This paper reports on an investigation into fuel design choices of a pressurized water reactor operating in a self-sustainable Th-233U fuel cycle. In order to evaluate feasibility of this concept, two types of fuel assembly lattices were considered: square and hexagonal. The hexagonal lattice may offer some advantages over the square one. For example, the fertile blanket fuel can be packed more tightly reducing the blanket volume fraction in the core and potentially allowing to achieve higher core average power density. The calculations were carried out with Monte-Carlo based BGCore code system and the results were compared to those obtained with Serpent Monte-Carlo code and deterministic transport code BOXER. One of the major design challenges associated with the SB concept is high power peaking due to the high concentration of fissile material in the seed region. The second objective of this work is to estimate the maximum achievable core power density by evaluation of limiting thermal hydraulic parameters. The analysis showed that both fuel assembly designs have a potential of achieving net breeding. Although hexagonal lattice was found to be somewhat more favorable because it allows achieving higher power density, while having breeding performance comparable to the square lattice case.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics
- Nuclear Energy and Engineering
- Materials Science (all)
- Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality