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Title: Water cooled breeder program summary report (LWBR (Light Water Breeder Reactor) development program)

Abstract

The purpose of the Department of Energy Water Cooled Breeder Program was to demonstrate pratical breeding in a uranium-233/thorium fueled core while producing electrical energy in a commercial water reactor generating station. A demonstration Light Water Breeder Reactor (LWBR) was successfully operated for more than 29,000 effective full power hours in the Shippingport Atomic Power Station. The reactor operated with an availability factor of 76% and had a gross electrical output of 2,128,943,470 kilowatt hours. Following operation, the expended core was examined and no evidence of any fuel element defects was found. Nondestructive assay of 524 fuel rods determined that 1.39 percent more fissile fuel was present at the end of core life than at the beginning, proving that breeding had occurred. This demonstrates the existence of a vast source of electrical energy using plentiful domestic thorium potentially capable of supplying the entire national need for many centuries. To build on the successful design and operation of the Shippingport Breeder Core and to provide the technology to implement this concept, several reactor designs of large breeders and prebreeders were developed for commercial-sized plants of 900--1000 Mw(e) net. This report summarizes the Water Cooled Breeder Program from its inception in 1965more » to its completion in 1987. Four hundred thirty-six technical reports are referenced which document the work conducted as part of this program. This work demonstrated that the Light Water Breeder Reactor is a viable alternative as a PWR replacement in the next generation of nuclear reactors. This transition would only require a minimum of change in design and fabrication of the reactor and operation of the plant.« less

Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Bettis Atomic Power Lab., West Mifflin, PA (USA)
OSTI Identifier:
6957197
Report Number(s):
WAPD-TM-1600
ON: DE88010121
DOE Contract Number:
AC11-76PN00014
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
21 SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS; FUEL ELEMENTS; POST-IRRADIATION EXAMINATION; LWBR TYPE REACTORS; REACTOR OPERATION; REACTOR COMPONENTS; DESIGN; EVALUATION; FABRICATION; NONDESTRUCTIVE ANALYSIS; REACTOR COOLING SYSTEMS; REACTOR CORES; REACTOR FUELING; REACTOR MATERIALS; SPENT FUEL STORAGE; THORIUM; URANIUM 233; ACTINIDE ISOTOPES; ACTINIDE NUCLEI; ACTINIDES; ALPHA DECAY RADIOISOTOPES; BREEDER REACTORS; CHEMICAL ANALYSIS; COOLING SYSTEMS; ELEMENTS; ENERGY SYSTEMS; EVEN-ODD NUCLEI; HEAVY NUCLEI; ISOTOPES; MATERIALS; METALS; NUCLEI; OPERATION; RADIOISOTOPES; REACTORS; STORAGE; THERMAL REACTORS; URANIUM ISOTOPES; WATER COOLED REACTORS; WATER MODERATED REACTORS; YEARS LIVING RADIOISOTOPES; 210500* - Power Reactors, Breeding

Citation Formats

Not Available. Water cooled breeder program summary report (LWBR (Light Water Breeder Reactor) development program). United States: N. p., 1987. Web. doi:10.2172/6957197.
Not Available. Water cooled breeder program summary report (LWBR (Light Water Breeder Reactor) development program). United States. doi:10.2172/6957197.
Not Available. 1987. "Water cooled breeder program summary report (LWBR (Light Water Breeder Reactor) development program)". United States. doi:10.2172/6957197. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/6957197.
@article{osti_6957197,
title = {Water cooled breeder program summary report (LWBR (Light Water Breeder Reactor) development program)},
author = {Not Available},
abstractNote = {The purpose of the Department of Energy Water Cooled Breeder Program was to demonstrate pratical breeding in a uranium-233/thorium fueled core while producing electrical energy in a commercial water reactor generating station. A demonstration Light Water Breeder Reactor (LWBR) was successfully operated for more than 29,000 effective full power hours in the Shippingport Atomic Power Station. The reactor operated with an availability factor of 76% and had a gross electrical output of 2,128,943,470 kilowatt hours. Following operation, the expended core was examined and no evidence of any fuel element defects was found. Nondestructive assay of 524 fuel rods determined that 1.39 percent more fissile fuel was present at the end of core life than at the beginning, proving that breeding had occurred. This demonstrates the existence of a vast source of electrical energy using plentiful domestic thorium potentially capable of supplying the entire national need for many centuries. To build on the successful design and operation of the Shippingport Breeder Core and to provide the technology to implement this concept, several reactor designs of large breeders and prebreeders were developed for commercial-sized plants of 900--1000 Mw(e) net. This report summarizes the Water Cooled Breeder Program from its inception in 1965 to its completion in 1987. Four hundred thirty-six technical reports are referenced which document the work conducted as part of this program. This work demonstrated that the Light Water Breeder Reactor is a viable alternative as a PWR replacement in the next generation of nuclear reactors. This transition would only require a minimum of change in design and fabrication of the reactor and operation of the plant.},
doi = {10.2172/6957197},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 1987,
month =
}

