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Technical Letter Report: Evaluation and Analysis of a Few International Periodic Safety Review Summary Reports

Description: At the request of the United States (U.S.) government, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) assembled a team of 20 senior safety experts to review the regulatory framework for the safety of operating nuclear power plants in the United States. This review focused on the effectiveness of the regulatory functions implemented by the NRC and on its commitment to nuclear safety and continuous improvement. One suggestion resulting from that review was that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) incorporate lessons learned from periodic safety reviews (PSRs) performed in other countries as an input to the NRC’s assessment processes. In the U.S., commercial nuclear power plants (NPPs) are granted an initial 40-year operating license, which may be renewed for additional 20-year periods, subject to complying with regulatory requirements. The NRC has established a framework through its inspection, and operational experience processes to ensure the safe operation of licensed nuclear facilities on an ongoing basis. In contrast, most other countries do not impose a specific time limit on the operating licenses for NPPs, they instead require that the utility operating the plant perform PSRs, typically at approximately 10-year intervals, to assure continued safe operation until the next assessment. The staff contracted with Argonne National Laboratory (Argonne) to perform a pilot review of selected translated PSR assessment reports and related documentation from foreign nuclear regulatory authorities to identify any potential new regulatory insights regarding license renewal-related topics and NPP operating experience (OpE). A total of 14 PSR assessment documents from 9 countries were reviewed. For all of the countries except France, individual reports were provided for each of the plants reviewed. In the case of France, three reports were provided that reviewed the performance assessment of thirty-four 900-MWe reactors of similar design commissioned between 1978 and 1988. All of the reports reviewed were ...
Date: December 17, 2013
Creator: Chopra, Omesh K.; Diercks, Dwight R.; Ma, David Chia-Chiun & Garud, Yogendra S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

CRITICAL CONFIGURATION AND PHYSICS MEASUREMENTS FOR BERYLLIUM REFLECTED ASSEMBLIES OF U(93.15)O2 FUEL RODS (1.506-CM PITCH)

Description: Cadmium ratios were measured with enriched uranium metal foils at various locations in the assembly with the fuel tube at the 1.506-cm spacing. They are described in the following subsections. The experiment configuration was the same as the first critical configuration described in HEU-COMP-FAST-004 (Case 1). The experimenter placed 0.75-cm-diameter × 0.010-cm-thick 93.15%-235U-enriched uranium metal foils with and without 0.051-cm-thick cadmium covers at various locations in the core and top reflector. One part of the cadmium cover was cupshape and contained the uranium foil. The other part was a lid that fit over the exposed side of the foil when it was in the cup shaped section of the cover. As can be seen in the logbook, two runs were required to obtain all the measurements necessary for the cadmium ratio. The bare foil measurements within the top reflector were run first as part of the axial foil activation measurements. The results of this run are used for both the axial activation results and the cadmium ratios. Cadmium covered foils were then placed at the same location through the top reflector in a different run. Three pairs of bare and cadmium covered foils were also placed through the core tank. One pair was placed at the axial center of a fuel tube 11.35 cm from the center of the core. Two pairs of foils were placed on top of fuel tubes 3.02 and 12.06 cm from the center of the core. The activation of the uranium metal foils was measured after removal from the assembly using two lead shielded NaI scintillation detectors as follows. The NaI scintillators were carefully matched and had detection efficiencies for counting delayed-fission-product gamma rays with energies above 250 KeV within 5%. In all foil activation measurements, one foil at a specific location was used as ...
Date: March 1, 2013
Creator: Marshall, Margaret A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Benchmark Evaluation of the Medium-Power Reactor Experiment Program Critical Configurations

