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Title: Control of a Uranium-Hydride Reactor with Deuterium-Hydrogen Exchange

A 70 MWt reactor is evaluated that utilizes uranium-hydride fuel and is cooled by lead-bismuth eutectic (LBE). The concept utilizes a high-density, high-density-fuel outer annulus which surrounds a lowdensity, powder-fuel central core. Prior to reactor startup, the entire core is initially saturated with deuterium (UD3). To start the reactor, hydrogen flows through the central, low density powder (with protons gradually replacing deuterons) until criticality is reached. Over the remaining lifetime of the reactor, with the goal of 10 years, hydrogen is continually added to the outer, high-density core to compensate for burnup reactivity loss. Throughout lifetime, the inner region serves as a standard control/shutdown rod, with the ability to replace the H with D relatively quickly (because of the low density, high surface area of the fuel). The scope of this work is to determine if a reactor could be designed to meet the above guidelines and if possible estimate the size of the smallest reactor that could meet the guidelines.
Authors:
 [1]
  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1113781
Report Number(s):
LA-UR--13-29622
DOE Contract Number:
AC52-06NA25396
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
22 GENERAL STUDIES OF NUCLEAR REACTORS