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Managing the Reactivity Excess of the Gas Turbine – Modular Helium Reactor by Burnable Poison and Control Rods
KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Physics.
2006 (English)In: Annals of Nuclear Energy, ISSN 0306-4549, E-ISSN 1873-2100, Vol. 33, no 1, 84-98 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The gas turbine-modular helium reactor coupled to the deep burn in-core fuel management strategy offers the extraordinary capability to incinerate over 50% of the initial inventory of fissile material. This extraordinary feature, coming from an advanced and well tested fuel element design, which takes advantage of the TRISO particles technology, is maintained while the reactor is loaded with the most different types of fuels. In the present work, we assumed the reactor operating at the equilibrium of the fuel composition, obtained by a 6 years irradiation of light water reactor waste, and we investigated the effects of the introduction of the burnable poison and the control rods; we equipped the core with all the three types of control rods: operational, startup and shutdown ones. We employed as burnable poison natural erbium, due to the Er-167 increasing neutron capture microscopic cross-section in the energy range where the neutron spectrum exhibits the thermal peak; in addition, we utilized boron carbide, with 90% enrichment in 1013, as the absorption material of the control rods. Concerning the burnable poison studies, we focused on the k(eff) value, the Er-167 mass during burnup, the influence of modifying the radius of the BISO particles kernel and the fuel and moderator coefficients of temperature. Concerning the control rods studies, we investigated the reactivity worth, the changes in the neutron flux profile due to a partial insertion, the influence of modifying the radius of the BISO particles kernel and the beta(eff), at the beginning of the operation

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 33, no 1, 84-98 p.
Keyword [en]
deep-burn, monte-carlo, nuclear-waste, fuel, htr, transmutation, features, project, core
National Category
Atom and Molecular Physics and Optics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-5549DOI: 10.1016/j.anucene.2005.08.005ISI: 000234259100010Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-28244447052OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-5549DiVA: diva2:9949
Note
QC 20100922Available from: 2006-04-05 Created: 2006-04-05 Last updated: 2017-11-21Bibliographically 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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