SuperCritical Water-cooled nuclear Reactor (SCWR) options are one of the six reactor options identified in Generation IV International Forum (GIF). In these reactors the light-water coolant is pressurized to supercritical pressures (up to approximately 25 MPa). This allows the coolant to remain as a single-phase fluid even under supercritical temperatures (up to approximately 625°C). SCW Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs) are of such great interest, because their operating conditions allow for a significant increase in thermal efficiency when compared to that of modern conventional water-cooled NPPs. Direct-cycle SCW NPPs do not require the use of steam generators, steam dryers, etc. allowing for a simplified NPP design. This paper shows that new nuclear fuels such as Uranium Carbide (UC) and Uranium Dicarbide (UC2) are viable option for the SCWRs. It is believed they have great potential due to their higher thermal conductivity and corresponding to that lower fuel centerline temperature compared to those of conventional nuclear fuels such as uranium dioxide, thoria and MOX. Two conditions that must be met are: 1) keep the fuel centreline temperature below 1850°C (industry accepted limit), and 2) keep the sheath temperature below 850°C (design limit). These conditions ensure that SCWRs will operate efficiently and safely. It has been determined that Inconel-600 is a viable option for a sheath material. A generic SCWR fuel channel was considered with a 43-element bundle. Therefore, bulk-fluid, sheath and fuel centreline and HTC profiles were calculated along the heated length of a fuel channel.
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Thermal Design Options Using Uranium Carbide and Uranium Dicarbide in SCWR Uniformly-Heated Fuel Channel
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Allison, LJ, Grande, L, Mikhael, S, Rodriguez Prado, A, Villamere, B, & Pioro, I. "Thermal Design Options Using Uranium Carbide and Uranium Dicarbide in SCWR Uniformly-Heated Fuel Channel." Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering. Volume 4: Codes, Standards, Licensing and Regulatory Issues; Student Paper Competition. Brussels, Belgium. July 12–16, 2009. pp. 703-712. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/ICONE17-75975
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