Reactivity changes in lead-cooled fast reactors due to bubbles in the coolant
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
The formation of bubbles in the coolant of a Lead-Cooled Fast Reactor (LFR) may originate from a leaking heat-exchanger and is a potential safety hazard. Small bubbles can travel with the coolant without escaping to the cover gas, causing an increasing effective voiding of the coolant in a homogeneous manner. If the small bubbles coalesce into a larger bubble located at a stagnation zone, the reactor core may eventually be exposed to a transient bubble travelling axially through the core with a resulting change in the reactivity of the system. This study is focused on the reactivity changes caused by bubbles of various sizes and for different vertical positions as the bubble rises through the core. Three different sizes of LFR’s; 50 MWth, 300 MWth and 1200 MWth,respectively were user for the study. The 300 MWth reactor design is based on the Advanced LFR European Demonstrator (ALFRED) and the two other reactors are scaled up and scaled down versions of it and these were simulated in order study the sensitivity to void as a function of reactor size. We show that LFR’s may have a positive reactivity response to transient bubbles and that the sensitivity to changes in reactivity is larger the smaller the reactor. For sufficiently large bubbles all reactors may reach prompt criticality.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-232236OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-232236DiVA: diva2:747155