Korea Electric Power Technology (Kepco E&C) said CEO Bae-Soo Lee had signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for long-term cooperation with Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) on 24 September to jointly advance marine nuclear power plant technology development. The MOU related to Kepco’s nuclear power plant design and construction technology and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering's marine nuclear technology development based on various shipbuilding experiences and know-how, business discovery, and joint project execution. Since 2016, Kepco E&C has been developing Bandi-60, a small modular reactor (SMR) for offshore use, and the development of a floating offshore NPP equipped with Bandi-60 “is expected to gain momentum from this agreement”, Kepco E&C said.

Yeom Hak-gi, director of Kepco corporate R&D subsidiary, the Korea Electric Power Research Institute, said: "The synergy between Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering's excellent marine floatation design and manufacturing technology and the advanced nuclear technology of Korea Electric Power Technology is expected."

Choi Dong-gyu, director of DSME's Central Research Institute, added that through its cooperation with Kepco E&C it would be able "to provide customers with products with enhanced stability and reliability".

According to Kepco, the design of Bandi-60 is mainly rooted in proven technologies including Kepco E&C’s experience of over 40 years in conventional NPP engineering services in Korea and overseas. Bandi-60 is a 200MWt block-type pressurised water reactor (PWR). The block-type design, in which main components are directly connected, nozzle-to-nozzle, instead of using connecting pipes, eliminates the possibility of a major loss of coolant accident and also provide improved operational surveillance and maintenance compared with the integral type design, Kepco said. For the steam generator (SG), a U-tube recirculation type is currently the basic option as its performance has been proven during a long period of operational experience in commercial NPPs. However, as an advanced design option, Kepco E&C is now working on a new steam generator based on plate and shell heat exchanger technology, which would reduce the size by 3-5 times.

The pressuriser is integrated into the upper head of the reactor pressure vessel (RPV) where a relatively large water and steam volume is provided, compared with conventional NPPs. The pressure is controlled by heaters and sprays. The control element drive mechanism (CEDM) is installed inside the RPV. 

The reactor core is composed of 52 fuel assemblies. The fuel is a conventional UO2 fuel enriched up to 4.95 % in 17×17 square array. Low power density is achieved by adopting a core configuration consisting of 52 fuel assemblies with a 2-metre-long active fuel length, and a nominal thermal power of 200 MWt. The control rods for have more burnable absorbers to control the excess reactivity of fuel over core life time to maintain boron free operation under normal conditions. 

KEPCO E&C said it is developing the Bandi-60 for a floating nuclear power plant. To enhance the safety and performance, several advanced design features are adopted such as soluble boron-free operation, in-vessel CEDM, and top-mounted I&C. The conceptual design is underway. In the next phase, safety and performance analyses will be performed to assess the feasibility of the conceptual design and the sizing of the main components and systems, including passive safety features.

Study on advanced technologies for their feasibility and applicability is continuing on the new plate and shell SG, and on simple core monitoring and protection systems. For use in the floating nuclear power plant, the Bandi-60 will comply with the design standards and regulations of the international maritime organisation (IMO) as well as with those for conventional NPPs.