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3D in-core fuel management optimization for breed-and-burn reactors
Univ Calif Berkeley, Dept Nucl Engn, Berkeley, CA 94720 USA.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Applied Nuclear Physics.
Argonne Natl Lab, Nucl Engn Div, 9700 S Cass Ave, Argonne, IL 60439 USA.
Univ Calif Berkeley, Dept Nucl Engn, Berkeley, CA 94720 USA.
2016 (English)In: Progress in nuclear energy (New series), ISSN 0149-1970, E-ISSN 1878-4224, Vol. 88, 58-74 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Breed-and-burn (B&B) reactors are a special class of fast reactors that are designed to utilize low grade fuel such as depleted uranium without fuel reprocessing. One of the most challenging practical design feasibility issues faced by B&B reactors is the high level of radiation damage their fuel cladding has to withstand in order to sustain the B&B mode of operation more than twice the maximum radiation damage cladding materials were exposed to so far in fast reactors. This study explores the possibility of reducing the minimum required peak radiation damage by employment of 3-dimensional (3D) fuel shuffling that enables a significant reduction in the peak-to-average axial burnup, that is, more uniform fuel utilization. A new conceptual design of a B&B core made of axially segmented fuel assemblies was adopted to facilitate the 3D shuffling. Also developed is a Simulated Annealing (SA) algorithm to automate the search for the optimal 3D shuffling pattern (SP). The primary objective of the SA optimization is to minimize the peak radiation damage while its secondary objective is to minimize the burnup reactivity swing, radial power peaking factor and maximum change of fuel assembly power over the cycle. Also studied is the sensitivity of the 3D shuffled core performance to the number of axially stacked subassemblies, core height and power level.

It was found that compared with the optimal 2-dimensional (2D) shuffled core, the optimal 3D shuffled B&B core made of four 70 cm long axially stacked sub-assemblies and 12 radial shuffling batches offers a 1/3 reduction of the peak radiation damage level from 534 down to 351 displacements per atom (dpa), along with a 45% increase in the average fuel discharge burnup, and hence, the depleted uranium utilization, while satisfying all major neutronics and thermal-hydraulics design constraints. For the same peak dpa level, the 3D shuffling offers more than double the uranium utilization and the cycle length relative to 2D shuffling. The minimum peak radiation damage is increased to 360 or to 403 dpa if the core is made of, respectively, three - 70 cm or two - 140 cm long axially stacked subassemblies. Reducing the length of the subassemblies of B&B cores made of three-segment assemblies from 70 cm to 60 or 50 cm results in an increase in the peak radiation damage from 360 dpa to, respectively, 368 and 397 dpa.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 88, 58-74 p.
National Category
Energy Systems Energy Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-270570DOI: 10.1016/j.pnucene.2015.12.002ISI: 000372564400008OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-270570DiVA: diva2:890134
Available from: 2015-12-30 Created: 2015-12-30 Last updated: 2016-05-11Bibliographically approved

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Qvist, Staffan
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