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Title: Core design studies for advanced burner test reactor.

Abstract

The U.S. government announced in February 2006 the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) to expand the use of nuclear energy to meet increasing global energy demand, to address nuclear waste management concerns and to promote non-proliferation. The advanced burner reactor (ABR) based on a fast spectrum is one of the three major technologies to be demonstrated in GNEP. In FY06, a pre-conceptual design study was performed to develop an advanced burner test reactor (ABTR) that supports development of a prototype full-scale ABR, which would be followed by commercial deployment of ABRs. The primary objectives of the ABTR were (1) to demonstrate reactor-based transmutation of transuranics (TRU) as part of an advanced fuel cycle, (2) to qualify the TRU-containing fuels and advanced structural materials needed for a full-scale ABR, (3) to support the research, development and demonstration required for certification of an ABR standard design by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Based on these objectives, core design and fuel cycle studies were performed to develop ABTR core designs, which can accommodate the expected changes of the TRU feed and the conversion ratio. Various option and trade-off studies were performed to determine the appropriate power level and conversion ratio. Both ternary metalmore » alloy (U-TRU-10Zr) and mixed oxide (UO{sub 2}-TRUO{sub 2}) fuel forms have been considered with TRU feeds from weapons-grade plutonium (WG-Pu) and TRU recovered from light water reactor spent fuel (LWR-SF). Reactor performances were evaluated in detail including equilibrium cycle core parameters, mass flow, power distribution, kinetic parameters, reactivity feedback coefficient, reactivity control requirements and shutdown margins, and spent fuel characteristics. Trade-off studies on power level suggested that about 250 MWt is a reasonable compromise to allow a low project cost, at the same time providing a reasonable prototypic irradiation environment for demonstrating TRU-based fuels. Preliminary design studies showed that it is feasible to design the ABTR to accommodate a wide range of conversion ratio (CR) by employing different assembly designs. The TRU enrichments required for various conversion ratios and the irradiation database suggested a phased approach with initial startup using conventional enrichment plutonium-based fuel and gradual transitioning to full core loading of transmutation fuel after its qualification phase (resulting in {approx}0.6 CR). The low CR transmutation fuel tests can be accommodated in the designated test assemblies, and if fully developed, core conversion to low CR fuel can be envisioned. Reference ABTR core designs with a rated power of 250 MWt were developed for ternary metal alloy and mixed oxide fuels based on WG-Pu feed. The reference core contains 54 driver, 6 test fuel, and 3 test material assemblies. For the startup core designs, the calculated TRU conversion ratio is 0.65 for the metal fuel core and 0.64 for the oxide fuel core. Both the metal and oxide cores show good performances. The metal fuel core requires an average TRU enrichment of 18.8% and yields a reactivity swing of 1.2 %{Delta}k over the 4-month cycle. The core average flux level is {approx}2.4 x 10{sup 15} n/cm{sup 2}s, and test assembly flux level is {approx}2.8 x 10{sup 15} n/cm{sup 2}s. Compared to the metal fuel core, the lower density oxide fuel core requires an average TRU enrichment of 21.8%, which results in a 780 kg TRU loading (as compared to 732 kg for metal) despite a {approx}9% smaller heavy metal inventory. The lower heavy metal inventory increases the burnup reactivity swing by {approx}10% and reduces the flux levels by {approx}8%. Alternative designs were also studied for a LWR-SF TRU feed and a low conversion ratio, including the recycle of the ABTR spent fuel TRU. The lower fissile contents of the LWR-SF TRU relative to the WG-Pu TRU significantly increase the required TRU enrichment of the startup cores to maintain the same cycle length. The even lower fissile fraction of the ABTR spent fuel TRU further increases the TRU enrichments of the recycled cores. The reduced fissile content increases the fissile conversion ratio, and the increased TRU enrichment decreases the TRU conversion ratio. For example, the average TRU enrichment of the recycled core increases from 18.8% to 27.2% for the metal fuel and from 21.8% to 33.4% for the oxide core. The TRU conversion ratio is decreased from 0.65 to 0.56 for the metal core and from 0.64 to 0.52 for the oxide core. In the full paper, the details of design and performance characteristics will be presented along with the analysis methods.« less

Authors:
; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
977019
Report Number(s):
ANL/NE/CP-58710
TRN: US1002753
DOE Contract Number:  
DE-AC02-06CH11357
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: ICAPP 2007 International Congress on Advances in Nuclear Power Plants; May 13, 2007 - May 18, 2007; Nice, France
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
ENGLISH
Subject:
21 SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS; 11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; 12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE WASTES, AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; 29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY AND ECONOMY; ALLOYS; BUILDING MATERIALS; BURNERS; BURNUP; CONVERSION RATIO; ENERGY DEMAND; FEEDBACK; FUEL CANS; FUEL CYCLE; HEAVY METALS; IRRADIATION; KINETICS; MIXED OXIDE FUELS; NUCLEAR ENERGY; NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS; OXIDES; PLUTONIUM; POWER DISTRIBUTION; RADIOACTIVE WASTES; SHUTDOWN; SPENT FUELS; TEST REACTORS; TRANSMUTATION