Description: A series of small, compact critical assembly (SCCA) experiments were performed in 1962-1965 at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory Critical Experiments Facility (ORCEF) for the Medium-Power Reactor Experiment (MPRE) program. The MPRE was a stainless-steel clad, highly enriched uranium (HEU)-O2 fuelled, BeO reflected reactor design to provide electrical power to space vehicles. Cooling and heat transfer were to be achieved by boiling potassium in the reactor core and passing vapor directly through a turbine. Graphite- and beryllium-reflected assemblies were constructed at ORCEF to verify the critical mass, power distribution, and other reactor physics measurements needed to validate reactor calculations and reactor physics methods. The experimental series was broken into three parts, with the third portion of the experiments representing the beryllium-reflected measurements. The latter experiments are of interest for validating current reactor design efforts for a fission surface power reactor. The entire series has been evaluated as acceptable benchmark experiments and submitted for publication in the International Handbook of Evaluated Criticality Safety Benchmark Experiments and in the International Handbook of Evaluated Reactor Physics Benchmark Experiments.
Date: February 1, 2013
Creator: Marshall, Margaret A. & Bess, John D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Critical Configuration and Physics Measurements for Assemblies of U(93.15)O2 Fuel Rods (1.506-cm Pitch)

Description: A series of critical experiments were completed from 1962–1965 at Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s (ORNL’s) Critical Experiments Facility (CEF) in support of the Medium-Power Reactor Experiments (MPRE) program. In the late 1950s, efforts were made to study “power plants for the production of electrical power in space vehicles.”(a) The MPRE program was a part of those efforts and studied the feasibility of a stainless-steel system, boiling potassium 1 MW(t), or about 140 kW(e), reactor. The program was carried out in [fiscal years] 1964, 1965, and 1966. A summary of the program’s effort was compiled in 1967.a The delayed critical experiments were a mockup of a small, potassium-cooled space power reactor for validation of reactor calculations and reactor physics methods. Initial experiments, performed in November and December of 1962, consisted of a core of unmoderated stainless-steel tubes, each containing 26 UO2 fuel pellets, surrounded by a graphite reflector. Measurements were performed to determine critical reflector arrangements, relative fission-rate distributions, and cadmium ratio distributions. Subsequent experiments used beryllium reflectors and also measured the reactivity for various materials placed in the core. “The [assemblies were built] on [a] vertical assembly machine so that the movable part was the core and bottom reflector” (see Reference 1). The experiment studied in this evaluation was the second of the series and had the fuel rods in a 1.506-cm-triangular pitch. One critical configuration was found (see Reference 3). Once the critical configuration had been achieved, various measurements of reactivity, relative axial and radial activation rates of 235U,bc and cadmium ratios were performed. The cadmium ratio, reactivity, and activation rate measurements performed on the critical configuration are described in Sections 1.3, 1.4, and 1.7, respectively.
Date: March 1, 2013
Creator: Marshall, Margaret A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Validation of FSP Reactor Design with Sensitivity Studies of Beryllium-Reflected Critical Assemblies

Description: The baseline design for space nuclear power is a fission surface power (FSP) system: sodium-potassium (NaK) cooled, fast spectrum reactor with highly-enriched-uranium (HEU)-O2 fuel, stainless steel (SS) cladding, and beryllium reflectors with B4C control drums. Previous studies were performed to evaluate modeling capabilities and quantify uncertainties and biases associated with analysis methods and nuclear data. Comparison of Zero Power Plutonium Reactor (ZPPR)-20 benchmark experiments with the FSP design indicated that further reduction of the total design model uncertainty requires the reduction in uncertainties pertaining to beryllium and uranium cross-section data. Further comparison with three beryllium-reflected HEU-metal benchmark experiments performed at the Oak Ridge Critical Experiments Facility (ORCEF) concluded the requirement that experimental validation data have similar cross section sensitivities to those found in the FSP design. A series of critical experiments was performed at ORCEF in the 1960s to support the Medium Power Reactor Experiment (MPRE) space reactor design. The small, compact critical assembly (SCCA) experiments were graphite- or beryllium-reflected assemblies of SS-clad, HEU-O2 fuel on a vertical lift machine. All five configurations were evaluated as benchmarks. Two of the five configurations were beryllium reflected, and further evaluated using the sensitivity and uncertainty analysis capabilities of SCALE 6.1. Validation of the example FSP design model was successful in reducing the primary uncertainty constituent, the Be(n,n) reaction, from 0.28 %dk/k to 0.0004 %dk/k. Further assessment of additional reactor physics measurements performed on the SCCA experiments may serve to further validate FSP design and operation.
Date: February 1, 2013
Creator: Bess, John D. & Marshall, Margaret A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Digital Full-Scope Simulation of a Conventional Nuclear Power Plant Control Room, Phase 2: Installation of a Reconfigurable Simulator to Support Nuclear Plant Sustainability

