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Feasibility study on AFR-100 fuel conversion from uranium-based fuel to thorium-based fuel

Description: Although thorium has long been considered as an alternative to uranium-based fuels, most of the reactors built to-date have been fueled with uranium-based fuel with the exception of a few reactors. The decision to use uranium-based fuels was initially made based on the technology maturity compared to thorium-based fuels. As a result of this experience, lot of knowledge and data have been accumulated for uranium-based fuels that made it the predominant nuclear fuel type for extant nuclear power. However, following the recent concerns about the extent and availability of uranium resources, thorium-based fuels have regained significant interest worldwide. Thorium is more abundant than uranium and can be readily exploited in many countries and thus is now seen as a possible alternative. As thorium-based fuel technologies mature, fuel conversion from uranium to thorium is expected to become a major interest in both thermal and fast reactors. In this study the feasibility of fuel conversion in a fast reactor is assessed and several possible approaches are proposed. The analyses are performed using the Advanced Fast Reactor (AFR-100) design, a fast reactor core concept recently developed by ANL. The AFR-100 is a small 100 MW{sub e} reactor developed under the US-DOE program relying on innovative fast reactor technologies and advanced structural and cladding materials. It was designed to be inherently safe and offers sufficient margins with respect to the fuel melting temperature and the fuel-cladding eutectic temperature when using U-10Zr binary metal fuel. Thorium-based metal fuel was preferred to other thorium fuel forms because of its higher heavy metal density and it does not need to be alloyed with zirconium to reduce its radiation swelling. The various approaches explored cover the use of pure thorium fuel as well as the use of thorium mixed with transuranics (TRU). Sensitivity studies were performed for the ...
Date: July 30, 2012
Creator: Heidet, F.; Kim, T. & Grandy, C. (Nuclear Engineering Division)
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

High strength and heat resistant chromium steels for sodium-cooled fast reactors.

Description: This report provides the results of a preliminary phase of a project supporting the Advanced Nuclear Fuel Cycle Technology Initiative at ANL. The project targets the Generation IV nuclear energy systems, particularly the area of reducing the cost of sodium-cooled fast-reactors by utilizing innovative materials. The main goal of the project is to provide the nuclear heat exchanger designers a simplified means to quantify the cost advantages of the recently developed high strength and heat resistant ferritic steels with 9 to 13% chromium content. The emphasis in the preliminary phase is on two steels that show distinctive advantages and have been proposed as candidate materials for heat exchangers and also for reactor vessels and near-core components of Gen IV reactors. These steels are the 12Cr-2W (HCM12A) and 9Cr-1MoVNb (modified 9Cr-1Mo). When these steels are in tube form, they are referred to in ASTM Standards as T122 and T91, respectively. A simple thermal-hydraulics analytical model of a counter-flow, shell-and-tube, once-through type superheated steam generator is developed to determine the required tube length and tube wall temperature profile. The single-tube model calculations are then extended to cover the following design criteria: (i) ratio of the tube stress due to water/steam pressure to the ASME B&PV Code allowable stress, (ii) ratio of the strain due to through-tube-wall temperature differences to the material fatigue limit, (iii) overall differential thermal expansion between the tube and shell, and (iv) total amount of tube material required for the specified heat exchanger thermal power. Calculations were done for a 292 MW steam generator design with 2200 tubes and a steam exit condition of 457 C and 16 MPa. The calculations were performed with the tubes made of the two advanced ferritic steels, 12Cr-2W and 9Cr-1MoVNb, and of the most commonly used steel, 2 1/4Cr-1Mo. Compared to the 2 ...
Date: December 22, 2004
Creator: Kamal, S.; Grandy, C.; Farmer, M. & Brunsvold, A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Argonne Liquid-Metal Advanced Burner Reactor : components and in-vessel system thermal-hydraulic research and testing experience - pathway forward.

