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Title: Analysis of fuel options for the breakeven core configuration of the Advanced Recycling Reactor

Abstract

A trade-off study is performed to determine the impacts of various fuel forms on the core design and core physics characteristics of the sodium-cooled Toshiba- Westinghouse Advanced Recycling Reactor (ARR). The fuel forms include oxide, nitride, and metallic forms of U and Th. The ARR core configuration is redesigned with driver and blanket regions in order to achieve breakeven fissile breeding performance with the various fuel types. State-of-the-art core physics tools are used for the analyses. In addition, a quasi-static reactivity balance approach is used for a preliminary comparison of the inherent safety performances of the various fuel options. Thorium-fueled cores exhibit lower breeding ratios and require larger blankets compared to the U-fueled cores, which is detrimental to core compactness and increases reprocessing and manufacturing requirements. The Th cores also exhibit higher reactivity swings through each cycle, which penalizes reactivity control and increases the number of control rods required. On the other hand, using Th leads to drastic reductions in void and coolant expansion coefficients of reactivity, with the potential for enhancing inherent core safety. Among the U-fueled ARR cores, metallic and nitride fuels result in higher breeding ratios due to their higher heavy metal densities. On the other hand,more » oxide fuels provide a softer spectrum, which increases the Doppler effect and reduces the positive sodium void worth. A lower fuel temperature is obtained with the metallic and nitride fuels due to their higher thermal conductivities and compatibility with sodium bonds. This is especially beneficial from an inherent safety point of view since it facilitates the reactor cool-down during loss of power removal transients. The advantages in terms of inherent safety of nitride and metallic fuels are maintained when using Th fuel. However, there is a lower relative increase in heavy metal density and in breeding ratio going from oxide to metallic or nitride Th fuels relative to the U counterpart fuels. (authors)« less

Authors:
; ;  [1];  [2];  [3]
  1. Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL (United States)
  2. Politecnico di Milano, Milan (Italy)
  3. Westinghouse Electric Company LLC., Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
American Nuclear Society, 555 North Kensington Avenue, La Grange Park, IL 60526 (United States)
OSTI Identifier:
22257899
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: GLOBAL 2013: International Nuclear Fuel Cycle Conference - Nuclear Energy at a Crossroads, Salt Lake City, UT (United States), 29 Sep - 3 Oct 2013; Other Information: Country of input: France; 16 refs.; Related Information: In: Proceedings of GLOBAL 2013: International Nuclear Fuel Cycle Conference - Nuclear Energy at a Crossroads| 1633 p.
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
21 SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS; BALANCES; BREAKEVEN; BREEDING; BREEDING RATIO; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; CONTROL ELEMENTS; DOPPLER EFFECT; HEAVY METALS; NUCLEAR FUELS; NUCLEAR INDUSTRY; OXIDES; REACTIVITY; REACTOR CORES; RECYCLING; REPROCESSING; SAFETY; SODIUM; THERMAL CONDUCTIVITY; THORIUM; URANIUM

Citation Formats

Stauff, N.E., Klim, T.K., Taiwo, T.A., Fiorina, C., and Franceschini, F.. Analysis of fuel options for the breakeven core configuration of the Advanced Recycling Reactor. United States: N. p., 2013. Web.
Stauff, N.E., Klim, T.K., Taiwo, T.A., Fiorina, C., & Franceschini, F.. Analysis of fuel options for the breakeven core configuration of the Advanced Recycling Reactor. United States.
Stauff, N.E., Klim, T.K., Taiwo, T.A., Fiorina, C., and Franceschini, F.. 2013. "Analysis of fuel options for the breakeven core configuration of the Advanced Recycling Reactor". United States. doi:.
@article{osti_22257899,
title = {Analysis of fuel options for the breakeven core configuration of the Advanced Recycling Reactor},
author = {Stauff, N.E. and Klim, T.K. and Taiwo, T.A. and Fiorina, C. and Franceschini, F.},
abstractNote = {A trade-off study is performed to determine the impacts of various fuel forms on the core design and core physics characteristics of the sodium-cooled Toshiba- Westinghouse Advanced Recycling Reactor (ARR). The fuel forms include oxide, nitride, and metallic forms of U and Th. The ARR core configuration is redesigned with driver and blanket regions in order to achieve breakeven fissile breeding performance with the various fuel types. State-of-the-art core physics tools are used for the analyses. In addition, a quasi-static reactivity balance approach is used for a preliminary comparison of the inherent safety performances of the various fuel options. Thorium-fueled cores exhibit lower breeding ratios and require larger blankets compared to the U-fueled cores, which is detrimental to core compactness and increases reprocessing and manufacturing requirements. The Th cores also exhibit higher reactivity swings through each cycle, which penalizes reactivity control and increases the number of control rods required. On the other hand, using Th leads to drastic reductions in void and coolant expansion coefficients of reactivity, with the potential for enhancing inherent core safety. Among the U-fueled ARR cores, metallic and nitride fuels result in higher breeding ratios due to their higher heavy metal densities. On the other hand, oxide fuels provide a softer spectrum, which increases the Doppler effect and reduces the positive sodium void worth. A lower fuel temperature is obtained with the metallic and nitride fuels due to their higher thermal conductivities and compatibility with sodium bonds. This is especially beneficial from an inherent safety point of view since it facilitates the reactor cool-down during loss of power removal transients. The advantages in terms of inherent safety of nitride and metallic fuels are maintained when using Th fuel. However, there is a lower relative increase in heavy metal density and in breeding ratio going from oxide to metallic or nitride Th fuels relative to the U counterpart fuels. (authors)},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 2013,
month = 7
}

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  • Computational neutronics studies to support the possible conversion of the ATR to LEU are underway. Simultaneously, INL is engaged in a physics methods upgrade project to put into place modern computational neutronics tools for future support of ATR fuel cycle and experiment analysis. A number of experimental measurements have been performed in the ATRC in support of the methods upgrade project, and are being used to validate the new core physics methods. The current computational neutronics work is focused on performance of scoping calculations for the ATR core loaded with a candidate LEU fuel design. This will serve as independentmore » confirmation of analyses that have been performed previously, and will evaluate some of the new computational methods for analysis of a candidate LEU fuel for ATR.« less
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