Description: The U.S. Department of Energy’s Light Water Reactor Sustainability program has developed a control room simulator in support of control room modernization at nuclear power plants in the U.S. This report highlights the recent completion of this reconfigurable, full-scale, full-scope control room simulator buildout at the Idaho National Laboratory. The simulator is fully reconfigurable, meaning it supports multiple plant models developed by different simulator vendors. The simulator is full-scale, using glasstop virtual panels to display the analog control boards found at current plants. The present installation features 15 glasstop panels, uniquely achieving a complete control room representation. The simulator is also full-scope, meaning it uses the same plant models used for training simulators at actual plants. Unlike in the plant training simulators, the deployment on glasstop panels allows a high degree of customization of the panels, allowing the simulator to be used for research on the design of new digital control systems for control room modernization. This report includes separate sections discussing the glasstop panels, their layout to mimic control rooms at actual plants, technical details on creating a multi-plant and multi-vendor reconfigurable simulator, and current efforts to support control room modernization at U.S. utilities. The glasstop simulator provides an ideal testbed for prototyping and validating new control room concepts. Equally importantly, it is helping create a standardized and vetted human factors engineering process that can be used across the nuclear industry to ensure control room upgrades maintain and even improve current reliability and safety.
Date: March 1, 2013
Creator: Boring, Ronald L.; Agarwal, Vivek; Fitzgerald, Kirk; Hugo, Jacques & Hallbert, Bruce
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Fresh-Core Reload of the Neutron Radiography (NRAD) Reactor with Uranium(20)-Erbium-Zirconium-Hydride Fuel

Description: The neutron radiography (NRAD) reactor is a 250 kW TRIGA® (Training, Research, Isotopes, General Atomics) Mark II , tank-type research reactor currently located in the basement, below the main hot cell, of the Hot Fuel Examination Facility (HFEF) at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL). It is equipped with two beam tubes with separate radiography stations for the performance of neutron radiography irradiation on small test components. The initial critical configuration developed during the fuel loading process, which contains only 56 fuel elements, has been evaluated as an acceptable benchmark experiment. The 60-fuel-element operational core configuration of the NRAD LEU TRIGA reactor has also been evaluated as an acceptable benchmark experiment. Calculated eigenvalues differ significantly (~±1%) from the benchmark eigenvalue and have demonstrated sensitivity to the thermal scattering treatment of hydrogen in the U-Er-Zr-H fuel.
Date: March 1, 2013
Creator: Bess, John D.; Maddock, Thomas L.; Marshall, Margaret A. & Montierth, Leland M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

HTR-PROTEUS PEBBLE BED EXPERIMENTAL PROGRAM CORES 9 & 10: COLUMNAR HEXAGONAL POINT-ON-POINT PACKING WITH A 1:1 MODERATOR-TO-FUEL PEBBLE RATIO

Description: PROTEUS is a zero-power research reactor based on a cylindrical graphite annulus with a central cylindrical cavity. The graphite annulus remains basically the same for all experimental programs, but the contents of the central cavity are changed according to the type of reactor being investigated. Through most of its service history, PROTEUS has represented light-water reactors, but from 1992 to 1996 PROTEUS was configured as a pebble-bed reactor (PBR) critical facility and designated as HTR-PROTEUS. The nomenclature was used to indicate that this series consisted of High Temperature Reactor experiments performed in the PROTEUS assembly. During this period, seventeen critical configurations were assembled and various reactor physics experiments were conducted. These experiments included measurements of criticality, differential and integral control rod and safety rod worths, kinetics, reaction rates, water ingress effects, and small sample reactivity effects (Ref. 3). HTR-PROTEUS was constructed, and the experimental program was conducted, for the purpose of providing experimental benchmark data for assessment of reactor physics computer codes. Considerable effort was devoted to benchmark calculations as a part of the HTR-PROTEUS program. References 1 and 2 provide detailed data for use in constructing models for codes to be assessed. Reference 3 is a comprehensive summary of the HTR-PROTEUS experiments and the associated benchmark program. This document draws freely from these references. Only Cores 9 and 10 are evaluated in this benchmark report due to similarities in their construction. The other core configurations of the HTR-PROTEUS program are evaluated in their respective reports as outlined in Section 1.0. Cores 9 and 10 were evaluated and determined to be acceptable benchmark experiments.
Date: March 1, 2013
Creator: Bess, John D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