Description: This white paper provides an overview and status report of the thermal-hydraulic nuclear research and development, both experimental and computational, conducted predominantly at Argonne National Laboratory. Argonne from the early 1970s through the early 1990s was the Department of Energy's (DOE's) lead lab for thermal-hydraulic development of Liquid Metal Reactors (LMRs). During the 1970s and into the mid-1980s, Argonne conducted thermal-hydraulic studies and experiments on individual reactor components supporting the Experimental Breeder Reactor-II (EBR-II), Fast Flux Test Facility (FFTF), and the Clinch River Breeder Reactor (CRBR). From the mid-1980s and into the early 1990s, Argonne conducted studies on phenomena related to forced- and natural-convection thermal buoyancy in complete in-vessel models of the General Electric (GE) Prototype Reactor Inherently Safe Module (PRISM) and Rockwell International (RI) Sodium Advanced Fast Reactor (SAFR). These two reactor initiatives involved Argonne working closely with U.S. industry and DOE. This paper describes the very important impact of thermal hydraulics dominated by thermal buoyancy forces on reactor global operation and on the behavior/performance of individual components during postulated off-normal accident events with low flow. Utilizing Argonne's LMR expertise and design knowledge is vital to the further development of safe, reliable, and high-performance LMRs. Argonne believes there remains an important need for continued research and development on thermal-hydraulic design in support of DOE's and the international community's renewed thrust for developing and demonstrating the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) reactor(s) and the associated Argonne Liquid Metal-Advanced Burner Reactor (LM-ABR). This white paper highlights that further understanding is needed regarding reactor design under coolant low-flow events. These safety-related events are associated with the transition from normal high-flow operation to natural circulation. Low-flow coolant events are the most difficult to design for because they involve the most complex thermal-hydraulic behavior induced by the dominance of thermal-buoyancy forces acting on the ...
Date: June 30, 2007
Creator: Kasza, K.; Grandy, C.; Chang, Y. & Khalil, H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Radiological risk assessment for the remote-handled transuranic waste storage options at Argonne National Laboratory - East.

Description: Interim storage of the remote-handled transuranic (RH/TRU) waste is needed at Argonne National Laboratory-East (ANL-E). Two on-site facilities, the northwest (NW) vaults in the 317 Area and the converted spent nuclear fuel pool in Building 331, were identified as potential storage locations through previous studies. To assist the decision making process of selecting a storage location, radiological risk assessments were conducted to analyze potential radiation exposures that would be associated with storage of the RH/TRU waste in these two facilities. Three drum storage scenarios (one for the 317 Area and two for Building 331) considering different drum handling procedures and stacking patterns were developed. Time-motion information on worker activities that would occur in the procedures was collected and recorded in spreadsheets. Using the time-motion information, potential external doses were estimated for the involved workers for each step in the procedures. The sum of the potential external doses over all the activity steps gave the total collective dose for each scenario. The results show that during the storage phase, storing waste drums in half-liners in Building 331 would result in the lowest collective radiation exposure; however, it would also require the most human resources. When retrieving waste drums for off-site shipment was considered, storing waste drums in the 317 Area would be the most favorable option because it would require the least amount of human resources and would also result in the lowest collective radiation exposure.
Date: February 15, 2002
Creator: Cheng, J.-J.; Avci, H.; Hecker, D.; Bray, W.; Bray, T. & Grandy, C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Simulator platform for fast reactor operation and safety technology demonstration

Description: A simulator platform for visualization and demonstration of innovative concepts in fast reactor technology is described. The objective is to make more accessible the workings of fast reactor technology innovations and to do so in a human factors environment that uses state-of-the art visualization technologies. In this work the computer codes in use at Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) for the design of fast reactor systems are being integrated to run on this platform. This includes linking reactor systems codes with mechanical structures codes and using advanced graphics to depict the thermo-hydraulic-structure interactions that give rise to an inherently safe response to upsets. It also includes visualization of mechanical systems operation including advanced concepts that make use of robotics for operations, in-service inspection, and maintenance.
Date: July 30, 2012
Creator: Vilim, R. B.; Park, Y. S.; Grandy, C.; Belch, H.; Dworzanski, P. & Misterka, J. (Nuclear Engineering Division)
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Advanced Burner Reactor Preliminary NEPA Data Study.

