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Metal Hydride Drive for Reactor Protection


Development of Metal Hydride Drive for Nuclear Reactor Passive Emergency Protection System

Tech Area / Field

  • MAT-ALL/High Performance Metals and Alloys/Materials
  • FIR-NSS/Nuclear Safety and Safeguarding/Fission Reactors

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
NPO Lutch, Russia, Moscow reg., Podolsk

Project summary

The subject of the Project is development of metalhydride drive (MHD) of nuclear reactor passive accident protective (PAPS), intended for independent introducing of an absorber in an active zone to shut down reactor during failures of an automatic control and protective system, as weii as during unathorized actions and errors of operators, resulted in inadmissible increase coolant temperature and neutron flow in an active zone and destruction of a reactor.

The technical approach is based on the use of metal hydrides as a built-in accumulator of hydrogen, in a design of an independent drive providing fast operation of PAPS during inadmissible increasing of coolant temperature and/or neutron flow in an active zone due to thermal dissociation of metal hydride providing high hydrogen pressure.

Application of MHD will allow to develop reliable and fast-operating thermal and neutron PAPS, where the controlling device located inside an actuator provide introducing of an absorber into active zone.

In comparison with known drives (hydraulic, thermal-magnet, fuisible, bimetal, shape-memory-elements, explosive membranes and so on) MHD have the following advantages:

- independence and inaccessibility for tampering outside of reactor;
- repeated use after of an accident shut down of a reactor;
- time of operation is less than 1 second;
- stability of characteristics and relaibility in active zone of a reactor during several years;
- opportunity of application both in large and small size PAPS, duplicating each other;
- precision response at specified level of temperature and neutron flow growth in an active zone;
- possibility to use in any types of nuclear reactors;
- simple mounting inside a reactor.

During the Project fulfilment it is planned to solve the following scientific, engineering, and practical problems:

· to develop the system and mathematical model of MHD with reference to thermal and neutron PAPS;
· to develop composite metal hydride-based materials, including absorbing neutrons, for use as accumulators of high hydrogen pressure in various designs of MHD;
· to develop designs of prototype MHD samples, to manufacture and to test them in conditions, simulating operation of thermal and neutron PAPS;
· to develop designs of reactor MHD prototype for thermal and neutron PAPS and to give out recommendations for their application in various types of nuclear reactors.

The final result of the Project fulfilment should be creation of a new independent metalhydride drives for PAPS with controlling medium (solid, liquid, gaseous, buik absorbers), allowing to increase PAPS speed and reliability both in current reactors and in reactors of new generation with internal safety.