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CAREM-25: Energy and Safety for the Future

[+] Author Affiliations
Lázaro E. Pomier Báez

Cuyo National University, Mendoza, Argentina

Paper No. IJPGC2002-26187, pp. 1047-1054; 8 pages
doi:10.1115/IJPGC2002-26187
From:
  • 2002 International Joint Power Generation Conference
  • 2002 International Joint Power Generation Conference
  • Scottsdale, Arizona, USA, June 24–26, 2002
  • Conference Sponsors: Power Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-3617-7 | eISBN: 0-7918-3601-0
  • Copyright © 2002 by ASME

abstract

The CAREM-25 is an advanced small nuclear power plant being jointly developed by CNEA (Comisión Nacional de Energía Atómica) and INVAP S. E. in Argentina. CAREM is a modular 100 MWt pressurized water reactor with integral steam generators designed to be used for electricity generation (25 MWe ) or as a research reactor or for water desalination. The plant has its entire primary coolant system within the reactor pressure vessel (hence ‘integral’ PWR), self-pressurized and relying entirely on natural convection. Fuel is standard 3.4% enriched PWR fuel, with burnable poison, and is refueled annually. It is a mature design, which could be deployed within a decade. The CAREM reactor shows itself as a design capable to fill the existing gap between a research reactor and a full-scale commercial nuclear power plant. From this point of view, CAREM is a very attractive option for countries who have not yet developed technical capabilities, human resources, and an industrial infrastructure needed for a medium or large size nuclear units. Advanced nuclear reactor designs, such as the CAREM reactor, include several improvements related to safety issues either enhancing the passive safety functions or allowing plant operators more time to undertake different management actions against radioactive releases to the environment The enhancement and development of safety measures for this type of system are a top priority of designers. In the development of the nuclear power plant CAREM, the possibility of including a passive metallic in-vessel container in its design is being considered, to arrest the reactor pressure vessel meltdown sequence during a core damaging event, and thereof prevent its failure. The present paper will provide an overview of the CAREM-25 technology as a general purpose generation unit, and highlight the work on safety measure’s enhancements, including design modifications aiming to improve overall safety targets of the plant.

Copyright © 2002 by ASME
Topics: Safety

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