To address the need to develop new nuclear reactors with higher thermal efficiency, a group of countries, including Canada, have initiated an international collaboration to develop the next generation of nuclear reactors called Generation IV. The Generation IV International Forum (GIF) Program has narrowed design options of the nuclear reactors to six concepts, one of which is supercritical water-cooled reactor (SCWR). Among the Generation IV nuclear-reactor concepts, only SCWRs use water as a coolant. The SCWR concept is considered to be an evolution of water-cooled reactors (pressurized water reactors (PWRs), boiling water reactors (BWRs), pressurized heavy water reactors (PHWRs), and light-water, graphite-moderated reactors (LGRs)), which comprise 96% of the current fleet of operating nuclear power reactors and are categorized under Generation II, III, and III+ nuclear reactors. The latter water-cooled reactors have thermal efficiencies of 30–36%, whereas the evolutionary SCWR will have a thermal efficiency of approximately 45–50%. In terms of a pressure boundary, SCWRs are classified into two categories, namely, pressure-vessel (PV) SCWRs and pressure-channel (PCh) SCWRs. A generic pressure-channel SCWR, which is the focus of this paper, operates at a pressure of 25 MPa with inlet and outlet coolant temperatures of 350°C and 625°C, respectively. The high outlet temperature and pressure of the coolant make it possible to improve thermal efficiency. On the other hand, high operating temperature and pressure of the coolant introduce a challenge for material selection and core design. In this view, there are two major issues that need to be addressed for further development of SCWR. First, the reactor core should be designed, which depends on a fuel-channel design. Second, a nuclear fuel and fuel cycle should be selected. Several fuel-channel designs have been proposed for SCWRs. These fuel-channel designs can be classified into two categories: direct-flow and reentrant channel concepts. The objective of this paper is to study thermal-hydraulic and neutronic aspects of a reentrant fuel-channel design. With this objective, a thermal-hydraulic code has been developed in MATLAB, which calculates fuel-centerline-temperature, sheath-temperature, coolant-temperature, and heat-transfer-coefficient profiles. A lattice code and diffusion code were used to determine a power distribution inside the core. Then, heat flux in a channel with the maximum thermal power was used as an input into the thermal-hydraulic code. This paper presents a fuel centerline temperature of a newly designed fuel bundle with as a reference fuel. The results show that the maximum fuel centerline temperature exceeds the design temperature limits of 1850°C for fuel.
Thermal-Hydraulic and Neutronic Analysis of a Reentrant Fuel-Channel Design for Pressure-Channel Supercritical Water-Cooled Reactors
Manuscript received August 1, 2014; final manuscript received October 5, 2014; published online March 24, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Asif Arastu.
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Peiman, W., Pioro, I., and Gabriel, K. (March 24, 2015). "Thermal-Hydraulic and Neutronic Analysis of a Reentrant Fuel-Channel Design for Pressure-Channel Supercritical Water-Cooled Reactors." ASME. ASME J of Nuclear Rad Sci. April 2015; 1(2): 021008. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4026393
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