HTR-PROTEUS PEBBLE BED EXPERIMENTAL PROGRAM CORES 5, 6, 7, & 8: COLUMNAR HEXAGONAL POINT-ON-POINT PACKING WITH A 1:2 MODERATOR-TO-FUEL PEBBLE RATIO

Description: PROTEUS is a zero-power research reactor based on a cylindrical graphite annulus with a central cylindrical cavity. The graphite annulus remains basically the same for all experimental programs, but the contents of the central cavity are changed according to the type of reactor being investigated. Through most of its service history, PROTEUS has represented light-water reactors, but from 1992 to 1996 PROTEUS was configured as a pebble-bed reactor (PBR) critical facility and designated as HTR-PROTEUS. The nomenclature was used to indicate that this series consisted of High Temperature Reactor experiments performed in the PROTEUS assembly. During this period, seventeen critical configurations were assembled and various reactor physics experiments were conducted. These experiments included measurements of criticality, differential and integral control rod and safety rod worths, kinetics, reaction rates, water ingress effects, and small sample reactivity effects (Ref. 3). HTR-PROTEUS was constructed, and the experimental program was conducted, for the purpose of providing experimental benchmark data for assessment of reactor physics computer codes. Considerable effort was devoted to benchmark calculations as a part of the HTR-PROTEUS program. References 1 and 2 provide detailed data for use in constructing models for codes to be assessed. Reference 3 is a comprehensive summary of the HTR-PROTEUS experiments and the associated benchmark program. This document draws freely from these references. Only Cores 9 and 10 are evaluated in this benchmark report due to similarities in their construction. The other core configurations of the HTR-PROTEUS program are evaluated in their respective reports as outlined in Section 1.0. Cores 9 and 10 were evaluated and determined to be acceptable benchmark experiments.
Date: March 1, 2013
Creator: Bess, John D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Development of a Technical Basis and Guidance for Advanced SMR Function Allocation

Description: This report presents the results from three key activities for FY13 that influence the definition of new concepts of operations for advanced Small Modular Reactors (AdvSMR: a) the development of a framework for the analysis of the functional environmental, and structural attributes, b) the effect that new technologies and operational concepts would have on the way functions are allocated to humans or machines or combinations of the two, and c) the relationship between new concepts of operations, new function allocations, and human performance requirements.
Date: September 1, 2013
Creator: Hugo, Jacques; Gertman, David; Joe, Jeffrey; Farris, Ronal; Whaley, April & Medema, Heather
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

HTR-PROTEUS PEBBLE BED EXPERIMENTAL PROGRAM CORE 4: RANDOM PACKING WITH A 1:1 MODERATOR-TO-FUEL PEBBLE RATIO

Description: In its deployment as a pebble bed reactor (PBR) critical facility from 1992 to 1996, the PROTEUS facility was designated as HTR-PROTEUS. This experimental program was performed as part of an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Coordinated Research Project (CRP) on the Validation of Safety Related Physics Calculations for Low Enriched HTGRs. Within this project, critical experiments were conducted for graphite moderated LEU systems to determine core reactivity, flux and power profiles, reaction-rate ratios, the worth of control rods, both in-core and reflector based, the worth of burnable poisons, kinetic parameters, and the effects of moisture ingress on these parameters. One benchmark experiment was evaluated in this report: Core 4. Core 4 represents the only configuration with random pebble packing in the HTR-PROTEUS series of experiments, and has a moderator-to-fuel pebble ratio of 1:1. Three random configurations were performed. The initial configuration, Core 4.1, was rejected because the method for pebble loading, separate delivery tubes for the moderator and fuel pebbles, may not have been completely random; this core loading was rejected by the experimenters. Cores 4.2 and 4.3 were loaded using a single delivery tube, eliminating the possibility for systematic ordering effects. The second and third cores differed slightly in the quantity of pebbles loaded (40 each of moderator and fuel pebbles), stacked height of the pebbles in the core cavity (0.02 m), withdrawn distance of the stainless steel control rods (20 mm), and withdrawn distance of the autorod (30 mm). The 34 coolant channels in the upper axial reflector and the 33 coolant channels in the lower axial reflector were open. Additionally, the axial graphite fillers used in all other HTR-PROTEUS configurations to create a 12-sided core cavity were not used in the randomly packed cores. Instead, graphite fillers were placed on the cavity floor, creating a funnel-like ...
Date: March 1, 2013
Creator: Bess, John D. & Montierth, Leland M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

