ASSESSMENT OF POSSIBLE CYCLE LENGTHS FOR FULLY-CERAMIC MICRO-ENCAPSULATED FUEL-BASED LIGHT WATER REACTOR CONCEPTS

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The use of TRISO-particle-based dispersion fuel within SiC matrix and cladding materials has the potential to allow the design of extremely safe LWRs with failure-proof fuel. This paper examines the feasibility of LWR-like cycle length for such a low enriched uranium fuel with the imposed constraint of strictly retaining the original geometry of the fuel pins and assemblies. The motivation for retaining the original geometry is to provide the ability to incorporate the fuel 'as-is' into existing LWRs while retaining their thermal-hydraulic characteristics. The feasibility of using this fuel is assessed by looking at cycle lengths and fuel failure rates. ... continued below

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Sen, R. Sonat; Pope, Michael A.; Ougouag, Abderrafi M.; Pasamehmetoglu, Kemal & Venneri, Francesco April 1, 2012.

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The use of TRISO-particle-based dispersion fuel within SiC matrix and cladding materials has the potential to allow the design of extremely safe LWRs with failure-proof fuel. This paper examines the feasibility of LWR-like cycle length for such a low enriched uranium fuel with the imposed constraint of strictly retaining the original geometry of the fuel pins and assemblies. The motivation for retaining the original geometry is to provide the ability to incorporate the fuel 'as-is' into existing LWRs while retaining their thermal-hydraulic characteristics. The feasibility of using this fuel is assessed by looking at cycle lengths and fuel failure rates. Other considerations (e.g., safety parameters, etc.) were not considered at this stage of the study. The study includes the examination of different TRISO kernel diameters without changing the coating layer thicknesses. The study shows that a naive use of UO{sub 2} results in cycle lengths too short to be practical for existing LWR designs and operational demands. Increasing fissile inventory within the fuel compacts shows that acceptable cycle lengths can be achieved. In this study, starting with the recognized highest packing fraction practically achievable (44%), higher enrichment, larger fuel kernel sizes, and the use of higher density fuels have been evaluated. The models demonstrate cycle lengths comparable to those of ordinary LWRs. As expected, TRISO particles with extremely large kernels are shown to fail under all considered scenarios. In contrast, the designs that do not depart too drastically from those of the nominal NGNP HTR fuel TRISO particles are shown to perform satisfactorily and display a high rates of survival under all considered scenarios. Finally, it is recognized that relaxing the geometry constraint will result in satisfactory cycle lengths even using UO{sub 2}-loaded TRISO particles-based fuel with enrichment at or below 20 w/o.

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  • PHYSOR 2012,Knoxville, TN,04/15/2012,04/20/2012

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  • Report No.: INL/CON-11-24139
  • Grant Number: DE-AC07-05ID14517
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1046068
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc842668

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  • April 1, 2012

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  • May 19, 2016, 9:45 a.m.

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  • June 20, 2016, 2:24 p.m.

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Sen, R. Sonat; Pope, Michael A.; Ougouag, Abderrafi M.; Pasamehmetoglu, Kemal & Venneri, Francesco. ASSESSMENT OF POSSIBLE CYCLE LENGTHS FOR FULLY-CERAMIC MICRO-ENCAPSULATED FUEL-BASED LIGHT WATER REACTOR CONCEPTS, article, April 1, 2012; Idaho Falls, Idaho. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc842668/: accessed September 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.