The AP1000 is an 1100 MWe advanced nuclear power plant that uses passive safety features to enhance plant safety and to provide significant and measurable improvements in plant simplification, reliability, investment protection and plant costs. The AP1000 received final design approval from the US-NRC in 2004. The AP1000 design is based on the AP600 design that received final design approval in 1999. Wherever possible, the AP1000 plant configuration and layout was kept the same as AP600 to take advantage of the maturity of the design and to minimize new design efforts. As a result, the two-loop configuration was maintained for AP1000, and the containment vessel diameter was kept the same. It was determined that this significant power uprate was well within the capability of the passive safety features, and that the safety margins for AP1000 were greater than those of operating PWRs. A key feature of the passive core cooling system is the passive residual heat removal heat exchanger (PRHR HX) that provides decay heat removal for postulated LOCA and non-LOCA events. The PRHR HX is a C-tube heat exchanger located in the in-containment refueling water storage tank (IRWST) above the core promoting natural circulation heat removal between the reactor cooling system and the tank. Component testing was performed for the AP600 PRHR HX to determine the heat transfer characteristics and to develop correlations to be used for the AP1000 safety analysis codes. The data from these tests were confirmed by subsequent integral tests at three separate facilities including the ROSA facility in Japan. Owing to the importance of this component, an independent analysis has been performed using the ATHOS-based computational fluid dynamics computer code PRHRCFD. Two separate models of the PRHR HX and IRWST have been developed representing the ROSA test geometry and the AP1000 plant geometry. Confirmation of the ROSA test results were used to validate PRHRCFD, and the AP1000 plant model was used to confirm the heat removal capacity for the full-sized heat exchanger. The results of these simulations show that the heat removal capacity of the PRHR HX is conservatively represented in the AP1000 safety analyses.

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