HTR-PROTEUS Pebble Bed Experimental Program Cores 1, 1A, 2, and 3: Hexagonal Close Packing with a 1:2 Moderator-to-Fuel Pebble Ratio

Description: In its deployment as a pebble bed reactor (PBR) critical facility from 1992 to 1996, the PROTEUS facility was designated as HTR-PROTEUS. This experimental program was performed as part of an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Coordinated Research Project (CRP) on the Validation of Safety Related Physics Calculations for Low Enriched HTGRs. Within this project, critical experiments were conducted for graphite moderated LEU systems to determine core reactivity, flux and power profiles, reaction-rate ratios, the worth of control rods, both in-core and reflector based, the worth of burnable poisons, kinetic parameters, and the effects of moisture ingress on these parameters. Four benchmark experiments were evaluated in this report: Cores 1, 1A, 2, and 3. These core configurations represent the hexagonal close packing (HCP) configurations of the HTR-PROTEUS experiment with a moderator-to-fuel pebble ratio of 1:2. Core 1 represents the only configuration utilizing ZEBRA control rods. Cores 1A, 2, and 3 use withdrawable, hollow, stainless steel control rods. Cores 1 and 1A are similar except for the use of different control rods; Core 1A also has one less layer of pebbles (21 layers instead of 22). Core 2 retains the first 16 layers of pebbles from Cores 1 and 1A and has 16 layers of moderator pebbles stacked above the fueled layers. Core 3 retains the first 17 layers of pebbles but has polyethylene rods inserted between pebbles to simulate water ingress. The additional partial pebble layer (layer 18) for Core 3 was not included as it was used for core operations and not the reported critical configuration. Cores 1, 1A, 2, and 3 were determined to be acceptable benchmark experiments.
Date: March 1, 2013
Creator: Bess, John D.; Dolphin, Barbara H.; Sterbentz, James W.; Snoj, Luka; Lengar, Igor & Köberl, Oliver
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Preconceptual Feasibility Study to Evaluate Alternative Means to Produce Plutonium-238

Description: There is currently no large-scale production of 238Pu in the United States. Feasibility studies were performed at the Idaho National Laboratory to assess the capability of developing alternative 238Pu production strategies. Initial investigations indicate potential capability to provision radioisotope-powered systems for future space exploration endeavors. For the short term production of 238Pu, sealed canisters of dilute 237Np solution in nitric acid could be irradiated in the Advanced Test Reactor (ATR). Targets in the large and medium “I” positions of the ATR were irradiated over a simulated period of 306 days and analyzed using MCNP5 and ORIGEN2.2. Approximately 0.5 kg of 238Pu could be produced annually in the ATR with purity greater than 92%. Optimization of the irradiation cycles could further increase the purity to greater than 98%. Whereas the typical purity of space batteries is between 80 to 85%, the higher purity 238Pu produced in the ATR could be blended with existing lower-purity inventory to produce useable material. Development of irradiation methods in the ATR provides the fastest alterative to restart United States 238Pu production. The analysis of 238Pu production in the ATR provides the technical basis for production using TRIGA® (Training, Research, Isotopes, General Atomics) nuclear reactors. Preliminary analyses envisage a production rate of approximately 0.7 kg annually using a single dedicated 5-MW TRIGA reactor with continuous flow loops to achieve high purity product. Two TRIGA reactors represent a robust means of providing at over 1 kg/yr of 238Pu annually using dilute solution targets of 237Np in nitric acid. Further collaboration and optimization of reactor design, radiochemical methods, and systems analyses would further increase annual 238Pu throughput, while reducing the currently evaluated reactor requirements.
Date: February 1, 2013
Creator: Bess, John D. & Everson, Matthew S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Final Report - Assessment of Testing Options for the NTR at the INL

