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Title: Methods for Determining Operation Lifetime of Space Reactors

Abstract

Space fission reactors can provide reliable, high power levels for periods of more than 10 years to support human outposts and for space travel to the farthest planets in the solar system. The operation lifetimes of these reactors depend on many factors chief among which are the hot-clean excess reactivity and the fuel burnup rate (or operation power) and the accumulation and decay of fission products. Other important parameters are the fuel average temperature and fissile inventory and the Doppler reactivity effect. Determining the operation lifetime for space reactors is a critical input to mission planning, requiring the use of sophisticated fuel burnup and criticality computational tools and benchmarking the results against actual data, if readily available. This paper performs parametric and comparative studies using widely used codes and a simplified approach for determining the operation lifetimes of two space reactors: the Sectored, Compact Reactor (SCoRe) that is liquid metal cooled, and the Submersion-Subcritical, Safe Space (S and 4) reactor that is cooled by a He-Xe binary gas mixture. The codes investigated against experimental data from a LWR are: (a) Monteburns 2.0, coupling MCNP5 1.30 to Origen2.2, (b) MCNPX 2.6b's internal burn package incorporating CINDER90, and (c) TRITON a codemore » in the SCALE5 package using NEWT and Origen-S. From the results Monteburns and MCNPX performed the best, and are selected to compare their predictions of the lifetimes of the two space reactors with those of a simplified method. This method couples MCNP5 to a burnup analysis model in Simulink registered considering only the 10 most probable low Z and 10 most probable high Z elements of the fission yield peaks plus 149Sm. Results show that the predicted operational lifetimes using the simplified method are within -6.6 to 12.8% of those calculated using the widely used Monteburns 2.0 and MCNPX 2.6bc1 codes.« less

Authors:
;  [1];  [2]
  1. Institute for Space and Nuclear Power Studies, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131 (United States)
  2. (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
21054544
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: AIP Conference Proceedings; Journal Volume: 880; Journal Issue: 1; Conference: International forum-STAIF 2007: 11. conference on thermophysics applications in microgravity; 24. symposium on space nuclear power and propulsion; 5. conference on human/robotic technology and the vision for space exploration; 5. symposium on space colonization; 4. symposium on new frontiers and future concepts, Albuquerque, NM (United States), 11-15 Feb 2007; Other Information: DOI: 10.1063/1.2437465; (c) 2007 American Institute of Physics; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
22 GENERAL STUDIES OF NUCLEAR REACTORS; BURNUP; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; CRITICALITY; FISSION; FISSION PRODUCTS; FISSION YIELD; LIFETIME; LIQUID METALS; M CODES; PLANNING; POWER SYSTEMS; REACTIVITY; REACTOR OPERATION; SPACE; SPACE VEHICLES; NESDPS Office of Nuclear Energy Space and Defense Power Systems

Citation Formats

Schriener, Timothy M., El-Genk, Mohamed S., and Chemical and Nuclear Engineering Dept., University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131. Methods for Determining Operation Lifetime of Space Reactors. United States: N. p., 2007. Web. doi:10.1063/1.2437465.
Schriener, Timothy M., El-Genk, Mohamed S., & Chemical and Nuclear Engineering Dept., University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131. Methods for Determining Operation Lifetime of Space Reactors. United States. doi:10.1063/1.2437465.
Schriener, Timothy M., El-Genk, Mohamed S., and Chemical and Nuclear Engineering Dept., University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131. Tue . "Methods for Determining Operation Lifetime of Space Reactors". United States. doi:10.1063/1.2437465.
@article{osti_21054544,
title = {Methods for Determining Operation Lifetime of Space Reactors},
author = {Schriener, Timothy M. and El-Genk, Mohamed S. and Chemical and Nuclear Engineering Dept., University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131},
abstractNote = {Space fission reactors can provide reliable, high power levels for periods of more than 10 years to support human outposts and for space travel to the farthest planets in the solar system. The operation lifetimes of these reactors depend on many factors chief among which are the hot-clean excess reactivity and the fuel burnup rate (or operation power) and the accumulation and decay of fission products. Other important parameters are the fuel average temperature and fissile inventory and the Doppler reactivity effect. Determining the operation lifetime for space reactors is a critical input to mission planning, requiring the use of sophisticated fuel burnup and criticality computational tools and benchmarking the results against actual data, if readily available. This paper performs parametric and comparative studies using widely used codes and a simplified approach for determining the operation lifetimes of two space reactors: the Sectored, Compact Reactor (SCoRe) that is liquid metal cooled, and the Submersion-Subcritical, Safe Space (S and 4) reactor that is cooled by a He-Xe binary gas mixture. The codes investigated against experimental data from a LWR are: (a) Monteburns 2.0, coupling MCNP5 1.30 to Origen2.2, (b) MCNPX 2.6b's internal burn package incorporating CINDER90, and (c) TRITON a code in the SCALE5 package using NEWT and Origen-S. From the results Monteburns and MCNPX performed the best, and are selected to compare their predictions of the lifetimes of the two space reactors with those of a simplified method. This method couples MCNP5 to a burnup analysis model in Simulink registered considering only the 10 most probable low Z and 10 most probable high Z elements of the fission yield peaks plus 149Sm. Results show that the predicted operational lifetimes using the simplified method are within -6.6 to 12.8% of those calculated using the widely used Monteburns 2.0 and MCNPX 2.6bc1 codes.},
doi = {10.1063/1.2437465},
journal = {AIP Conference Proceedings},
number = 1,
volume = 880,
place = {United States},
year = {Tue Jan 30 00:00:00 EST 2007},
month = {Tue Jan 30 00:00:00 EST 2007}
}