Analysis of an Earthquake-Initiated-Transient in a PBR

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One of the Design Basis Accidents (DBA) for a Pebble Bed Reactor has been identified as the “Safe shutdown earthquake with core conduction cooling to passive mode of Reactor Cavity Cooling System.” A new methodology to analyze this particular DBA has been developed at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL). During the seismic event the reactor core experiences the densification of the pebbles, which produce small reactivity insertions due to the effective fuel densification. In addition, a decrease in the active core height results in the relative withdrawal of the control rods, which are assumed to remain stationary during the transient. ... continued below

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Ougouag, A. M.; Ortensi, J. & Hiruta, H. May 1, 2009.

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One of the Design Basis Accidents (DBA) for a Pebble Bed Reactor has been identified as the “Safe shutdown earthquake with core conduction cooling to passive mode of Reactor Cavity Cooling System.” A new methodology to analyze this particular DBA has been developed at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL). During the seismic event the reactor core experiences the densification of the pebbles, which produce small reactivity insertions due to the effective fuel densification. In addition, a decrease in the active core height results in the relative withdrawal of the control rods, which are assumed to remain stationary during the transient. The methodology relies on the dynamic re-meshing of the core during the transient to capture the local packing fraction changes and their corresponding effects on temperature and reactivity. The core re-meshing methodology is based on the velocity profiles of the pebbles in the core, which were obtained with the INL’s pebble mechanics code PEBBLES. The methodology has been added to the coupled code system CYNOD-THERMIX-KONVEK. The reactor power calculation is further improved with the use of the new advanced TRISO fuel model to better approximate the temperatures in the fuel kernels. During the transient the core is brought back to a safe condition by the strong Doppler feedback from local temperature increases.

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  • 2009 International Conference on Advances in Mathematics, Computational Methods, and Reactor Physics,Saratoga Springs, New York,05/03/2009,05/07/2009

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  • Report No.: INL/CON-08-14876
  • Grant Number: DE-AC07-99ID-13727
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 940415
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc896667

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  • May 1, 2009

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  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

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  • Nov. 7, 2016, 3:57 p.m.

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Ougouag, A. M.; Ortensi, J. & Hiruta, H. Analysis of an Earthquake-Initiated-Transient in a PBR, article, May 1, 2009; [Idaho Falls, Idaho]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc896667/: accessed August 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.