Description: One of the main technologies that can be developed to dramatically enhance the human exploration of space is the nuclear thermal rocket (NTR). Several studies over the past thirty years have shown that the NTR can reduce the cost of a lunar outpost, reduce the risk of a human mission to Mars, enable fast transits for most missions throughout the solar system, and reduce the cost and time for robotic probes to deep space. Three separate committees of the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences have recommended that NASA develop the NTR. One of the primary issues in development of the NTR is the ability to verify a flight ready unit. Three main methods can be used to validate safe operation of a NTR: 1) Full power, full duration test in an above ground facility that scrubs the rocket exhaust clean of any fission products; 2) Full power , full duration test using the Subsurface Active Filtering of Exhaust (SAFE) technique to capture the exhaust in subsurface strata; 3) Test of the reactor fuel at temperature and power density in a driver reactor with subsequent first test of the fully integrated NTR in space. The first method, the above ground facility, has been studied in the past. The second method, SAFE, has been examined for application at the Nevada Test Site. The third method relies on the fact that the Nuclear Furnace series of tests in 1971 showed that the radioactive exhaust coming from graphite based fuel for the NTR could be completely scrubbed of fission products and the clean hydrogen flared into the atmosphere. Under funding from the MSFC, the Center for Space Nuclear Research (CSNR) at the Idaho National laboratory (INL) has completed a reexamination of Methods 2 and 3 for implementation at the INL ...
Date: February 1, 2013
Creator: Howe, Steven D; McLing, Travis L; McCurry, Michael & Plummer, Mitchell A
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Wetland Water Cooling Partnership: The Use of Constructed Wetlands to Enhance Thermoelectric Power Plant Cooling and Mitigate the Demand of Surface Water Use

Description: Through the Phase I study segment of contract #DE-NT0006644 with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory, Applied Ecological Services, Inc. and Sterling Energy Services, LLC (the AES/SES Team) explored the use of constructed wetlands to help address stresses on surface water and groundwater resources from thermoelectric power plant cooling and makeup water requirements. The project objectives were crafted to explore and develop implementable water conservation and cooling strategies using constructed wetlands (not existing, naturally occurring wetlands), with the goal of determining if this strategy has the potential to reduce surface water and groundwater withdrawals of thermoelectric power plants throughout the country. Our team’s exploratory work has documented what appears to be a significant and practical potential for augmenting power plant cooling water resources for makeup supply at many, but not all, thermoelectric power plant sites. The intent is to help alleviate stress on existing surface water and groundwater resources through harvesting, storing, polishing and beneficially re-using critical water resources. Through literature review, development of conceptual created wetland plans, and STELLA-based modeling, the AES/SES team has developed heat and water balances for conventional thermoelectric power plants to evaluate wetland size requirements, water use, and comparative cooling technology costs. The ecological literature on organism tolerances to heated waters was used to understand the range of ecological outcomes achievable in created wetlands. This study suggests that wetlands and water harvesting can provide a practical and cost-effective strategy to augment cooling waters for thermoelectric power plants in many geographic settings of the United States, particularly east of the 100th meridian, and in coastal and riverine locations. The study concluded that constructed wetlands can have significant positive ancillary socio-economic, ecosystem, and water treatment/polishing benefits when used to complement water resources at thermoelectric power plants. Through the Phase II pilot study segment of ...
Date: September 30, 2013
Creator: Apfelbaum, Steven; Duvall, Kenneth; Nelson, Theresa; Mensing, Douglas; Bengtson, Harlan; Eppich, John et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Evaluation of Concepts for Mulitiple Application Thermal Reactor for Irradiation eXperiments (MATRIX)

