Calder Hall: the story of Britain’s first atomic power by Kenneth Jay

Calder Hall: the story of Britain’s first atomic power by Kenneth Jay

By Kenneth Jay

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Slowly the vessel was heated until after nearly three days it reached a temperature of 600 °C— red heat. It was kept at this temperature for a day and then the current was switched off and the structure allowed to cool slowly. Up to the present this is the largest vessel that has been stress relieved by this method. After stress relief came a pressure test. Usually pressure vessels are tested by rilling them with water at the desired pressure but the weight of water in a vessel of this size would have imposed excessive stresses on the supports.

Org/access_use#pd-google proposed theory of corrosion the conclusion was reached that magnesium alloys which included beryllium were likely to be ' more resistant than any of the materials tried so far. So, in collaboration with an industrial firm, a range of alloys containing beryllium and certain other elements was formu lated and samples of each made by the firm. These alloys were tested at Harwell. Two of them turned out to be out standingly good in resisting corrosion even by moist hot air, which is much more corrosive than carbon dioxide.

In the optimizing calculations the nuclear power plant was considered in two sections, the reactor (the heat-producing section) and the boiler or heat exchanger (the heat-using section). In_the reactor calculations, the overall size of the core and the quantity of fuel needed is worked out for different sizes of fuel element and different spacings between channels containing the elements. In doing this the neutron- absorbing properties of fuel, can, moderator, and coolant have to be assumed, and because these are not always known accurately there are often considerable uncertainties in the answers.

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