Comparative neutronic analysis of Pb-versus Na-cooled LMR cores

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A comparative neutronic study has been conducted on several LMR cores using both lead-magnesium eutectic alloy (97.7% Pb -- 2.3% Mg) and sodium as coolant. In order to have a consistent comparison for these two coolants on a common basis, i.e. interchangeable designs, this study used exactly the same reactor core layout, assembly design parameters, and compositions for structure material. Only driver fuel enrichments were adjusted respectively for these two coolants in order to meet the same set of requirements for specified burnup cycles. Equilibrium cycle performance and coolant void worth were calculated for five different lattice designs, first for ... continued below

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Pages: (13 p)

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Liaw, J.R.; Fujita, E.K. & Wade, D.C. January 1, 1992.

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A comparative neutronic study has been conducted on several LMR cores using both lead-magnesium eutectic alloy (97.7% Pb -- 2.3% Mg) and sodium as coolant. In order to have a consistent comparison for these two coolants on a common basis, i.e. interchangeable designs, this study used exactly the same reactor core layout, assembly design parameters, and compositions for structure material. Only driver fuel enrichments were adjusted respectively for these two coolants in order to meet the same set of requirements for specified burnup cycles. Equilibrium cycle performance and coolant void worth were calculated for five different lattice designs, first for sodium coolant and then for Pb-Mg coolant. Our results indicated a better neutron economy is achieved in cores using Pb-Mg as coolant which generally have higher breeding performance, small burnup reactivity swing, and lower fissile enrichment. On the otherhand, linear heat rate goes up, power peaking worsens, and peak fast fluence increases in Pb-Mg cooled cores. Some of these problems may be mitigated if the design constraint of interchangeability were relaxed. Special emphasis has been put on the void worth comparison between Na and Pb-Mg coolant. quite large negative void worths were obtained for several cases using Pb-Mg as coolant where the Na coolant would have otherwise yielded positive values. The difference is void worths were explained from basic physical principles involved in voiding these two coolants. The large negative void worth with Pb-Mg coolant is mainly caused by the enhanced leakage component rather than the direct spectral hardening effects of heavy coolants.

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Pages: (13 p)

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OSTI; NTIS; INIS; GPO Dep.

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  • Advances in reactor physics, Charleston, SC (United States), 8-11 Mar 1992

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  • Other: DE92007381
  • Report No.: ANL/CP-73386
  • Report No.: CONF-920308--9
  • Grant Number: W-31109-ENG-38
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 5856215
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc1095707

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  • January 1, 1992

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Feb. 18, 2018, 3:59 p.m.

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  • April 17, 2018, 3:29 p.m.

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Liaw, J.R.; Fujita, E.K. & Wade, D.C. Comparative neutronic analysis of Pb-versus Na-cooled LMR cores, article, January 1, 1992; Illinois. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1095707/: accessed October 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.