Use of Solid Hydride Fuel for Improved long-Life LWR Core Designs
Use of Solid Hydride Fuel for Improved long-Life LWR Core Designs The primary objective of this project was to assess the feasibility of improving the performance of PWR and BWR cores by using solid hydride fuels instead of the commonly used oxide fuel. The primary measure of performance considered is the bus-bar cost of electricity (COE). Additional performance measures considered are safety, fuel bundle design simplicity – in particular for BWR’s, and plutonium incineration capability. It was found that hydride fuel can safely operate in PWR’s and BWR’s without restricting the linear heat generation rate of these reactors relative to that attainable with oxide fuel. A couple of promising applications of hydride fuel in PWR’s and BWR’s were identified: (1) Eliminating dedicated water moderator volumes in BWR cores thus enabling to significantly increase the cooled fuel rods surface area as well as the coolant flow cross section area in a given volume fuel bundle while significantly reducing the heterogeneity of BWR fuel bundles thus achieving flatter pin-by-pin power distribution. The net result is a possibility to significantly increase the core power density – on the order of 30% and, possibly, more, while greatly simplifying the fuel bundle design. Implementation of the above modifications is, though, not straightforward; it requires a design of more »
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