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[:RU]Mobile nuclear power stations for the Army[:]

[:RU]By 2020, the Russian Army can appear first samples of mobile nuclear power stations (MAC). Portal said that the appropriate order gave Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu.

The main developer of mobile nuclear plants selected «Engineering company innovation projects» (IKIP). CEO Yuri Konyushko said that now the project is in the process of scientific research, and to the end of the year the Ministry of Defense will receive the preliminary data on the MAC.

For a year or two IKIP intends to complete research, and by 2020 — to create a prototype nuclear power station. According to the plans of developers, the MAC will be built in a modular fashion and can be mounted on truck chassis, and for transportation stations in the Far North will be created and tracked sledge transport.

Mobile station atomic designed to operate for several years involving a minimal number of attendants. In addition, the control and management of the MAC can be done remotely via satellite.

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The history of the development of mobile nuclear power stations has more than half a century. Thus, in the Soviet Union in 1961, it was built nuclear power plant self-propelled crawler.

The roots of this story go away, of course, in the age of atomic romance — in the mid-1950s. In 1955, Yefim Pavlovich Slavskii — one of the giants of the nuclear industry of the USSR, the future head of Minsredmash, who served in that post from Nikita Khrushchev to Gorbachev — visited the Leningrad Kirov factory. It was in an interview with the Director of LB IM Sinyov the first time a proposal was made to develop a mobile nuclear power plant, which would feed electricity to the civilian and military facilities located in remote areas of the Far North and Siberia.

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Rails and tracks

Offer Slavskogo became a guide to action, and soon LB in cooperation with the Yaroslavl Locomotive Works has prepared a draft nuclear powertrains — Mobile NPP (PAES) small capacity to transport by rail. Provides two variants — single-circuit diagram c gas turbine and steam turbine scheme with the installation of the locomotive. Following this, the development of ideas and joined other companies. Following the discussion, the green light was given to the project Y. Sergeyev and DL Brodeur from Obninsk Institute of Physics and Power Engineering (now the FSUE «SSC RF — IPPE»). Apparently believing that the rail option will limit the range of action PAES only territories covered railway network, scientists have proposed to put its power to the tracks, making it virtually off-road.

The preliminary design of the plant appeared in 1957, and two years later was made a special equipment for the construction of prototypes of TPP-3 (power transported).

In those days, almost all in the nuclear industry had to be done «from scratch», but the experience of building nuclear reactors for transportation needs (for example, the icebreaker «Lenin») already existed, and it could rely.

One of the main factors that had to be taken into account when selecting the project sponsors of various engineering solutions, has, of course, safety. From this perspective, the optimal scheme was recognized as a bypass compact pressurized water reactor. Reactor generated heat is extracted with water under pressure of 130 atm at the reactor inlet of 275 ° C and at the outlet — 300 ° C. It passed through a heat exchanger heat the working fluid, as water is also performed. The steam drives a turbine generator.

The reactor core has been designed as a cylinder 600 and a height of 660 mm. Inside were placed 74 fuel assemblies. As the fuel composition decided to apply the intermetallic compound (metal compound) UAl3, filled silumin (SiAl). Assembly is a two coaxial rings of the fuel composition. This scheme has been developed specifically for the TPP-3.

In 1960 created power equipment mounted on crawler tracks, borrowed from the last Soviet heavy tank T-10, which is produced from the mid-1950s to mid-1960s. However, for PAES base had to extend, so energosamohod (so-became known as ATVs carrying a nuclear power plant) had ten rollers to seven the tank.


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But even with such modernization to place the entire power plant on one machine was impossible. TPP-3 is a complex of four energosamohodov.

First energosamohod bore the nuclear reactor transported biosecurity and special air cooler for removal of residual cooling. On the second machine mounted steam generators, pressurizer and circulation pumps to feed the first circuit. Actually electricity production was a function of the third energosamohoda, which housed the turbine generator equipment condensate-feed circuit. The fourth machine is playing the role of the control point PAES and had backup power equipment. Here are the main control panel and with means starting, starting a diesel generator and battery pack.

The design of the first violin playing energosamohodov lapidary and pragmatism. Since TPP-3 was supposed to operate mainly in the Far North, the equipment is placed inside the insulated body of so-called wagon type. In cross-section they were a hexagonal irregular shape that can be described as a trapezoid, put on a rectangle, which inadvertently brings to mind the grave.

PAES was intended to function only in a stationary mode, working «on the fly», she could not. To start a station needed to place energosamohody in the correct order and connect them to the coolant pipes and the working fluid, and electrical cables. And that is the steady state operation was designed biosecurity PAES.

