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Title: The Next Generation Nuclear Plant - Insights Gained from the INEEL Point Design Studies

Abstract

This paper provides the results of an assessment of two possible versions of the Next Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP), a prismatic fuel type helium gas-cooled reactor and a pebble-bed fuel helium gas reactor. Insights gained regarding the strengths and weaknesses of the two designs are also discussed. Both designs will meet the three basic requirements that have been set for the NGNP: a coolant outlet temperature of 1000 C, passive safety, and a total power output consistent with that expected for commercial high-temperature gas-cooled reactors. Two major modifications of the current Gas Turbine- Modular Helium Reactor (GT-MHR) design were needed to obtain a prismatic block design with a 1000 C outlet temperature: reducing the bypass flow and better controlling the inlet coolant flow distribution to the core. The total power that could be obtained for different core heights without exceeding a peak transient fuel temperature of 1600 °C during a high or low-pressure conduction cooldown event was calculated. With a coolant inlet temperature of 490 °C and 10% nominal core bypass flow, it is estimated that the peak power for a 10-block high core is 686 MWt, for a 12-block high core is 786 MWt, and for a 14-block coremore » is about 889 MWt. The core neutronics calculations showed that the NGNP will exhibit strongly negative Doppler and isothermal temperature coefficients of reactivity over the burnup cycle. In the event of rapid loss of the helium gas, there is negligible core reactivity change. However, water or steam ingress into the core coolant channels can produce a relatively large reactivity effect. Two versions of an annular pebble-bed NGNP have also been developed, a 300 and a 600 MWt module. From this work we learned how to design passively safe pebble bed reactors that produce more than 600 MWt. We also found a way to improve both the fuel utilization and safety by modifying the pebble design (by adjusting the fuel zone radius in the pebble to optimize the fuel-to-moderator ratio). We also learned how to perform design optimization calculations by using a genetic algorithm that automatically selects a sequence of design parameter sets to meet specified fitness criteria increasingly well. In the pebble-bed NGNP design work, we use the genetic algorithm to direct the INEEL’s PEBBED code to perform hundreds of code runs in less than a day to find optimized design configurations. And finally, we learned how to calculate cross sections more accurately for pebble bed reactors, and we identified research needs for the further refinement of the cross section calculations.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Idaho National Laboratory (INL)
Sponsoring Org.:
DOE - NE
OSTI Identifier:
910816
Report Number(s):
INEEL/CON-04-01563
TRN: US0800555
DOE Contract Number:  
DE-AC07-99ID-13727
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: The 2004 Frederic Joliot & Otto Hahn Summer School of Nuclear Reactors,Cadarache, France,08/25/2004,09/03/2004
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
21 - SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS; CROSS SECTIONS; DESIGN; EDUCATIONAL FACILITIES; GAS COOLED REACTORS; GAS TURBINES; HELIUM; INEEL; PEAK LOAD; PEBBLE BED REACTORS; REACTORS; TEMPERATURE COEFFICIENT; helium gas-cooled reactor; NGNP; pebble-bed; prismatic

Citation Formats

MacDonald, Philip E, Baxter, A M, Bayless, P D, Bolin, J M, Gougar, H D, Moore, R L, Ougouag, A M, Richards, M B, Sant, R L, Sterbentz, J W, and Terry, W K. The Next Generation Nuclear Plant - Insights Gained from the INEEL Point Design Studies. United States: N. p., 2004. Web.
MacDonald, Philip E, Baxter, A M, Bayless, P D, Bolin, J M, Gougar, H D, Moore, R L, Ougouag, A M, Richards, M B, Sant, R L, Sterbentz, J W, & Terry, W K. The Next Generation Nuclear Plant - Insights Gained from the INEEL Point Design Studies. United States.
MacDonald, Philip E, Baxter, A M, Bayless, P D, Bolin, J M, Gougar, H D, Moore, R L, Ougouag, A M, Richards, M B, Sant, R L, Sterbentz, J W, and Terry, W K. Sun . "The Next Generation Nuclear Plant - Insights Gained from the INEEL Point Design Studies". United States. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/910816.
@article{osti_910816,
title = {The Next Generation Nuclear Plant - Insights Gained from the INEEL Point Design Studies},
author = {MacDonald, Philip E and Baxter, A M and Bayless, P D and Bolin, J M and Gougar, H D and Moore, R L and Ougouag, A M and Richards, M B and Sant, R L and Sterbentz, J W and Terry, W K},
abstractNote = {This paper provides the results of an assessment of two possible versions of the Next Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP), a prismatic fuel type helium gas-cooled reactor and a pebble-bed fuel helium gas reactor. Insights gained regarding the strengths and weaknesses of the two designs are also discussed. Both designs will meet the three basic requirements that have been set for the NGNP: a coolant outlet temperature of 1000 C, passive safety, and a total power output consistent with that expected for commercial high-temperature gas-cooled reactors. Two major modifications of the current Gas Turbine- Modular Helium Reactor (GT-MHR) design were needed to obtain a prismatic block design with a 1000 C outlet temperature: reducing the bypass flow and better controlling the inlet coolant flow distribution to the core. The total power that could be obtained for different core heights without exceeding a peak transient fuel temperature of 1600 °C during a high or low-pressure conduction cooldown event was calculated. With a coolant inlet temperature of 490 °C and 10% nominal core bypass flow, it is estimated that the peak power for a 10-block high core is 686 MWt, for a 12-block high core is 786 MWt, and for a 14-block core is about 889 MWt. The core neutronics calculations showed that the NGNP will exhibit strongly negative Doppler and isothermal temperature coefficients of reactivity over the burnup cycle. In the event of rapid loss of the helium gas, there is negligible core reactivity change. However, water or steam ingress into the core coolant channels can produce a relatively large reactivity effect. Two versions of an annular pebble-bed NGNP have also been developed, a 300 and a 600 MWt module. From this work we learned how to design passively safe pebble bed reactors that produce more than 600 MWt. We also found a way to improve both the fuel utilization and safety by modifying the pebble design (by adjusting the fuel zone radius in the pebble to optimize the fuel-to-moderator ratio). We also learned how to perform design optimization calculations by using a genetic algorithm that automatically selects a sequence of design parameter sets to meet specified fitness criteria increasingly well. In the pebble-bed NGNP design work, we use the genetic algorithm to direct the INEEL’s PEBBED code to perform hundreds of code runs in less than a day to find optimized design configurations. And finally, we learned how to calculate cross sections more accurately for pebble bed reactors, and we identified research needs for the further refinement of the cross section calculations.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2004},
month = {8}
}

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