Posted by Lizzie in Uncategorized | | The PNIC will be undergoing a major redesign, which is expected to be completed by the end of the year, the project’s lead scientist said.
The team expects the final design to be finalized in February 2019.
The PNIB was constructed at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory and was commissioned in the wake of the devastating Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011.
A total of 17 reactors were decommissioned at the site, with the largest remaining reactor, the PWR, in operation at the time.
The reactors’ shutdown was due to the earthquake and tsunami that followed the meltdown of the damaged reactors.
“In the case of the PNII, we are going to need a major structural redesign to accommodate the additional neutron capture and storage systems needed for the next generation of PN systems,” Dr. David A. Kline, who heads up the Oak Ridge PNI project, said in a statement.
The redesign will include new and improved containment and cooling systems, which will be installed at sites outside of the containment areas.
The design team has already received approval for the first of two Phase I prototypes of the system.
“These tests will validate the structural design and testing procedures and will also enable us to better understand the system’s performance requirements,” Kline added.
“Our goal is to conduct additional tests, and this includes conducting an external load test and other preliminary measurements of the thermal environment of the new facility, in order to better assess the reactor’s thermal properties.
The critical question is how long will the new containment and control structures last?”
Dr. Daniel A. Tovar, a physicist and director of Oak Ridge’s Oakmont Institute, which works to advance the physics of nuclear power, told the Associated Press.
“The new PNICS is designed to last at least 50 years,” he added.
In April, PWR chief engineer Mark A. Jenssen said he expects to be able to deliver the PNT, or protons, that will power the PNNIC’s new designs in 2019.
But the PBNIC has yet to receive a formal approval from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for the new design.
The first phase of the project, which began in 2012, was completed with the first design completed.
The second phase will consist of a two-unit prototype, which means it will have to be more complicated to design.
Klines team is hoping to begin construction in the second half of 2019.