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BWR control blade replacement strategies

Abstract

The reactivity control elements in a BWR, the control blades, perform three significant functions: provide shutdown margin during normal and accident operating conditions; provide overall core reactivity control; and provide axial power shaping control. As such, the blades are exposed to the core's neutron flux, resulting in irradiation of blade structural and absorber materials. Since the absorber depletes with time (if B{sub 4}C is used, it also swells) and the structural components undergo various degradation mechanisms (e.g., embrittlement, corrosion), the blades have limits on their operational lifetimes. Consequently, BWR utilities have implemented strategies that aim to maximize blade lifetimes while balancing operational costs, such as extending a refuelling outage to shuffle high exposure blades. This paper examines the blade replacement strategies used by BWR utilities operating in US, Europe and Asia by assembling information related to: the utility's specific blade replacement strategy; the impact the newer blade designs and changes in core operating mode were having on those strategies; the mechanical and nuclear limits that determined those strategies; the methods employed to ensure that lifetime limits were not exceeded during operation; and blade designs used (current and replacement blades). (author)
Authors:
Kennard, M W; [1]  Harbottle, J E [2] 
  1. Stoller Nuclear Fuel, NAC International, Pleasantville, NY (United States)
  2. Stoller Nuclear Fuel, NAC International, Thornbury, Bristol (United Kingdom)
Publication Date:
Feb 01, 2000
Product Type:
Conference
Report Number:
IAEA-TECDOC-1132
Reference Number:
EDB-00:106721
Resource Relation:
Conference: Technical committee meeting on control assembly materials for water reactors: Experience, performance and perspectives, Vienna (Austria), 12-15 Oct 1998; Other Information: 6 figs, 6 tabs; PBD: Feb 2000; Related Information: In: Control assembly materials for water reactors: Experience, performance and perspectives. Proceedings of a technical committee meeting, 265 pages.
Subject:
21 SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS; BORON CARBIDES; BWR TYPE REACTORS; CONTROL ELEMENTS; CORROSION; EMBRITTLEMENT; MECHANICAL PROPERTIES; NEUTRON ABSORBERS; REACTOR SHUTDOWN; SHIM RODS; SWELLING
OSTI ID:
20045886
Research Organizations:
International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna (Austria)
Country of Origin:
IAEA
Language:
English
Other Identifying Numbers:
Other: ISSN 1011-4289; TRN: XA0053644008499
Availability:
Available from INIS in electronic form
Submitting Site:
INIS
Size:
page(s) 229-244
Announcement Date:
Dec 14, 2000

Citation Formats

Kennard, M W, and Harbottle, J E. BWR control blade replacement strategies. IAEA: N. p., 2000. Web.
Kennard, M W, & Harbottle, J E. BWR control blade replacement strategies. IAEA.
Kennard, M W, and Harbottle, J E. 2000. "BWR control blade replacement strategies." IAEA.
@misc{etde_20045886,
title = {BWR control blade replacement strategies}
author = {Kennard, M W, and Harbottle, J E}
abstractNote = {The reactivity control elements in a BWR, the control blades, perform three significant functions: provide shutdown margin during normal and accident operating conditions; provide overall core reactivity control; and provide axial power shaping control. As such, the blades are exposed to the core's neutron flux, resulting in irradiation of blade structural and absorber materials. Since the absorber depletes with time (if B{sub 4}C is used, it also swells) and the structural components undergo various degradation mechanisms (e.g., embrittlement, corrosion), the blades have limits on their operational lifetimes. Consequently, BWR utilities have implemented strategies that aim to maximize blade lifetimes while balancing operational costs, such as extending a refuelling outage to shuffle high exposure blades. This paper examines the blade replacement strategies used by BWR utilities operating in US, Europe and Asia by assembling information related to: the utility's specific blade replacement strategy; the impact the newer blade designs and changes in core operating mode were having on those strategies; the mechanical and nuclear limits that determined those strategies; the methods employed to ensure that lifetime limits were not exceeded during operation; and blade designs used (current and replacement blades). (author)}
place = {IAEA}
year = {2000}
month = {Feb}
}