Use of FCM fuel in light water reactors is an attractive option for existing and future generations of these reactors to make them accident tolerant in nature. This work focuses on the neutronic study of the use of burnable material in various configurations to control the excess reactivity and to keep the moderator temperature coefficient of reactivity (MTC) feedback negative for entire cycle length. Erbia and gadolinia, two conventional materials are used in three different configurations including quadruple isotropic (QUADRISO), bi-isotropic (BISO), and Matrix Mix forms. The results obtained from the implicit random treatment of the double heterogeneity of tri-structural isotropic (TRISO), QUADRISO, and BISO particles show that the erbia is the best material to be used in QUADRISO and Matrix Mix configurations with lowest reactivity swing for the life cycle and residual poison well below 0.5%. Gadolinia is usable in FCM environment only in the BISO form where enhanced self-shielding controls the depletion performance of the material. The gadolinia has almost zero residual poison at end of cycle (EOC); however, it has relatively large reactivity swing, which will need more micromanagement of the control rods during the plant operations. At the beginning of cycle (BOC), erbia-loaded assemblies have shown an increase in negative value of MTC compared with reference due to presence of resonance peak in erbium near 1 eV. The finally recommended material-configuration combinations have shown the excess reactivity containment in desired manner with good depletion performance and negative feedback of the MTC for life cycle.
Neutronic Study of Burnable Poison Materials and Their Alternative Configurations in Fully Ceramic Microencapsulated Loaded Pressurized Water Reactor Fuel Assembly
Manuscript received October 19, 2017; final manuscript received April 7, 2018; published online September 10, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Akos Horvath.
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Awan, M. Q., Cao, L., Wu, H., and Zhao, C. (September 10, 2018). "Neutronic Study of Burnable Poison Materials and Their Alternative Configurations in Fully Ceramic Microencapsulated Loaded Pressurized Water Reactor Fuel Assembly." ASME. ASME J of Nuclear Rad Sci. October 2018; 4(4): 041003. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4039971
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