Preliminary Neutronic Design of High Burnup OTTO Cycle Pebble Bed Reactor
The pebble bed type High Temperature Gas-cooled Reactor (HTGR) is among the interesting nuclear reactor designs in terms of safety and flexibility for co-generation applications. In addition, the strong inherent safety characteristics of the pebble bed reactor (PBR) which is based on natural mechanisms improve the simplicity of the PBR design, in particular for the Once-Through-Then-Out (OTTO) cycle PBR design. One of the important challenges of the OTTO cycle PBR design, and nuclear reactor design in general, is improving the nuclear fuel utilization which is shown by attaining a higher burnup value. This study performed a preliminary neutronic design study of a 200 MWt OTTO cycle PBR with high burnup while fulfilling the safety criteria of the PBR design.The safety criteria of the design was represented by the per-fuel-pebble maximum power generation of 4.5 kW/pebble. The maximum burnup value was also limited by the tested maximum burnup value which maintained the integrity of the pebble fuel. Parametric surveys were performed to obtain the optimized parameters used in this study, which are the fuel enrichment, per-pebble heavy metal (HM) loading, and the average axial speed of the fuel. An optimum design with burnup value of 131.1 MWd/Kg-HM was achieved in this study which is much higher compare to the burnup of the reference design HTR-MODUL and a previously proposed OTTO-cycle PBR design. This optimum design uses 17% U-235 enrichment with 4 g HM-loading per fuel pebble.
Received: 04 October 2014; Revised: 26 February 2015; Accepted: 27 February 2015
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