Description: The Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) is a new nuclear fuel cycle paradigm with the goals of expanding the use of nuclear power both domestically and internationally, addressing nuclear waste management concerns, and promoting nonproliferation. A key aspect of this program is fast reactor transmutation, in which transuranics recovered from light water reactor spent fuel are to be recycled to create fast reactor transmutation fuels. The benefits of these fuels are to be demonstrated in an Advanced Burner Reactor (ABR), which will provide a representative environment for recycle fuel testing, safety testing, and modern fast reactor design and safeguard features. Because the GNEP programs will require facilities which may have an impact upon the environment within the meaning of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), preparation of a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) for GNEP is being undertaken by Tetra Tech, Inc. The PEIS will include a section on the ABR. In support of the PEIS, the Nuclear Engineering Division of Argonne National Laboratory has been asked to provide a description of the ABR alternative, including graphics, plus estimates of construction and operations data for an ABR plant. The compilation of this information is presented in the remainder of this report. Currently, DOE has started the process of engaging industry on the design of an Advanced Burner Reactor. Therefore, there is no specific, current, vendor-produced ABR design that could be used for this PEIS datacall package. In addition, candidate sites for the ABR vary widely as to available water, geography, etc. Therefore, ANL has based its estimates for construction and operations data largely on generalization of available information from existing plants and from the environmental report assembled for the Clinch River Breeder Reactor Plant (CRBRP) design [CRBRP, 1977]. The CRBRP environmental report was chosen as a resource because ...
Date: October 15, 2007
Creator: Briggs, L. L.; Cahalan, J. E.; Deitrich, L. W.; Fanning, T. H.; Grandy, C.; Kellogg, R. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Advanced burner test reactor preconceptual design report.

Description: The goals of the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) are to expand the use of nuclear energy to meet increasing global energy demand, to address nuclear waste management concerns and to promote non-proliferation. Implementation of the GNEP requires development and demonstration of three major technologies: (1) Light water reactor (LWR) spent fuel separations technologies that will recover transuranics to be recycled for fuel but not separate plutonium from other transuranics, thereby providing proliferation-resistance; (2) Advanced Burner Reactors (ABRs) based on a fast spectrum that transmute the recycled transuranics to produce energy while also reducing the long term radiotoxicity and decay heat loading in the repository; and (3) Fast reactor fuel recycling technologies to recover and refabricate the transuranics for repeated recycling in the fast reactor system. The primary mission of the ABR Program is to demonstrate the transmutation of transuranics recovered from the LWR spent fuel, and hence the benefits of the fuel cycle closure to nuclear waste management. The transmutation, or burning of the transuranics is accomplished by fissioning and this is most effectively done in a fast spectrum. In the thermal spectrum of commercial LWRs, some transuranics capture neutrons and become even heavier transuranics rather than being fissioned. Even with repeated recycling, only about 30% can be transmuted, which is an intrinsic limitation of all thermal spectrum reactors. Only in a fast spectrum can all transuranics be effectively fissioned to eliminate their long-term radiotoxicity and decay heat. The Advanced Burner Test Reactor (ABTR) is the first step in demonstrating the transmutation technologies. It directly supports development of a prototype full-scale Advanced Burner Reactor, which would be followed by commercial deployment of ABRs. The primary objectives of the ABTR are: (1) To demonstrate reactor-based transmutation of transuranics as part of an advanced fuel cycle; (2) To qualify the transuranics-containing ...
Date: December 16, 2008
Creator: Chang, Y. I.; Finck, P. J.; Grandy, C.; Cahalan, J.; Deitrich, L.; Dunn, F. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Sodium fast reactor safety and licensing research plan. Volume II.

Description: Expert panels comprised of subject matter experts identified at the U.S. National Laboratories (SNL, ANL, INL, ORNL, LBL, and BNL), universities (University of Wisconsin and Ohio State University), international agencies (IRSN, CEA, JAEA, KAERI, and JRC-IE) and private consultation companies (Radiation Effects Consulting) were assembled to perform a gap analysis for sodium fast reactor licensing. Expert-opinion elicitation was performed to qualitatively assess the current state of sodium fast reactor technologies. Five independent gap analyses were performed resulting in the following topical reports: (1) Accident Initiators and Sequences (i.e., Initiators/Sequences Technology Gap Analysis), (2) Sodium Technology Phenomena (i.e., Advanced Burner Reactor Sodium Technology Gap Analysis), (3) Fuels and Materials (i.e., Sodium Fast Reactor Fuels and Materials: Research Needs), (4) Source Term Characterization (i.e., Advanced Sodium Fast Reactor Accident Source Terms: Research Needs), and (5) Computer Codes and Models (i.e., Sodium Fast Reactor Gaps Analysis of Computer Codes and Models for Accident Analysis and Reactor Safety). Volume II of the Sodium Research Plan consolidates the five gap analysis reports produced by each expert panel, wherein the importance of the identified phenomena and necessities of further experimental research and code development were addressed. The findings from these five reports comprised the basis for the analysis in Sodium Fast Reactor Research Plan Volume I.
Date: May 1, 2012
Creator: Ludewig, H. (Brokhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY); Powers, D. A.; Hewson, John C.; LaChance, Jeffrey L.; Wright, A. (Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL); Phillips, J. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department