Bioprotection system consisted of two parts: the transported and stationary. Biosecurity transported are transported together with the reactor. The reactor core was placed in a kind of a lead «glass», which was located inside the tank. When TPP-3 runs, the tank was filled with water. A layer of water dramatically reduces the neutron activation tank walls biosecurity body, frames and other metal parts energosamohoda. After the end of the campaign (the period of the power plant with one tank filling) the water was drained and the transport was carried out with an empty tank.

Under stationary biosecurity understood kind of boxes out of the ground or concrete, which PAES was required before starting to build around energosamohodov bearing the reactor and steam generators.

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Things have not found

In August 1960, collected PAES taken in Obninsk, in the test area of ​​Physics and Power Engineering Institute. Less than a year later, June 7 1961, the reactor reached criticality on 13 October the launch of an energy station. The tests continued until 1965, when the reactor worked his first campaign. However, the story of Soviet mobile NPP actually ended. The fact is that along the famous Obninsk Institute developed another project in the field of small nuclear energy. They began floating NPP «North» to the same reactor. As CHP-3, «North» was designed primarily for the energy needs of military facilities. And in early 1967, the Ministry of Defence of the USSR decided to abandon the floating nuclear power plant. At the same time it had stopped working and land mobile power plant: PAES was moved to the parking mode. In the late 1960s, there was hope that the offspring Obninsk scientists still find a practical application. It was assumed that the nuclear power plant could be used in oil production in those cases where the oil-bearing layers is required to upload a large amount of hot water to raise the fossil raw materials closer to the surface. Considering, for example, the possibility of the use of PAES in the wells near the city of Grozny. But even serve as a boiler for the needs of the Chechen oil station failed. The economic exploitation of TPP-3 was recognized as inappropriate, and in 1969 completely mothballed power plant. Forever.

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For extreme conditions

Surprisingly, but the demise of the Soviet history PAES Obninsk mobile nuclear power plants did not stop. Another project, which certainly deserves to be told, is a very curious example of Soviet power protracted. Its foundation was laid in the early 1960s, but a tangible result, he brought only in the Gorbachev era and soon was «killed» sharply increased after the Chernobyl disaster radiophobia. This is the Belarusian project «Pamir 630D».

In a certain sense we can say that the CHP-3 and the «Pamir» connect kinship. After all, one of the founders of the Belarusian nuclear power became AK Krasin — former director of the FEI, are directly involved in designing the world’s first nuclear power plant in Obninsk, Beloyarsk NPP and TPP-3. In 1960 he was invited to Minsk, where the scientist was soon elected an academician of the Academy, was appointed director of the department of nuclear energy Energy Institute of the Belarusian Academy of Sciences. In 1965, the office was transformed into the Institute of Nuclear Energy (now the Joint Institute for Power and Nuclear Research «Sosny» of NAS).

In one of his trips to Moscow, Krasin learned of the existence of the state order for the design of a mobile nuclear power 500-800 kW. The greatest interest in this type of power plant showed the military: they needed a compact and self-contained source of electricity for facilities in remote and harsh climate characterized by areas of the country — where no railways or power lines, which is difficult to deliver a large amount of conventional fuel. It could go on the power supply radiolokatornyh stations or missile launchers.

In view of the forthcoming use in extreme climatic conditions of the project makes special demands. The station was to work with a large range of temperatures (-50 to + 35 ° C) and at high humidity. The customer demanded that the management of power plant was automated as much as possible. This station was to fit into the dimensions of the rail O-2T and dimensions of the cargo compartment of aircraft and helicopters with dimensions of 30 x 4.4 x 4.4 m. The duration of the campaign NPP was determined no less than 10 000 hours of continuous operation at a time no more than 2000 hours. Deployment time station was not exceed six hours, and it was necessary to dismantle put in 30 hours.

In addition, designers should think of how to reduce water consumption, which is in a slightly more affordable diesel tundra. It is this last requirement, virtually eliminates the use of water reactor, largely determined the fate of the «Pamir-630D».

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Orange smoke

General Designer and the main inspirer of the project was the VB Nesterenko, now Corresponding Member of the Belarusian National Academy of Sciences. It was his idea to use the reactor for the «Pamir» no water or molten sodium and liquid nitrogen tetraoxide (N2O4) — and at the same time as the coolant and working medium, because the reactor was conceived single-circuit, without heat exchanger.

Tetroxa nitrogen was chosen, of course, no accident, since this compound has a very interesting thermodynamic properties such as high thermal conductivity and heat capacity, as well as low temperature evaporation. Its transition from the liquid to the gaseous state is accompanied by chemical dissociation reaction, when the molecule of nitrogen tetroxide first splits into two molecules diokisi nitrogen (2NO2), and then two molecules of NO and one molecule of oxygen (2NO + O2). By increasing the number of molecules of the gas or pressure is suddenly increased.

