Abstract

Research reactors all over the world are expected to operate within certain safety margins just like pressurized water reactors and boiling water reactors. These safety margins mainly include onset of nucleate boiling ratio (ONBR), departure from nucleate boiling ratio (DNBR), and flow instability ratio (FIR) in addition to the maximum clad or fuel temperature and saturation temperature or boing point of the coolant inside the core of the reactor. This study carried out steady-state safety analysis of the Ghana Research Reactor-1 (GHARR-1) with low enriched uranium (LEU) core. Monte Carlo N-particle (MCNP) code was used to obtain radial and axial power peaking factors used as inputs in the preparation of the input file of plate temperature code of Argonne National Laboratory (PLTEMP/ANL code), which was then used to obtain the mentioned safety parameters of GHARR-1 with LEU core in this study. The data obtained on the ONBR were used to obtain the initiation of nucleate boiling boundary data with respect to the active length of the reactor core for various reactor powers. The obtained results for LEU core were also compared with that of the high enriched uranium (HEU) core. The results obtained show that the 34 kW GHARR-1 with LEU core is safe to operate just as the previous 30 kW HEU core was safe to operate.

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