Optimization of burnable poison design for Pu incineration in fully fertile free PWR core

Emil Fridman, Eugene Shwageraus, Alex Galperin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

Abstract

The design challenges of the fertile-free based fuel (FFF) can be addressed by careful and elaborate use of burnable poisons (BP). Practical fully FFF core design for PWR reactor has been reported in the past [1]. However, the burnable poison option used in the design resulted in significant end of cycle reactivity penalty due to incomplete BP depletion. Consequently, excessive Pu loading were required to maintain the target fuel cycle length, which in turn decreased the Pu burning efficiency. A systematic evaluation of commercially available BP materials in all configurations currently used in PWRs is the main objective of this work. The BP materials considered are Boron, Gd, Er, and Hf. The BP geometries were based on Wet Annular Burnable Absorber (WABA), Integral Fuel Burnable Absorber (IFBA), and Homogeneous poison/fuel mixtures. Several most promising combinations of BP designs were selected for the full core 3D simulation. All major core performance parameters for the analyzed cases are very close to those of a standard PWR with conventional UO2 fuel including possibility of reactivity control, power peaking factors, and cycle length. The MTC of all FFF cores was found at the full power conditions at all times and very close to that of the UO2 core. The Doppler coefficient of the FFF cores is also negative but somewhat lower in magnitude compared to UO2 core. The soluble boron worth of the FFF cores was calculated to be lower than that of the UO2 core by about a factor of two, which still allows the core reactivity control with acceptable soluble boron concentrations. The main conclusion of this work is that judicial application of burnable poisons for fertile free fuel has a potential to produce a core design with performance characteristics close to those of the reference PWR core with conventional UO2 fuel.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPHYSOR-2006 - American Nuclear Society's Topical Meeting on Reactor Physics
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2006
EventPHYSOR-2006 - American Nuclear Society's Topical Meeting on Reactor Physics - Vancouver, BC, Canada
Duration: 10 Sep 200614 Sep 2006

Publication series

NamePHYSOR-2006 - American Nuclear Society's Topical Meeting on Reactor Physics
Volume2006

Conference

ConferencePHYSOR-2006 - American Nuclear Society's Topical Meeting on Reactor Physics
Country/TerritoryCanada
CityVancouver, BC
Period10/09/0614/09/06

Keywords

  • Burnable poisons
  • Fertile free fuels
  • Pu incineration
  • Three-dimensional core analysis

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