The reactor is thus made possible to realize a closed gas-liquid loop reactor that gave advantages in efficiency and compactness.

In the fall of 1963 Belarusian scientists presented their project a mobile nuclear power plant to the Scientific and Technical Council of the State Committee for Atomic Energy of the USSR. At the same time the judgment of the members of the NTS were made similar projects FEI, IAE. Kurchatov and OKBM (Gorky). Preference is given to the Belarusian project, but only ten years later, in 1973, in the NEI Byelorussian Academy of Sciences was established Special Design Bureau with Pilot Plant, which began construction and bench testing of the future reactor.

One of the most important engineering problems to be solved creators «Pamir-630D» began working out a sustainable thermodynamic cycle with the working fluid coolant and unconventional. For this purpose, for example, stand «Whirlwind 2», is in fact a turbine generator unit of the future station. It heated nitrogen tetroxide produced by a turbojet aircraft engine VC-1 with afterburner.

A separate challenge is the high corrosiveness of nitrogen tetroxide, especially in the field of phase transitions — boiling and condensation. If the circuit water would fall turbogenerator, N2O4, react with it immediately would give nitric acid with its known properties. Opponents of the project say so often, that, say, the Belarusian nuclear physicists intend to dissolve in acid reactor core. Part of the problem of high aggressiveness of nitrogen tetroxide was solved by adding coolant to 10% of normal nitrogen monoxide. This solution is called «nitrin.»

Nevertheless, the use of nitrogen tetroxide increased risk of the use of all nuclear reactors, especially if we remember that it is a mobile version of the NPP. Proof of this was the death of one of the employees of KB. During the experiment of exploding pipe burst orange cloud. Nearby is a person unintentionally inhaled poisonous gas, which reacted with water in the lungs, turned into nitric acid. Save accident failed.


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Heavy trailer UTPK-2 (15U165) to install a 105-ton rocket RT 23UTTH. 1990

Why remove the wheels?

However, designers of «Pamir-630D» implemented in the project a number of design decisions that were designed to improve the safety of the entire system. Firstly, all processes within the plant, starting from the reactor were controlled and monitored by the onboard computer. Two computers working in parallel, and the third was in «hot» standby. Secondly, it was implemented by the emergency core cooling system by a passive overflow steam through the reactor from the high pressure side of the condenser. The large number of heat-transfer fluid in the technological loop allowed in the case of, for example, dead effectively remove heat from the reactor. Third, an important «safety» element of the design was the moderator material, for which was chosen zirconium hydride. An abnormal rise in temperature zirconium hydride decomposed and release hydrogen transforms into a deeply subcritical reactor state. Fission reaction stops.

For experiments and tests the years passed, and those who conceived the «Pamir» in the early 1960s, could see their offspring in the metal only in the first half of 1980. As in the case of CHP-3, Belarusian designers took several cars to accommodate them their PAES. Reactor unit mounted on a three-axle semi-trailer MAZ-9994 carrying capacity of 65 tonnes, as a tractor for which acted MAZ-796. In addition to biosecurity reactor in this block placed emergency cooling system, the switching cabinet’s own needs, and two autonomous diesel generator of 16 kW. The same bunch of MAZ-767 — MAZ-994 was taking on himself and turbine generator unit with power equipment.

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Additionally, the bodies KrAZ moving elements of automated control system protection and control. One such truck was carrying an auxiliary power unit with two stokilovattnymi diesel generators. Total five cars.

«Pamir-630D» as the TPP-3 was designed for stationary operation. Upon arrival, the dislocation installation team installed near the reactor and turbine generator units and their pipelines combined with sealed joints. Control units and backup power plant were placed no closer than 150 m from the reactor to ensure the radiation safety of personnel. With the reactor and turbine-generator unit to remove the wheel (trailers installed on jacks) and took them to a safe area. All this, of course, in the project, because the reality was different.

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The reactor, which scared

Electric start-up of the first reactor was held on 24 November 1985, and five months later there was Chernobyl. No, the project was not closed immediately, and a total of an experimental model of PAES has worked at various load conditions 2975 hours. However, when a wave swept the country and the world of radio-phobia suddenly it became aware that the 6 km away from Minsk is an experimental nuclear reactor construction, there was a large-scale scandal. USSR Council of Ministers immediately set up a commission which was to examine the feasibility of further work on the «Pamir-630D». In the same 1986 Gorbachev she was dismissed by the head of the legendary 88-year-old Sredmash EP Slavskii patronize mobile NPP projects. And there is nothing surprising in the fact that in February 1988, according to the decision of the Council of Ministers of the USSR and the Byelorussian Academy of Sciences project «Pamir-630D» ceased to exist. One of the main reasons as were listed in the document was «a lack of scientific validity of the choice of coolant.»

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