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Title The calculation of fuel bowing reactivity coefficients in a subcritical advanced burner reactor
URL
Publication Date
Date Accessioned
Degree MS
Discipline/Department Mechanical Engineering
Degree Level masters
University/Publisher Georgia Tech
Abstract The United States' fleet of Light Water Reactors (LWRs) produces a large amount of spent fuel each year; all of which is presently intended to be stored in a fuel repository for disposal. As these LWRs continue to operate and more are built to match the increasing demand for electricity, the required capacity for these repositories grows. Georgia Tech's Subcritical Advanced Burner Reactor (SABR) has been designed to reduce the capacity requirements for these repositories and thereby help close the back end of the nuclear fuel cycle by burning the long-lived transuranics in spent nuclear fuel. SABR's design is based heavily off of the Integral Fast Reactor (IFR). It is important to understand whether the SABR design retains the passive safety characteristics of the IFR. A full safety analysis of SABR's transient response to various possible accident scenarios needs to be performed to determine this. However, before this safety analysis can be performed, it is imperative to model all components of the reactivity feedback mechanism in SABR. The purpose of this work is to develop a calculational model for the fuel bowing reactivity coefficients that can be used in SABR's future safety analysis. This thesis discusses background on fuel bowing and other reactivity coefficients, the history of the IFR, the design of SABR, describes the method that was developed for calculating fuel bowing reactivity coefficients and its validation, and presents an example of a fuel bowing reactivity calculation for SABR.
Subjects/Keywords SABR; Reactivity; Fuel bowing; Nuclear reactors; Light water reactors; Spent reactor fuels; Fast reactors
Contributors Stacey, Weston M. (advisor); Petrovic, Bojan (committee member); Ghiaasiaan, Mostafa (committee member); Grudzinski, Jim (committee member)
Country of Publication us
Record ID handle:1853/50295
Repository gatech
Date Indexed 2018-01-11
Issued Date 2013-10-15 00:00:00
Note [degree] M.S.;

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…Chapter II: Reactivity Feedbacks Reactivity feedbacks play a major role in any accidental transient and hence are an essential component of reactor safety analyses. Reactivity feedbacks are caused by a diverse set of physical processes and have…

…a change in reactivity. Modern fast reactor fuel assemblies have been designed to restrict any fuel bowing in the pins themselves, so non-uniform temperatures across the fuel assemblies are the main driver for fuel bowing.[4] In other words…

…highly design-specific and in certain cases be postive enough to dominate all other feedbacks in a fast reactor. [3] Standard practice for calculating a reactivity feedback is to hold all other variables constant (ie neglect other…

…calculations.[5] 4 Chapter III: History of Passive Safety of the Integral Fast Reactor Reactivity feedback due to fuel bowing was first noticed in Argonne National Laboratory's (ANL) Experimental Breeder Reactor I (EBR-I)…

…EBR-I was a liquid metal-cooled fast reactor that operated from 1951 to 1965 and performed a variety of impactful experiments [6]. It was the first nuclear reactor to produce electricity, the first reactor to produce a breeding gain (…

…produce more fissile material than it consumed), and the first reactor to use high-temperature molten metal as a coolant. One day in 1955, the EBR-I operators were studying changes in the power level caused by changes in the coolant flow rate. This…

…region of higher neutron flux and importance. Based on this experience, EBR-II was constructed in 1965 to have a negative fuel bowing coefficient and was eventually used to prove that a liquid metal fast reactor could achieve passive safety through the…

reactor shutdown, and the residual decay heat could be removed via natural circulation. Results from two LOFA tests with different pump-stop times are shown in Fig. 1 and Fig 2. The figures show a drop in reactivity as the power-to-flow ratio increases for…

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