Advances in nuclear desalination
The Nuclear Desalination Demonstration Project (NDDP) at Kalpakkam aims to demonstrate the safe and economic production of good quality water by desalination of seawater comprising 4,500 m³/d Multi-Stage Flash (MSF) and 1,800 m³/d Reverse Osmosis (RO) plant. The design of the hybrid MSF–RO plant to be set up at an existing nuclear power station is presented. The MSF plant based on long tube design requires less energy. The effect on performance of the MSF plant due to higher seawater intake temperature is marginal. The preheat RO system part of the hybrid plant uses reject cooling seawater from the MSF plant. This allows lower pressure operation, resulting in energy saving. The two qualities of water produced are usable for the power station as well as for drinking purposes with appropriate blending. The post treatment is also simplified due to blending of the products from MSF and RO plants. The hybrid plant has a number of advantages: part of high purity desalted water produced from the MSF plant will be used for the makeup demineralised water requirement (after necessary polishing) for the power station; blending of the product water from RO and MSF plants would provide requisite quality drinking water; and the RO plant will continue to be operated to provide water for drinking purposes during the shut down of the power station. Commissioning of the RO section is expected in 2002 and that of the MSF section in 2003. Useful design data are expected from the plant on the coupling of small and medium size reactors (SMR) based on PHWR. This will enable us to design a large size commercial plant up to 50,000 m³/d capacity. India will share the O&M experience of NDDP to member states of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) when the plant is commissioned. The development work for producing good quality water for power station from high salinity water utilizing low grade waste heat is presented. About 40 and 100 MWth low temperature waste heat is available in the moderator systems of the 220 and 500 MWe PHWR respectively. A significant part of this waste heat can be utilized for seawater desalination for in-house consumption. The Low Temperature Evaporation (LTE) technology for producing low conductivity water from seawater has been demonstrated at BARC on 30 m³/d scale by using waste heat. This plant is being connected to the CIRUS reactor for demonstration of coupling to a nuclear research reactor. The product water from this plant after minor polishing will meet the make up water requirement of the research reactor.
Keywords: hybrid, MSF, RO, preheat, integrated system, combined post-treatment, waste heat, nuclear desalination