Technical Report:

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  • This report presents a summary of the nuclear design and expected nuclear performance of the Light Water Breeder Reactor during operation at the Shippingport Atomic Power Station. Performance predictions are presented for core lifetime, breeding margin, power distributions and performance, kinetic and stability parameters, and for core shutdown and reactivity control capability. Also included is a summary of as-built dimensions of core components and of development of breeding parameter equations and sensitivities.
  • As part of the Light Water Breeder Reactor development program, hydraulic tests of reactor components were performed. This report presents the results of several of those tests performed for components which are somewhat unique in their application to a pressurized water reactor design. The components tested include: triplate orifices used for flow distribution purposes, multiventuri type flowmeters, tight lattice triangular pitch rod support grids, fuel rod end support plates, and the balance piston which is a major component of the movable fuel balancing system. Test results include component pressure loss coefficients, flowmeter coefficients and fuel rod region pressure drop characteristics.
  • This report surveys reactor core design features of the Light Water Breeder Reactor which make possible improved fuel utilization in light water reactor systems and breeding with the uranium-thorium fuel cycle. The impact of developing the uranium-thorium fuel cycle on utilization of nuclear fuel resources is discussed. The specific core design features related to improved fuel utilization and breeding which have been implemented in the Shippingport LWBR core are presented. These design features include a seed-blanket module with movable fuel for reactivity control, radial and axial reflcetor regions, low hafnium Zircaloy for fuel element cladding and structurals, and a closelymore » spaced fuel rod lattice. Also included is a discussion of several design modifications which could further improve fuel utilization in future light water reactor systems. These include further development of movable fuel control, use of Zircaloy fuel rod support grids, and fuel element design modifications.« less
  • This report presents and discusses the results of the reactor physics test program for the LWBR core at Shippingport during the reduced power phase of operation from 18,298 EFPH through the end of life at 28,730 EFPH. Test results covering the period from initial startup to 18,298 EFPH have previously been reported in WAPD-TM--1336 (June 1979) and WAPD-TM-1455 (December 1981). The periodic physics tests have confirmed that movable seed assembly (control element) critical positions and reactivity worths, reactivity coefficients, xenon and protactinium characteristics, core symmetry and core shutdown continued to be within the range of values used in the designmore » of LWBR and its safety analysis. The results of these tests give confidence that breeding has occurred in the Shippingport LWBR core, but confirmation of breeding will be obtained by nondestructive and destructive assay of a sample of expended fuel rods from the LWBR core. The testing has shown that the calculational models used can predict the behavior of U/sup 233/-Th fuel systems with tight lattices and movable fuel. In addition, the end of life test results confirmed the validity of the physics parameters assumed for the defueling safety assessment. 16 references, 25 figures, 35 tables.« less
  • This report presents and discusses the results of the reactor physics experimental program for the LWBR at Shippingport through 18,298 Effective Full Power Hours. Periodic physics tests have confirmed that movable seed assembly (control element) critical positions and reactivity worths, reactivity coefficients, xenon and protactinium characteristics, core symmetry and core shutdown are within the ranges of values used in the design of LWBR and its reactor protection analysis.