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The burnup capabilities of the deep burn modular helium reactor analyzed by the Monte Carlo continuous energy code MCB
KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Physics.
KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Physics.
2004 (English)In: Annals of nuclear energy, ISSN 0029-5639, Vol. 31, no 2, 173-196 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In the future development of nuclear energy, the graphite-moderated helium-cooled reactors may play an important role because of their valuable technical advantages: passive safety, low cost, flexibility in the choice of fuel, high conversion energy efficiency, high burnup, more resistant fuel cladding, and low power density. General Atomics possesses a long experience with this type of reactor, and it has recently developed the gas turbine-modular helium reactor (GT-MHR), a design where the nuclear power plant is structured into four reactor modules of 600 MW(thermal). Amid its benefits, the GT-MHR offers a rather large flexibility in the choice of fuel type; Th, U, and Pu may be used in the manufacture of fuel with some degrees of freedom. As a consequence, the fuel management may be designed for different objectives aside from energy production, e.g., the reduction of actinide waste production through a fuel based on thorium. In our previous studies we analyzed the behavior of the GT-MHR with a plutonium fuel based on light water reactor (LWR) waste; in the present study we focused on the incineration of military Pu. This choice of fuel requires a detailed numerical modeling of the reactor since a high value of keff at the beginning of the reactor operation requires the modeling both of control rods and of burnable poison; by contrast, when the GT-MHR is fueled with LWR waste, at the equilibrium of the fuel composition, the reactivity swing is small.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2004. Vol. 31, no 2, 173-196 p.
Keyword [en]
Monte Carlo method, Modular design, Burnup, Three dimensional model, Military application, Plutonium, Incineration, Gas turbine, Helium cooled reactors, Nuclear reactor
National Category
Physical Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-5543DOI: 10.1016/S0306-4549(03)00213-5ISI: 000186662100005Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-0141818957OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-5543DiVA: diva2:9943
Note

QC 20100922

Available from: 2006-04-05 Created: 2006-04-05 Last updated: 2014-12-17Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Advanced In-Core Fuel Cycles for the Gas Turbine-Modular Helium Reactor
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Advanced In-Core Fuel Cycles for the Gas Turbine-Modular Helium Reactor
2006 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

In 1789 a German chemist, Martin Heinrich Klaproth, announced the discovery of a new element: uranium; few years later, the head of father of the modern chemistry, Antoine Lavoisier, was swept away by guillotine: a new era was destined to be opened, either where energy would have been produced in large scale by nuclear processes delivering hundreds of times the energy of chemical processes or where a mass of people, revolutionary or not, would have been melted down into a couple of seconds. After a quite long time, on the 2nd December 1942, the first nuclear reactor has been put into operation by Enrico Fermi in Chicago; few years later, came also the dark side utilization of fissile materials in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Since those moments, three power plants generations succeeded, until the current one which is the generation IV of nuclear reactors. The latter has the goal of generating electricity in a safe manner, for the core is designed to provide an effective passive cooling of the decay heat. Amid generation IV of nuclear power plants, the Gas Turbine – Modular Helium Reactor, designed by General Atomics, is the only core with an energy conversion efficiency of 50%; the above consideration, coupled to construction and operation costs lower than ordinary Light Water Reactors, renders the Gas Turbine – Modular Helium reactor rather unequaled.

In the present studies we investigated the possibility to operate the GT-MHR with two types of fuels: LWRs waste and thorium; since thorium is made of only fertile 232Th, we tried to mix it with pure 233U, 235U or 239Pu; ex post facto, only uranium isotopes allow the reactor operation, that induced us to examine the possibility to use a mixture of uranium, enriched 20% in 235U, and thorium. We performed all calculations by the MCNP and MCB codes, which allowed to model the reactor in a very detailed threedimensional geometry and to describe the nuclides transmutation in a continuous energy approach; finally, we completed our studies by verifying the influence of the major nuclear data libraries, JEFF, JENDL and ENDF/B, on the obtained results.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH, 2006. x,60 p.
Series
TRITA-FYS, ISSN 0280-316X ; 2006.25
National Category
Atom and Molecular Physics and Optics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-3901 (URN)91-7178-328-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2006-04-21, Sal FA31, AlvaNova, Roslagstullsbacken 21, Stockholm, 14:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20100922

Available from: 2006-04-05 Created: 2006-04-05 Last updated: 2014-12-17Bibliographically approved

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