REACTOR OPERATION & MAINTENANCE GROUP
KAlpakkam Mini Reactor (KAMINI)
The reactor fuel is an alloy of Uranium-233 and Aluminium in the form of flat plates. The plates are assembled in an aluminium casing to form the fuel subassemblies. The reflector consists of modules of Beryllium oxide encased in Zircaloy sheath. These modules are assembled to surround the fuel.
Demineralized light water is used as moderator, coolant as well as shield. Cooling of the reactor core is by natural convection. Facility is available for cooling this water using a heat exchanger to maintain the water temperature at a steady value when the reactor is operated for long durations at higher powers.
An online demineralizer plant maintains the water quality so that corrosion rate and radioactivity level in water are low. A waste disposal system is provided for collection and disposal of radioactive effluents when required.
Start up and regulation of the reactor is done by adjusting the positions of two safety control plates made of Cadmium which is sandwiched in Aluminium. These plates are provided with gravity drop mechanism for rapid shutdown of the reactor. Provision is available for closed loop servocontrol to operate the reactor at different power levels by adjusting the position of the safety control plate.
One safety control plate alone is adequate to shutdown the reactor.
Neutronic, Radiation Safety and Process instrumentation is provided in the reactor for monitoring various system parameters.
All reactor operations are carried out from a central control panel which uses a hybrid system comprising of hardwired systems and microprocessor based data logging, display and annunciation systems. Mimic diagrams, colour graphics and alphanumeric displays are provided for guiding the operator and facilitating convenient operation. A microprocessor based reactor operating system with keyboard control is also provided for future use.
The biological shield of the reactor is made of a combination of different types of interlocking concrete and lead bricks. These are stacked around the reactor tank with required openings for the beam tubes. Load handling facilities are provided in the reactor vault and in front of the beam tube used for radiation physics research.