Citation Formats

Yang, W S, Kim, T K, Hill, R N, and Nuclear Engineering Division. Core design studies for advanced burner test reactor.. United States: N. p., 2008. Web.
Yang, W S, Kim, T K, Hill, R N, & Nuclear Engineering Division. Core design studies for advanced burner test reactor.. United States.
Yang, W S, Kim, T K, Hill, R N, and Nuclear Engineering Division. 2008. "Core design studies for advanced burner test reactor.". United States.
@article{osti_977019,
title = {Core design studies for advanced burner test reactor.},
author = {Yang, W S and Kim, T K and Hill, R N and Nuclear Engineering Division},
abstractNote = {The U.S. government announced in February 2006 the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) to expand the use of nuclear energy to meet increasing global energy demand, to address nuclear waste management concerns and to promote non-proliferation. The advanced burner reactor (ABR) based on a fast spectrum is one of the three major technologies to be demonstrated in GNEP. In FY06, a pre-conceptual design study was performed to develop an advanced burner test reactor (ABTR) that supports development of a prototype full-scale ABR, which would be followed by commercial deployment of ABRs. The primary objectives of the ABTR were (1) to demonstrate reactor-based transmutation of transuranics (TRU) as part of an advanced fuel cycle, (2) to qualify the TRU-containing fuels and advanced structural materials needed for a full-scale ABR, (3) to support the research, development and demonstration required for certification of an ABR standard design by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Based on these objectives, core design and fuel cycle studies were performed to develop ABTR core designs, which can accommodate the expected changes of the TRU feed and the conversion ratio. Various option and trade-off studies were performed to determine the appropriate power level and conversion ratio. Both ternary metal alloy (U-TRU-10Zr) and mixed oxide (UO{sub 2}-TRUO{sub 2}) fuel forms have been considered with TRU feeds from weapons-grade plutonium (WG-Pu) and TRU recovered from light water reactor spent fuel (LWR-SF). Reactor performances were evaluated in detail including equilibrium cycle core parameters, mass flow, power distribution, kinetic parameters, reactivity feedback coefficient, reactivity control requirements and shutdown margins, and spent fuel characteristics. Trade-off studies on power level suggested that about 250 MWt is a reasonable compromise to allow a low project cost, at the same time providing a reasonable prototypic irradiation environment for demonstrating TRU-based fuels. Preliminary design studies showed that it is feasible to design the ABTR to accommodate a wide range of conversion ratio (CR) by employing different assembly designs. The TRU enrichments required for various conversion ratios and the irradiation database suggested a phased approach with initial startup using conventional enrichment plutonium-based fuel and gradual transitioning to full core loading of transmutation fuel after its qualification phase (resulting in {approx}0.6 CR). The low CR transmutation fuel tests can be accommodated in the designated test assemblies, and if fully developed, core conversion to low CR fuel can be envisioned. Reference ABTR core designs with a rated power of 250 MWt were developed for ternary metal alloy and mixed oxide fuels based on WG-Pu feed. The reference core contains 54 driver, 6 test fuel, and 3 test material assemblies. For the startup core designs, the calculated TRU conversion ratio is 0.65 for the metal fuel core and 0.64 for the oxide fuel core. Both the metal and oxide cores show good performances. The metal fuel core requires an average TRU enrichment of 18.8% and yields a reactivity swing of 1.2 %{Delta}k over the 4-month cycle. The core average flux level is {approx}2.4 x 10{sup 15} n/cm{sup 2}s, and test assembly flux level is {approx}2.8 x 10{sup 15} n/cm{sup 2}s. Compared to the metal fuel core, the lower density oxide fuel core requires an average TRU enrichment of 21.8%, which results in a 780 kg TRU loading (as compared to 732 kg for metal) despite a {approx}9% smaller heavy metal inventory. The lower heavy metal inventory increases the burnup reactivity swing by {approx}10% and reduces the flux levels by {approx}8%. Alternative designs were also studied for a LWR-SF TRU feed and a low conversion ratio, including the recycle of the ABTR spent fuel TRU. The lower fissile contents of the LWR-SF TRU relative to the WG-Pu TRU significantly increase the required TRU enrichment of the startup cores to maintain the same cycle length. The even lower fissile fraction of the ABTR spent fuel TRU further increases the TRU enrichments of the recycled cores. The reduced fissile content increases the fissile conversion ratio, and the increased TRU enrichment decreases the TRU conversion ratio. For example, the average TRU enrichment of the recycled core increases from 18.8% to 27.2% for the metal fuel and from 21.8% to 33.4% for the oxide core. The TRU conversion ratio is decreased from 0.65 to 0.56 for the metal core and from 0.64 to 0.52 for the oxide core. In the full paper, the details of design and performance characteristics will be presented along with the analysis methods.},
doi = {},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/977019}, journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2008},
month = {1}
}

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