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Boiling water reactor with innovative safety concept: The Generation III+ SWR-1000

Nuclear Engineering and Design
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.nucengdes.2007.12.014
  • Design
  • Economics


Abstract AREVA NP has developed an innovative boiling water reactor (BWR) SWR-1000 in close cooperation with German nuclear utilities and with support from various European partners. This Generation III+ reactor design marks a new era in the successful tradition of BWR and, with a net electrical output of approximately 1250 MWe, is aimed at ensuring competitive power generating costs compared to gas and coal fired stations. It is particularly suitable for countries whose power networks cannot facilitate large power plants. At the same time, the SWR-1000 meets the highest safety standards, including control of core melt accidents. These objectives are met by supplementing active safety systems with passive safety equipment of various designs for accident detection and control and by simplifying systems needed for normal plant operation on the basis of past operating experience. The plant is also protected against airplane crash loads. The functional capabilities and capacities of all new systems and components were successfully tested under realistic and conservative boundary conditions in large-scale test facilities in Finland, Switzerland and Germany. In general, the SWR-1000 design is based on well-proven analytical codes and design tools validated for BWR applications through recalculation of relevant experiments and independent licensing activities performed by authorities or their experts. The overview of used analytical codes and design tools as well as performed experimental validation programs is presented. Effective implementation of passive safety systems is demonstrated through the numerical simulation of transients and loss of coolant accidents (LOCAs) as well as through analytical simulation of a severe accident associated with the core melt. In the LOCA simulation presented the existing active core flooding systems were not used for emergency control: only passive systems were relevant for the analyses. Despite this – no core heat-up occurred. In the case of reactor core melting numerically is demonstrated that the molten core debris would be retained inside the reactor vessel due to the effective passive external water cooling of the vessel, keeping it completely intact. A short construction period of just 48 months from first concrete to provisional take over, flexible fuel cycle lengths of between 12 and 24 months and a high fuel discharge burn-up all contribute towards meeting economic goals. Realistic average availability for a plant lifetime of 60 years and 12 months cycle is 94.5%. Systems and plant design were reviewed by expert groups of European utilities. With the SWR-1000, AREVA NP has developed a design concept for a BWR plant that is now ready for commercial deployment and which fully meets the most stringent international requirements in terms of nuclear safety and nuclear regulatory.

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