Areva venting systems for Japanese BWRs

04 June 2013

Japanese boiling water reactors (BWRs) will be fitted with Areva-supplied filtered containment venting systems under an agreement with Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy.

Areva and Hitachi-GE have reached an agreement under which Hitachi-GE will adopt Areva technology for the design, fabrication and installation of filtered containment venting systems (FCVS) at Japanese plants based on BWRs.

The FCVS helps reduce pressures in the reactor containment during emergency situations leading to reactor core meltdown and the partial or total loss of safety systems. In such an event, the FCVS operates to achieve a controlled reduction of the containment pressure using filtered venting that retains airborne radioactive material within containment.

Areva said that its FCVS, already installed in more than 50 nuclear power plants worldwide, can be retrofitted into all types of reactor designs.

Last October, Areva received a bulk order in Japan to fit passive autocatalytic recombiners that help to prevent hydrogen gas building up in reactor containment during emergency situations. The devices use catalytic oxidation to turn traces of hydrogen into steam, a process that works constantly and requires no power. Areva said it will install 100 of its devices at various Japanese reactors, without specifying which units.

Following the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, all but two of Japan's 50-reactor fleet remains shut down. These units - including 26 BWRs - are awaiting restart pending regulatory change and approval from the NRA. Ohi 3 and 4 are generating under special conditions to alleviate a power shortage in the congested and heavily industrialised Kansai region.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News