Description: The Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) is a high power density test reactor specializing in fuel and materials irradiation. For more than 45 years, the ATR has provided irradiations of materials and fuels testing along with radioisotope production. Originally operated primarily in support of the Offcie of Naval Reactors (NR), the mission has gradually expanded to cater to other customers, such as the DOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE), private industry, and universities. Unforeseen circumstances may lead to the decommissioning of ATR, thus leaving the U.S. Government without a large-scale materials irradiation capability to meet the needs of its nuclear energy and naval reactor missions. In anticipation of this possibility, work was performed under the Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) program to investigate test reactor concepts that could satisfy the current missions of the ATR along with an expanded set of secondary missions. This work can be viewed as an update to a project from the 1990’s called the Broad Application Test Reactor (BATR). In FY 2012, a survey of anticipated customer needs was performed, followed by analysis of the original BATR concepts with fuel changed to low-enriched uranium. Departing from these original BATR designs, four concepts were identified for further analysis in FY2013. The project informally adopted the acronym MATRIX (Multiple-Application Thermal Reactor for Irradiation eXperiments). This report discusses analysis of the four MATRIX concepts along with a number of variations on these main concepts. Designs were evaluated based on their satisfaction of anticipated customer requirements and the “Cylindrical” variant was selected for further analysis of options. This downselection should be considered preliminary and the backup alternatives should include the other three main designs. The baseline Cylindrical MATRIX design is expected to be capable of higher burnup than the ATR (or longer cycle length given a particular batch scheme). ...
Date: September 1, 2013
Creator: Pope, Michael A.; Gougar, Hans D. & Ryskamp, John M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Additions to the ICSBEP and IRPhEP Handbooks since NCSD 2009

Description: High-quality integral benchmark experiments have always been a priority for criticality safety. However, interest in integral benchmark data is increasing as efforts to quantify and reduce calculational uncertainties accelerate to meet the demands of future criticality safety needs to support next generation reactor and advanced fuel cycle concepts. The importance of drawing upon existing benchmark data is becoming more apparent because of dwindling availability of critical facilities worldwide and the high cost of performing new experiments. Integral benchmark data from the International Handbook of Evaluated Criticality Safety Benchmark Experiments and the International Handbook of Reactor Physics Benchmark Experiments are widely used. Significant Benchmark data have been added to those two handbooks since the last Nuclear Criticality Safety Division Topical Meeting in Richland, Washington (September 2009). This paper highlights those additions.
Date: October 1, 2013
Creator: Bess, John D.; Briggs, J. Blair; Gulliford, Jim & Hill, Ian
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Study of Air Ingress Across the Duct During the Accident Conditions

Description: The goal of this project is to study the fundamental physical phenoena associated with air ingress in very high temperature reactors (VHTRs). Air ingress may occur due to a nupture of primary piping and a subsequent breach in the primary pressure boundary in helium-cooled and graphite-moderated VHTRs. Significant air ingress is a concern because it introduces potential to expose the fuel, graphite support rods, and core to a risk of severe graphite oxidation. Two of the most probable air ingress scenarios involve rupture of a control rod or fuel access standpipe, and rupture in the main coolant pipe on the lower part of the reactor pressure vessel. Therefor, establishing a fundamental understanding of air ingress phenomena is critical in order to rationally evaluate safety of existing VHTRs and develop new designs that mimimize these risks. But despite this importance, progress toward development these predictive capabilities has been slowed by the complex nature of the underlaying phenomena. The combination of interdiffusion among multiple species, molecular diffusion, natural convection, and complex geometries, as well as the multiple chemical reactions involved, impose significant roadblocks to both modeling and experiment design. The project team will employ a coordinated experimental and computational effort that will help gain a deeper understanding of multiphased air ingress phenomena. THis project will enhance advanced modeling and simulation methods, enabling calculation of nuclear power plant transients and accident scenarios with a high degree of confidence. The following are the project tasks: Perform particle image velocimetry measurement of multiphase air ingresses Perform computational fluid dynamics analysis of air ingress phenomena
Date: May 6, 2013
Creator: Hassan, Yassin
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department