# Minimizing or eliminating refueling of nuclear reactor

## Abstract

Demand for refueling of a liquid metal fast nuclear reactor having a life of 30 years is eliminated or reduced to intervals of at least 10 years by operating the reactor at a low linear-power density, typically 2.5 kw/ft of fuel rod, rather than 7.5 or 15 kw/ft, which is the prior art practice. So that power of the same magnitude as for prior art reactors is produced, the volume of the core is increased. In addition, the height of the core and it diameter are dimensioned so that the ratio of the height to the diameter approximates 1 to the extent practicable considering the requirement of control and that the pressure drop in the coolant shall not be excessive. The surface area of a cylinder of given volume is a minimum if the ratio of the height to the diameter is 1. By minimizing the surface area, the leakage of neutrons is reduced. By reducing the linear-power density, increasing core volume, reducing fissile enrichment and optimizing core geometry, internal-core breeding of fissionable fuel is substantially enhanced. As a result, core operational life, limited by control worth requirements and fuel burnup capability, is extended up to 30 years of continuousmore »

- Inventors:

- (Washington, PA)
- (Pittsburgh, PA)
- (Hempfield Township, Westmoreland County, PA)
- (Rostraver Township, Westmoreland County, PA)
- (Greensburg, PA)
- (Penn Township, Westmoreland County, PA)

- Publication Date:

- Research Org.:
- Westinghouse Electric Corp

- OSTI Identifier:
- 867053

- Patent Number(s):
- US 4851182

- Assignee:
- Unites States of America as represented by United States (Washington, DC) OSTI

- DOE Contract Number:
- EY-76-C-15-2395

- Resource Type:
- Patent

- Country of Publication:
- United States

- Language:
- English

- Subject:
- minimizing; eliminating; refueling; nuclear; reactor; demand; liquid; metal; fast; life; 30; eliminated; reduced; intervals; 10; operating; linear-power; density; typically; kw; fuel; rod; 15; prior; practice; power; magnitude; reactors; produced; volume; core; increased; addition; height; diameter; dimensioned; ratio; approximates; extent; practicable; considering; requirement; control; pressure; drop; coolant; excessive; surface; cylinder; minimum; leakage; neutrons; reducing; increasing; fissile; enrichment; optimizing; geometry; internal-core; breeding; fissionable; substantially; enhanced; result; operational; limited; worth; requirements; burnup; capability; extended; continuous; operation; substantially enhanced; pressure drop; nuclear reactor; liquid metal; fuel rod; metal fast; power density; power operation; fissionable fuel; fast nuclear; /376/

### Citation Formats

```
Doncals, Richard A., Paik, Nam-Chin, Andre, Sandra V., Porter, Charles A., Rathbun, Roy W., Schwallie, Ambrose L., and Petras, Diane S.
```*Minimizing or eliminating refueling of nuclear reactor*. United States: N. p., 1989.
Web.

```
Doncals, Richard A., Paik, Nam-Chin, Andre, Sandra V., Porter, Charles A., Rathbun, Roy W., Schwallie, Ambrose L., & Petras, Diane S.
```*Minimizing or eliminating refueling of nuclear reactor*. United States.

```
Doncals, Richard A., Paik, Nam-Chin, Andre, Sandra V., Porter, Charles A., Rathbun, Roy W., Schwallie, Ambrose L., and Petras, Diane S. Sun .
"Minimizing or eliminating refueling of nuclear reactor". United States.
doi:. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/867053.
```

```
@article{osti_867053,
```

title = {Minimizing or eliminating refueling of nuclear reactor},

author = {Doncals, Richard A. and Paik, Nam-Chin and Andre, Sandra V. and Porter, Charles A. and Rathbun, Roy W. and Schwallie, Ambrose L. and Petras, Diane S.},

abstractNote = {Demand for refueling of a liquid metal fast nuclear reactor having a life of 30 years is eliminated or reduced to intervals of at least 10 years by operating the reactor at a low linear-power density, typically 2.5 kw/ft of fuel rod, rather than 7.5 or 15 kw/ft, which is the prior art practice. So that power of the same magnitude as for prior art reactors is produced, the volume of the core is increased. In addition, the height of the core and it diameter are dimensioned so that the ratio of the height to the diameter approximates 1 to the extent practicable considering the requirement of control and that the pressure drop in the coolant shall not be excessive. The surface area of a cylinder of given volume is a minimum if the ratio of the height to the diameter is 1. By minimizing the surface area, the leakage of neutrons is reduced. By reducing the linear-power density, increasing core volume, reducing fissile enrichment and optimizing core geometry, internal-core breeding of fissionable fuel is substantially enhanced. As a result, core operational life, limited by control worth requirements and fuel burnup capability, is extended up to 30 years of continuous power operation.},

doi = {},

journal = {},

number = ,

volume = ,

place = {United States},

year = {Sun Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 1989},

month = {Sun Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 1989}

}