Keywords: salinity, nuclear desalination, evaporators, condensers, refurbishment, commissioning, light water cooled reactors, research reactors, multi-stage flash, MSF evaporation reverse osmosis, low temperature evaporation, LTE, waste heat, nuclear reactors, seawater desalination
Operating experience of desalination unit coupled to primary coolant system of CIRUS
CIRUS is a 40 MWth, light water cooled research reactor located at Trombay, Mumbai. The reactor was shut down in 1997 for refurbishment and restarted in 2003. At Bhabha Atomic Research Centre R&D activities on desalination have led to development of desalination technologies based on Multistage Flash (MSF) evaporation, Reverse Osmosis (RO) and Low Temperature Evaporation (LTE). Based on LTE, a 30 cubic metre per day pilot plant was designed and integrated to CIRUS during refurbishing outage as part of demonstration of utilisation of waste heat of nuclear reactors for seawater desalination. The work involved design, installation and commissioning of set-up to transfer heat from primary coolant of CIRUS to desalination unit through an intermediate Demineralised (DM) water circuit. The unit has been operated at its rated capacity and product water has been used to augment the demineralised water inventory of the primary coolant system. This paper highlights the experience gained during installation, commissioning and operation of the desalination unit.