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and, consequently, a determination made as to true attributes, design suitability and adequacy. To operate for a core lifetime requires in excess of thirteen years. Equipment cannot be withheld from the fleet this long, but a lead time of two to three years is allowed prior to use in fleet nuclear propulsion plants. Once equipment is committed to shipboard plants, the prototype continues the vital function of operating ahead of the shipboard plants to determine operating characteristics and detect any potential problems in the later years of operation. Additionally, performance of this testing in prototype plants avoids interference with fleet activities.
Servicing of the prototype plants is also performed. The servicing work includes maintenance, refuelings, disassembly, fuel exchange and reassembly, component examination, and component removal and replacement. Equipment and procedures for performing this servicing work are developed and refined, and are used to the maximum extent possible in carrying out fleet servicing work.
Por FY 1985, work in the Reactor Operation and Evaluation area will include: operation of the prototype plants; design, development, and checkout of servicing and refueling systems, equipment, and procedures; completing the DiG prototype plant interim inspection and overhaul; commencing the S5G prototype plant refueling and overhaul; preparing for the siw and s3G prototype plant refuelings and overhauls; and performance of
reactor plant nuclear, thermal, hydraulic, and mechanical tests,
plant modifications, routine maintenance and training.
IV. PROGRAM DIRECTION
To support the Naval Reactors Development and Water cooled
salaries, benefits, travel, and other expenses for 213 full time Federal employees at the Naval Reactors, Pittsburgh Naval Reactors, and Schenectady Naval Reactors Offices.
Naval Reactors operates with austere staffing. Existing personnel are used to the greatest extent practicable in staffing new efforts and expansions of existing programs. Improvements in work force productivity have been achieved over the years, despite increasing workloads, by effective use of available
FY 1985 DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY BUDGET REQUEST FOR THE
WATER COOLED BREEDER PROGRAM
The Water Cooled Breeder Program is developing technology to significantly improve the utilization of nuclear fuel resources for electrical power generation. The concept being evaluated is a self-sustaining breeder reactor, cooled and moderated with ordinary (light) water and fueled with uranium-233 and thor ium.
The primary objectives of the program are to: prove that breeding can be achieved in a light water nuclear power plant using a thorium/uranium-233 fuel system; confirm a practical way to use thorium, a plentiful source of fuel for which there has been no major energy related use; and show the feasibility of installing cores of the light water breeder type in pressurized water reactor plants using existing types of plant components and systems.
A light water breeder core operated successfully in the Shippingport Atomic Power Station reactor for five years until shutdown in late 1982. Subsequently, the reactor underwent endof-life testing and is now being defueled. Preparations are underway for core evaluation at the Naval Reactors Expended Core
Facility in Idaho to verify core performance, including breeding characteristics.
The FY 1985 Water cooled Breeder budget request is $26.3 million. The details of the budget request, by category are:
The Shippingport reactor defueling effort, shipments of spent fuel assemblies to the Expended Core Facility, and turnover of the Shippingport Atomic Power Station to the DOE Office of Waste Management for decommissioning will be completed by the end of FY 1984. Other defueling activities will continue until completion of fuel shipments from the Expended Core Facility to the Idaho Chemical Processing Plant in FY 1987 for long term storage.
FY 1985 defueling work will include: fuel receipt, handling, and storage at the Expended Core Facility: loading casks for shipping the spent fuel to the Idaho Chemical Processing Plant; safety assessments for shipping casks and loading methods; equipment design, including a system to dewater and dry the spent fuel for long term storage; and publishing technical reports on Shippingport reactor operation, end-of-life test results, and
II. Core Evaluation
Detailed evaluation of spent foel assemblies at the Expended Core Facility will verify core performance and breeding characteristics. During T! 1984, installation of fuel sodule disassembly and inspection equipment will be completed and fuel module disassembly to obtain fuel rods for subsequent examination will commence. Sone fuel cods will be sent to Argonne National Laboratory for destructive chemical analysis to calibrate the non-destructive assay equipment. Destructive analysis work is funded under the DOE Fuel Cycle Program.
Core evaluation work in T. 1985 includes completing disassembly of fuel zodules, continuing proof-of-breeding through nondestructive and destructive assay, publishing technical reports on initial non-destructive and destructive assay test data, and initiating core and structural materials examinations. Core and structural material exanisations will detersine the performance of unique design featazes is the breeder reactor and whether the thor ion/ur anist-233 toel syster is a practical energy source. These examinations include sisual inspection of fuel sodules and fuel rods for appearance and integrity, determination of fuel cod dimensional changes, seasar esent of clada ing oxide thickness, and determination of cod to cos spacing changes.
NAVAL REACTORS PROGRAM OVERVIEW Admiral McKEE. I would like to take the few minutes we have to talk a little bit about our program and our focus in the year to come. Also, I will give you some fairly sensitive information which supports the reasons behind these actions.
As you well know, we have commissioned the Albuquerque.
Admiral MCKEE. You are aware of our submarine program. We are at the point where 40 percent of the Navy's combatant ships are nuclear powered. That is a considerable piece of our national strategic deterrent and our tactical forces. I have 172 operating reactors in my program, on both the Navy and the DOE side, with a total of 2,700 reactor-years of operation. I have 142 operating ships, 28 under contract. So, we have a lot on our plate.
As you know, our program is a cradle-to-grave operation where we not only do the basic research but are also responsible for the training of operators and overall maintenance of the ships and also designing new ones.
We are bringing to a close our experience in the commercial nuclear power business. We have shut down the light-water breeder reactor at Shippingport. It is being defueled now and we will finish defueling activities and core evaluation toward the end of 1987.
If I may, Senator, I am going to get up and walk around a little bit and show you some of this.
We have a growing responsibility in the naval program. Our responsibilities are directly proportional to the number of ships we operate. As you can see, the trend has gone up dramatically.
We also have to train the people that operate these ships. As you recall, that is a Department of Energy responsibility. The Department of Energy certifies them as safe operators to the Navy. The number of people we have had to train continues to grow. It is beginning to level off now as we achieve our force levels.
Now, the principal thing we are going to be doing this year is developing a reactor plant for a new class of attack submarines. The 688 class submarine, like Albuquerque, is about a 20-year-old design. It was being designed by Admiral Rickover when I worked for him as a lieutenant commander, back in 1964. We have not done anything since then except improve that design. It is time to get on with the next development.
SUBMARINE MISSIONS This is the kind of submarine we are talking about. We have to build a submarine that can do these things. It must operate alone and unsupported, conduct defensive and offensive operations, remain on station for a long time, and survive. Basically we are talking about a weapons system that has to be independent. It cannot be dependent on outside sources for support. They have to take care of themselves. To be able to exercise the kind of leverage that provides a payoff for these
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