CUED Publications database

High conversion pressurized water reactor with boiling channels

Margulis, M and Shwageraus, E (2015) High conversion pressurized water reactor with boiling channels. Nuclear Engineering and Design, 292. pp. 98-111. ISSN 0029-5493

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© 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. Parametric studies have been performed on a seed-blanket Th-<sup>233</sup>U fuel configuration in a pressurized water reactor (PWR) with boiling channels to achieve high conversion ratio. Previous studies on seed-blanket concepts suggested substantial reduction in the core power density is needed in order to operate under nominal PWR system conditions. Boiling flow regime in the seed region allows more heat to be removed for a given coolant mass flow rate, which in turn, may potentially allow increasing the power density of the core. In addition, reduced moderation improves the breeding performance. A two-dimensional design optimization study was carried out with BOXER and SERPENT codes in order to determine the most attractive fuel assembly configuration that would ensure breeding. Effects of various parameters, such as void fraction, blanket fuel form, number of seed pins and their dimensions, on the conversion ratio were examined. The obtained results, for which the power density was set to be 104 W/cm<sup>3</sup>, created a map of potentially feasible designs. It was found that several options have the potential to achieve end of life fissile inventory ratio above unity, which implies potential feasibility of a self-sustainable Thorium fuel cycle in PWRs without significant reduction in the core power density. Finally, a preliminary three-dimensional coupled neutronic and thermal-hydraulic analysis for a single seed-blanket fuel assembly was performed. The results indicate that axial void distribution changes drastically with burnup. Therefore, some means of maintaining the desired power to flow ratio in the seed channel throughout its burnup will be required through a combination of mechanical flow restrictions and sophisticated fuel management.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Div A > Energy
Depositing User: Cron Job
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2017 19:13
Last Modified: 22 Jun 2018 20:28