation. Criticality concepts (fission factor η, criticality factor k) are discussed as well as reactor kinetics and the role of delayed neutrons. Examples of specific nuclear reactor types are presented briefly: research reactors (TRIGA and ILL High Flux Reactor), and some reactor types used to drive nuclear power stations (pressurized water reactor [PWR], boiling water reactor [BWR], Reaktor Bolshoi Moshchnosti Kanalny [RBMK], fast breeder reactor [FBR]). The new concept of the accelerator-driven systems (ADS) is presented. The principle of fission weapons is outlined. Finally, the nuclear fuel cycle is briefly covered from mining, chemical isolation of the fuel and preparation of the fuel elements to reprocessing the spent fuel and conditioning for deposit in a final repository.
Song, C., E-mail: Carol.Song@cnl.ca [Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, Chalk River, Ontario (Canada)
Zirconium alloys are widely used as structural materials in nuclear applications because of their attractive properties such as a low absorption cross-section for thermal neutrons, excellent corrosion resistance in water, and good mechanical properties at reactor operating temperatures. Zr-2.5Nb is one of the most commonly used zirconium alloys and has been used for pressure tube materials in CANDU (Canada Deuterium Uranium) and RBMK (Reaktor Bolshoy Moshchnosti Kanalnyy, 'High Power Channel-type Reactor') reactors for over 40 years. In a recent report from the Electric Power Research Institute, Zr-2.5Nb was identified as one of the candidate materials for use in normal structural applications in light-water reactors owing to its increased resistance to irradiation-induced degradation as compared with currently used materials. Historically, the largest program of in-reactor tests on zirconium alloys was performed by Atomic Energy of Canada Limited. Over many years of in-reactor testing and CANDU operating experience with Zr- 2.5Nb, extensive research has been conducted on the irradiation effects on its microstructures, mechanical properties, deformation behaviours, fracture toughness, delayed hydride cracking, and corrosion. Most of the results on Zr-2.5Nb obtained from CANDU experience could be used to predict the material performance under light water reactors. This paper reviews the irradiation effects on Zr-2.5Nb in power reactors (including heavy-water and light-water reactors) and summarizes the current state of knowledge. (author)