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Design and Testing of D.C. Conduction Pump for Sodium Cooled Fast Reactor

[+] Author Affiliations
B. K. Nashine, S. K. Dash, K. Gurumurthy, M. Rajan, G. Vaidyanathan

Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research, Kalpakkam, T.N., India

Paper No. ICONE14-89123, pp. 357-362; 6 pages
  • 14th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering
  • Volume 3: Structural Integrity; Nuclear Engineering Advances; Next Generation Systems; Near Term Deployment and Promotion of Nuclear Energy
  • Miami, Florida, USA, July 17–20, 2006
  • Conference Sponsors: Nuclear Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4244-4 | eISBN: 0-7918-3783-1
  • Copyright © 2006 by ASME


DC Conduction pump immersed in sodium forms a part of Failed Fuel Location Module (FFLM) of 500 MWe Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) currently under construction. FFLM housed in control plug of the reactor, is used to locate the failed fuel sub-assembly due to clad rupture in the fuel pin. The DC conduction pump sucks the sodium from the top of fuel sub-assemblies through the selector valve and pumps the sodium to hold up for detecting the presence of delayed neutrons. Presence of delayed neutron is the indication of failure in the sampled fuel sub-assembly. The DC Conduction Pump was chosen because of its low voltage operation (2 V) where argon/alumina ceramic can provide required electrical insulation even at operating temperature of 560°C without much complication on the manufacturing front. Sampling of sodium from top of different sub-assemblies is achieved by operation of selector valve in-conjunction with the drive motor. FFLM requires the pump to be immersed in sodium pool at ∼560°C located above the fuel sub-assemblies in the reactor. The Pump of 0.36 m3 /h capacity and developing 1.45 Kg/ cm2 pressure was designed, manufactured and tested. The DC Conduction Pump has a stainless steel duct filled with liquid sodium, which is to be pumped. The stainless steel duct is kept in magnetic field obtained by means of electromagnet. The electromagnet is made of soft iron and the coil made of copper conductor surrounds the yoke portion of electromagnet. The external DC source of 2000 Amps, 2 Volt is used to send current through sodium placed in the stainless steel duct and the same current is sent through copper coil of electromagnet for producing required magneto motive force, which in turn produces required magnetic field. The interaction of current in sodium (placed in stainless steel duct) and magnetic field produced by the electromagnet in the duct region produces pumping force in the sodium. Electromagnet, copper coil, stainless steel duct, copper bus bar etc. are encapsulated in stainless steel shell. Hydraulic characteristics, efficiency, cavitation free operation at operating temperatures was ascertained by conducting tests in sodium loop called Large Component Test Rig (LCTR). The pump was also endurance tested for 750 hrs. The performance tests on DC Conduction Pump indicate that the pump meets the target specification at reactor operating condition. This paper deals with design, construction and performance testing of DC Conduction Pump.

Copyright © 2006 by ASME



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