Threat of climate change and importance of sustainable development has brought nuclear power in sharper focus in recent times. Growth of nuclear power worldwide, however, requires satisfactory technological response to challenges of very high level of safety and security assurance (as dictated by very large increase in number of reactors), ability to perform with lower level of technological infrastructure as it prevails in several developing countries, high degree of fuel use efficiency and superior waste disposal options.
Development of Advanced Heavy Water Reactor, AHWR300-LEU, is an effort to realise these futuristic objectives through innovative configuration of present day technologies.
AHWR300-LEU is a 300 MWe, vertical, pressure tube type, boiling light water cooled, and heavy water moderated reactor. The reactor incorporates a number of passive safety features and is associated with a fuel cycle having reduced environmental impact. AHWR300-LEU possesses several features, which are likely to reduce its capital and operating costs.
- Using heavy water at low pressure reduces potential for leakages
- Recovery of heat generated in the moderator for feed water heating
- Elimination of major components and equipment such as primary coolant pumps and drive motors, associated control and power supply equipment and corresponding saving of electrical power required to run these pumps
- Shop assembled coolant channels, with features to enable quick replacement of pressure tube alone, without affecting other installed channel components
- Inherent advantages of using high pressure boiling water as coolant
- Elimination of steam generators
- Use of high-pressure steam
- Production of 500 m3/day of demineralised water in Multi Effect Desalination Plant by using steam from LP Turbine (For plants located on the sea coast)
- Hundred year design life of the reactor
- A design objective requiring no exclusion zone beyond plant boundary on account of its advanced safety features