KIMM takes the first step in domestically producing a high-power electron-beam welding system for innovations in the production of SMRs

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A high-power (120kV, 60kW) electron-beam welding system has been developed for the first time in the country, paving the way to the domestic production of a local vacuum** high-power electron-beam welding system, the key equipment for the welding of small modular reactors (SMRs).

A small modular reactor (SMR) is a small-sized reactor that has a power capacity of 300MW or less. It has been included in the list of the “12th national strategic technologies.” [Next-generation nuclear power (small modular reactor)]. In typical electron-beam welding, the product is installed and welded inside a large vacuum chamber, which is why vacuum pumping takes a long time. On the other hand, in the case of local vacuum welding, a small chamber is used for partially vacuuming the welding spot, which can help to significantly shorten the time required for vacuum pumping and reduce the production cost of the chamber.

SMR pressure vessel is required for the welding of very thick materials with more than 200 mm. The electron-beam welding is capable of the welding by 1 pass processing.

The joint research team led by Principle Researcher Jeong Suh of the Department of Industrial Laser Technology at the Busan Machinery Research Center of the Korea Institute of Machinery and Materials (President Seog-Hyeon Ryu, hereinafter referred to as KIMM), an institute under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Science and ICT, and Halla E.B.Technology Inc., the Korea Electrotechnology Research Institute, (hereinafter referred to as KERI) and Pukyong National University, has succeeded in securing the technology for the domestic production of a 120kV (60kW) high-power electron-beam welding system, as well as a highly reliable process technology for manufacturing this system.

President Seog-Hyeon Ryu of the KIMM was quoted as saying, “In connection with the “Construction of the SMR Production Support Center” that has recently been agreed upon by the KIMM, Busan Metropolitan City and the Busan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, we hope that the newly developed electron beam welding system will play a key role in the innovation of the technology for manufacturing SMRs.”