Analysis of Factors Affecting Thermodynamic Efficiency in Generation III+ PWR Nuclear Power Plants.

Abstract

Generation III+ reactors are the latest generation of Nuclear Power Plants to enter the market. The key evolution in these reactors is the introduction of stringent safety standards. This is done through thorough incident scenario analysis and preparation, resulting in the addition of novel active and passive auxiliary safety systems, affecting the power consumption in the balance of plant. This paper analyses the parameters of PWR power plants of similar design, to determine the parameters for optimal efficiency, regarding gross and net electrical output, determining the impact the balance of plant has on this efficiency. While two of the three main factors affecting the Rankine cycle – boiler pressure and steam temperature – behaved as theoretically expected, there was a notable point of departure with the third parameter – condenser pressure. The relationship between steam temperature and gross electrical efficiency was linear across all reactors but the relation between the steam temperature and the net electrical efficiency ceased to be linear for secondary loop steam temperatures above 290°C. The relationship between boiler pressure and both gross and net electrical efficiency was linear, proving the Rankine cycle. A relationship was not observed between the condenser pressure and either the gross or net electrical efficienc

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