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Title: Narrowing transient testing pulse widths to enhance LWR RIA experiment design in the TREAT facility

Abstract

The Transient Reactor Test (TREAT) Facility provided thousands of transient irradiations and plays a crucial role in nuclear-heated safety research. The facility’s flexible design and multi-mission nature saw historic experiments for numerous reactor fuels and transient types but was never specifically adapted to address very-brief pulse transients akin to postulated Light Water Reactor (LWR) Reactivity Initiated Accidents (RIA). Since the behaviors of fuel under these conditions depends strongly on energy input duration and resulting cladding time/temperature response under pellet cladding mechanical interactions, this three-year project was conceived to investigate new pulse-narrowing capabilities. Kinetic models showed incremental improvements for minor facility enhancements including increased reactivity step insertions (to initiate the power pulse) and slightly-increased transient rod drive speed for pulse termination (“clipping”). Replacing peak fuel assemblies, repositioning non-transient control rods to hold down the “hot side” of the core, and balancing against required excess reactivity needs, the limiting fuel assembly power can be reduced by ~20 %. Furthermore, this is a remarkable discovery of latent capability in TREAT, not only in enabling the subject capabilities for reduced pulse widths, but also significantly “uprating” the core’s transient energy capacity. Incremental improvements can likely enhance TREAT’s capability into BWR-relevant missions; briefer PWR pulsemore » shapes can only be achieved with an advanced clipping system. Helium-3 ( 3He) was found to offer the greatest benefits for clipping design and overall performance. A unique concept showed great promise for enabling a 3He-based system with a reasonable cost; this design concept will likely become the focal point of future work.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1];  [1];  [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1];  [1]; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
OSTI Identifier:
1557657
Report Number(s):
INL/JOU-18-51194-Rev000
Journal ID: ISSN 0306-4549
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC07-05ID14517
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Annals of Nuclear Energy (Oxford)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Annals of Nuclear Energy (Oxford); Journal Volume: 124; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0306-4549
Publisher:
Elsevier
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; 21 SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS; 22 GENERAL STUDIES OF NUCLEAR REACTORS; 73 NUCLEAR PHYSICS AND RADIATION PHYSICS; 97 MATHEMATICS AND COMPUTING; Light Water Reactor; Pulse Widths; Reactivity Initiated Accidents; Transient Testing; TREAT; MCNP; RELAP; Accident Analysis; Helium-3 Control; Kinetics Studies; LDRD; Core Power Flattening; PHYSOR; Clipping

Citation Formats

Bess, John D., Woolstenhulme, Nicolas E., Davis, Cliff B., Dusanter, Louis M., Folsom, Charles P., Parry, James R., Shorthill, Tate H., and Zhao, Haihua. Narrowing transient testing pulse widths to enhance LWR RIA experiment design in the TREAT facility. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1016/j.anucene.2018.10.030.
Bess, John D., Woolstenhulme, Nicolas E., Davis, Cliff B., Dusanter, Louis M., Folsom, Charles P., Parry, James R., Shorthill, Tate H., & Zhao, Haihua. Narrowing transient testing pulse widths to enhance LWR RIA experiment design in the TREAT facility. United States. doi:10.1016/j.anucene.2018.10.030.
Bess, John D., Woolstenhulme, Nicolas E., Davis, Cliff B., Dusanter, Louis M., Folsom, Charles P., Parry, James R., Shorthill, Tate H., and Zhao, Haihua. Thu . "Narrowing transient testing pulse widths to enhance LWR RIA experiment design in the TREAT facility". United States. doi:10.1016/j.anucene.2018.10.030. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1557657.
@article{osti_1557657,
title = {Narrowing transient testing pulse widths to enhance LWR RIA experiment design in the TREAT facility},
author = {Bess, John D. and Woolstenhulme, Nicolas E. and Davis, Cliff B. and Dusanter, Louis M. and Folsom, Charles P. and Parry, James R. and Shorthill, Tate H. and Zhao, Haihua},
abstractNote = {The Transient Reactor Test (TREAT) Facility provided thousands of transient irradiations and plays a crucial role in nuclear-heated safety research. The facility’s flexible design and multi-mission nature saw historic experiments for numerous reactor fuels and transient types but was never specifically adapted to address very-brief pulse transients akin to postulated Light Water Reactor (LWR) Reactivity Initiated Accidents (RIA). Since the behaviors of fuel under these conditions depends strongly on energy input duration and resulting cladding time/temperature response under pellet cladding mechanical interactions, this three-year project was conceived to investigate new pulse-narrowing capabilities. Kinetic models showed incremental improvements for minor facility enhancements including increased reactivity step insertions (to initiate the power pulse) and slightly-increased transient rod drive speed for pulse termination (“clipping”). Replacing peak fuel assemblies, repositioning non-transient control rods to hold down the “hot side” of the core, and balancing against required excess reactivity needs, the limiting fuel assembly power can be reduced by ~20 %. Furthermore, this is a remarkable discovery of latent capability in TREAT, not only in enabling the subject capabilities for reduced pulse widths, but also significantly “uprating” the core’s transient energy capacity. Incremental improvements can likely enhance TREAT’s capability into BWR-relevant missions; briefer PWR pulse shapes can only be achieved with an advanced clipping system. Helium-3 (3He) was found to offer the greatest benefits for clipping design and overall performance. A unique concept showed great promise for enabling a 3He-based system with a reasonable cost; this design concept will likely become the focal point of future work.},
doi = {10.1016/j.anucene.2018.10.030},
journal = {Annals of Nuclear Energy (Oxford)},
number = C,
volume = 124,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {10}
}

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