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Purification of Sodium Coolant


Generalization of the Experience of Investigations on Maintenance of Sodium Coolant Purity

Tech Area / Field

  • CHE-IND/Industrial Chemistry and Chemical Process Engineering/Chemistry
  • FIR-DEC/Decommissioning/Fission Reactors
  • FIR-ENG/Reactor Engineering and NPP/Fission Reactors

3 Approved without Funding

Дата регистрации

Ведущий институт
FEI (IPPE), Russia, Kaluga reg., Obninsk


  • International Atomic Energy Agency, Austria, Vienna\nCEA Commissariat a l'Energia Atomique, Cadarache, France, Saint-Paul-lez-Durance\nCEA / DRN / DER / CEN Cadarache, France, Cadarache

Краткое описание проекта

The Project's Purpose. Generalization of the experience and preservation of the unique knowledge on maintenance of sodium coolant purity in nuclear power plants and other power plants gained by Russian researchers in the course of their development and operation over the last 50 years.
The State of the Art in the Field. Maintenance of sodium coolant purity is one of the most important conditions for efficient and safe operation of nuclear power plants (NPPs). First of all, the known methods of sodium purification are directed to prevent deposition and/or accumulation of impurities in channels, which can markedly affect operating parameters of NPP loops. At present, such methods of sodium purification as cold traps, getters, sorbents as well as distillation, sedimentation and filtration have been investigated and practically verified.
The unique 50-years’ experience of independent scientific and practical interest has been accumulated in the SSC RF – IPPE on development and industrial application of the technology on maintenance of sodium coolant purity. The operating performances of the traps developed in the SSC RF-IPPE are as good as those of the known industrial devices and often superior to them. These traps are independent structural units, which can be efficiently applied for heat-and-mass transfer equipment of chemical and other industries, e.g. in the production of sodium.
The realization of the problem of the generalization of the accumulated experience on the technology of sodium coolant purification from impurities is of an urgent nature. The fulfillment of this problem cannot be deferred to future time, as the leading researchers, who contributed significantly to the development of the science and technology under consideration, leave their labor activity. As a result, the experience and the methodology of the unique expensive developments can be partially lost.
The generalization of the abovementioned experience will make it possible to preserve the unique knowledge gained in the field of sodium coolant purification from impurities. The gained experience and high skilled specialists, which are leading experts in the field of sodium technology, may constitute a sufficient basis for organization and implementation of researches within the frame of the proposed project.
Expected Results and their Application. The project pertains to the category of applied research in the field of reactor technologies including decommissioning of fast reactors, as well as thermophysics, physics of liquid metals and chemical technology as applied to sodium coolant.
In the course of the project completion, the data will be generalized on methods and devices for sodium purification from impurities, possible sources of these impurities as well as physical-chemical processes underlying the sodium purification technology. A scientific significance of the project consists in preparing the review of published scientific information in open access on the most important problems of the sodium coolant purification technology taking into account the practical experience gained by the IPPE’s specialists over the past 50 years of development of nuclear power engineering in Russia.
The results of complex investigations performed within the frame of the present project can be used in developing modern technologies of decommissioning of fast reactors, which provide maximum environmental protection, in designing advanced NPPs of Generation IV with a higher safety and improved environmental characteristics as well as high-efficient heat-and-mass transfer equipment for chemical and other industries. Due to cost reduction in the course of development of advanced technologies in the abovementioned fields of technique, a commercial significance of the proposed project will be realized.
Meeting ISTC Goals and Objectives. The implementation of the project will provide opportunities for the weapon scientists and specialists involved in the project to redirect their talents to peaceful activity related to nuclear power technologies and to promote their integration into the international scientific community.
In the course of the project completion the recommendations will be developed on the most advanced technologies and devices for sodium purification, which will be directed to environmental protection, power production and enhancement of nuclear safety. Thus, the project implementation will assist ISTC goals and objectives in supporting basic and applied research and technology development for peaceful purposes.
Scope of Activities. In the course of the project implementation, the investigations are expected to be performed on the four following problems (tasks) of sodium technology:
1) impurities in sodium, including sources of impurities and their classification, impurity transfer in sodium circuits, permissible and regulated impurity contents, experience on preliminary purification of commercial sodium for reactor application;
2) cold traps (CT) including: their main characteristics, physical-chemical process in CT, mechanisms of heat-and-mass transfer and hydrodynamics in models of CT zones and commercial prototypes of the industrial traps, theoretical basis and justification of the CT regeneration method, CT designs and operating regimes of CT, industrial experience of CT trap operation, purification of sodium contaminated during accident;
3) hot purification and removal of weakly soluble impurities (suspensions) including physical-chemical principles of hot purification, getters applicable for sodium purification, commercial application of getter traps, behavior of suspensions in sodium, sources of suspensions in sodium circuits, accident contaminations of sodium, methods of removal of suspended particles from sodium, designs of devices for sodium purification from suspensions;
4) sodium purification from radioactive impurities, their main and chemical forms in liquid sodium, distribution of radioactive impurities between molten sodium and solid surface, methods and devices of sodium purification from radioactive impurities and experience of their application.
In the framework of the project, the following main activities are to be fulfilled for each task:
· searching scientific information and formation of file documents;
· compilation and processing collected data;
· description of problem (task) accounting for the main trends of its solution, including theoretical aspects and the accumulated experience of commercial application of sodium technology;
· preparation of deliverables.
The proposed project is intended to be fulfilled within two years with its total estimated cost of 163,875 $ US. The deliverables are expected to be prepared in the form of a final technical report on the project in both Russian and English, as a hard copy and an electronic version (pdf-format) on compact disk. The structure of this report will correspond to the four main project tasks, which goals are mentioned above.
Role of Foreign Collaborators. In the course of the project completion the following scope of collaboration with the foreign collaborator is expected to be fulfilled:
- information exchange in the course of the project implementation;
- provide to comments to the technical reports (quarterly, annular, final, etc.), submitted to by project participants to the ISTC of the project;
- cross-checks of results obtained in the course of the project implementation;
- participation in technical monitoring of project activities performed by ISTC staff;
- assistance for project participants to join international meetings;
- conduction of joint workshops and seminars.
Technical Approach and Methodology. In the course of the project implementation, the methodology developed at the SSC RF – IPPE, which is aimed at complex solution of the problems as stated, will be used. The methodology of data processing consists in comparing the results obtained by different researchers and correlating them on the basis of up-to-date level of knowledge in the areas of physical chemistry, sodium technology, hydrodynamics and heat-and-mass transfer in the plants with sodium coolant. Data processing and their presentation in the form of tables and calculation nomograms will be performed using personal computer in "Origin" and "Excel" environment. Depending on the task nature, statistical approach, expert estimates and calculation recommendations can be used. When searching the scientific information, along with the SCC RF-IPPE information funds, the funds of the Russian Library for Natural Sciences (BEN), State Public Scientific Library of Russia (GPNTB) as well as the information resources available in Internet will be used.