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Online Course

Fundamentals of Modern Russian-designed NPPs with VVER-1200

National Research Nuclear University MEPhI via Coursera

Overview

The goal of the course is to present the pressurized water reactor (VVER) technology and the modern design of the Russian Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs) – Generation III+ NPP with VVER-1200 reactor.
The course describes the features of NPPs with VVER-1200 reactor. In particular, the attention is paid to safety issues and design features. This course is intended for trainees who have already completed the basic education program.

All materials of the online course are available absolutely free of charge for everyone and include the following: video lectures, quizzes, textbooks, access to the forum to communicate with other trainees. To assess the understanding of the course materials by trainees through communication with an instructor (a fee-based service), please contact “Rusatom Service” JSC by sending a message to Info@rusatomservice.ru (please indicate “e-learning” in the e-mail subject).

Syllabus

Main concepts of nuclear physics. Fundamentals of reactor physics
-The first part of the course has several terminal training objectives. First, to explain the fundamentals of nuclear physics essential for nuclear safety, and second, to explain the fundamentals of reactor physics. This distinction is very important: nuclear physics and reactor physics are quite different technologically. The corresponding training objectives are: to introduce the concepts of nuclear reactions (binding energy, cross-sections); to describe the basic concept of fission energy release; to explain the principle of controlled chain reaction. In this part of the course, the following topics about the nuclear physics fundamentals are covered: the discovery of nucleus; the discovery of neutron; binding energy; neutron cross-sections; the principle of nuclear reactor.

Engineering fundamentals of nuclear power generation. Basics of VVER technology
-The terminal training objectives of the second part of the course are as follows: first, the physical aspects of nuclear fuel burnup are discussed – this is one of the main characteristics of reactor performance from the viewpoint of economic efficiency and many other factors. Second, main specific features of VVER technology are described in comparison with the western type reactor (PWR).The corresponding enabling training objectives are: to describe the mechanism of nuclear fuel burnup; to identify the contribution of uranium and plutonium to energy release in a power reactor; to describe the reactivity coefficients and their relation to safety; to list distinguishing features of VVER technology vs PWR technology. The following topics are covered in this part of the course: structural materials of nuclear power reactors; the concept of fuel burnup; plutonium accumulation in nuclear power reactor; basics of safe operation of nuclear power reactors: relativity effects; comparison of specific characteristics of VVER technology versus pressurized water reactors (PWR) technology; advanced nuclear fuel types for nuclear power reactors in Russia.

Specifics of VVER Reactor facility
-The third part of the course has the following terminal training objectives: first, to explain the VVER-1200 reactor facility design, and second, to identify the features of Modern Russian designed NPP with VVER 1200 power reactor. The corresponding enabling training objectives are: to identify the principle of electricity production at a nuclear power plant with VVER-1200; to describe the primary circuit flow diagram; to list the main equipment of VVER-1200 nuclear steam supply system; to describe the natural circulation features of VVER. The following topics are covered in this part of the course: Introduction to VVER technology, its advantages and disadvantages; VVER fuel, absorbers used for VVERs, and relevant reactor physics; VVER components: steam generator, main circulation pumps, etc. their operation and main parameters of the components; Introduction to natural circulation: natural circulation in VVER, and principles of its arrangement in practice. VVER operation: operational modes and states of VVER.

Design Solutions of reactor auxiliary system and turbine part
-The terminal training objective of the fourth part of the course is to identify the technological features of auxiliary systems and the secondary circuit. The corresponding training objectives are: to describe the characteristics of the steam turbine; to discuss the main systems of the secondary circuit of Modern Russian designed NPP with VVER 1200 power reactor; to describe spent fuel handling system of Modern Russian designed NPP with VVER 1200 power reactor. The following topics will be covered in this part of the course: main systems of the primary circuit; operation of the auxiliary systems under normal operating conditions; turbine island; handling of spent nuclear fuel.

VVER safety systems
-In the last part of the course, VVER safety systems are discussed. The terminal training objectives are: 1) to list the safety systems used to carry out functions for design basis (DBC) and design extension (DEC-A) conditions, 2) to list the NPP with VVER 1200 safety systems. The corresponding enabling training objectives are: to familiarize trainees with the basic requirements and nuclear safety approaches implementation in the Modern Russian designed NPP with VVER 1200 power reactor; to describe the defence-in-depth concept implementation for the NPP with VVER 1200; to list the VVER safety systems; to describe the principles of safety system operation of the NPP with VVER. The following topics are covered in this part of the course: safety fundamentals for NPPs: main aspects relevant to safety of NPPs and responsibility; design and safety functions: legal acts and requirements for safety, from the top level down to safety systems of NPPs; detailed description of VVER safety systems based on basic safety functions for NPPs: a. reactivity control; b. heat removal from nuclear fuel; c. localization of activity.

Taught by

Vladimir Artisyuk and Denis Podolyakin

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