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Sample records for fuel loading fission reactor

  1. Optimally moderated nuclear fission reactor and fuel source therefor

    DOEpatents

    Ougouag, Abderrafi M.; Terry, William K.; Gougar, Hans D.

    2008-07-22

    An improved nuclear fission reactor of the continuous fueling type involves determining an asymptotic equilibrium state for the nuclear fission reactor and providing the reactor with a moderator-to-fuel ratio that is optimally moderated for the asymptotic equilibrium state of the nuclear fission reactor; the fuel-to-moderator ratio allowing the nuclear fission reactor to be substantially continuously operated in an optimally moderated state.

  2. Fission-product release from TRIGA-LEU reactor fuels

    SciTech Connect

    Baldwin, N.L.; Foushee, F.C.; Greenwood, J.S.

    1980-11-01

    The release of fission products, both gaseous and volatile metals, from TRIGA fuel is important for the analysis of possible accident conditions related to reactor operation and the design of future TRIGA fuel systems. Because of present national concerns over nuclear proliferation, it has become clear that future reactor fuels will, of necessity, utilize low-enriched uranium (LEU, enrichment <20%). This will require increasing the total uranium loading per unit volume of the higher-loaded TRIGA fuels for the purpose of maintaining the appropriate fissile loading. Because of these new developments, tests were conducted to determine the fractional release of gaseous and metallic fission products from typical uranium-zirconium hydride TRIGA fuels containing 8.5 to 45 wt % uranium.

  3. Fission product release from TRIGA-LEU reactor fuels

    SciTech Connect

    Baldwin, N.L.; Foushee, F.C.; Greenwood, J.S

    1980-07-01

    Due to present international concerns over nuclear proliferation, TRIGA reactor fuels will utilize only low-enriched uranium (LEU) (enrichment <20%). This requires increased total uranium loading per unit volume of fuel in order to maintain the appropriate fissile loading. Tests were conducted to determine the fractional release of gaseous and metallic fission products from typical uranium-zirconium hydride TRIGA fuels containing up to 45 wt-% uranium. These tests, performed in late 1977 and early 1978, were similar to those conducted earlier on TRIGA fuels with 8.5 wt-% U. Fission gas release measurements were made on prototypic specimens from room temperature to 1100 deg. C in the TRIGA King Furnace Facility. The fuel specimens were irradiated in the TRIGA reactor at a low power level. The fractional releases of the gaseous nuclides of krypton and xenon were measured under steady-state operating conditions. Clean helium was used to sweep the fission gases released during irradiation from the furnace into a standard gas collection trap for gamma counting. The results of these tests on TRIGA-LEU fuel agree well with data from the similar, earlier tests on TRIGA fuel. The correlation used to calculate the release of fission products from 8.5 wt-% U TRIGA fuel applies equally well for U contents up to 45 wt-%. (author)

  4. FUEL ELEMENTS FOR THERMAL-FISSION NUCLEAR REACTORS

    DOEpatents

    Flint, O.

    1961-01-10

    Fuel elements for thermal-fission nuclear reactors are described. The fuel element is comprised of a core of alumina, a film of a metal of the class consisting of copper, silver, and nickel on the outer face of the core, and a coating of an oxide of a metal isotope of the class consisting of Un/sup 235/, U/ sup 233/, and Pu/sup 239/ on the metal f ilm.

  5. LOADING MACHINE FOR REACTORS

    DOEpatents

    Simon, S.L.

    1959-07-01

    An apparatus is described for loading or charging slugs of fissionable material into a nuclear reactor. The apparatus of the invention is a "muzzle loading" type comprising a delivery tube or muzzle designed to be brought into alignment with any one of a plurality of fuel channels. The delivery tube is located within the pressure shell and it is also disposed within shielding barriers while the fuel cantridges or slugs are forced through the delivery tube by an externally driven flexible ram.

  6. A long term radiological risk model for plutonium-fueled and fission reactor space nuclear system

    SciTech Connect

    Bartram, B.W.; Dougherty, D.K.

    1987-01-01

    This report describes the optimization of the RISK III mathematical model, which provides risk assessment for the use of a plutonium-fueled, fission reactor in space systems. The report discusses possible scenarios leading to radiation releases on the ground; distinctions are made for an intact reactor and a dispersed reactor. Also included are projected dose equivalents for various accident situations. 54 refs., 31 figs., 11 tabs. (TEM)

  7. Hybrid reactors. [Fuel cycle

    SciTech Connect

    Moir, R.W.

    1980-09-09

    The rationale for hybrid fusion-fission reactors is the production of fissile fuel for fission reactors. A new class of reactor, the fission-suppressed hybrid promises unusually good safety features as well as the ability to support 25 light-water reactors of the same nuclear power rating, or even more high-conversion-ratio reactors such as the heavy-water type. One 4000-MW nuclear hybrid can produce 7200 kg of /sup 233/U per year. To obtain good economics, injector efficiency times plasma gain (eta/sub i/Q) should be greater than 2, the wall load should be greater than 1 MW.m/sup -2/, and the hybrid should cost less than 6 times the cost of a light-water reactor. Introduction rates for the fission-suppressed hybrid are usually rapid.

  8. Fission Product Monitoring of TRISO Coated Fuel For The Advanced Gas Reactor -1 Experiment

    SciTech Connect

    Dawn M. Scates; John K Hartwell; John B. Walter

    2008-09-01

    The US Department of Energy has embarked on a series of tests of TRISO-coated particle reactor fuel intended for use in the Very High Temperature Reactor (VHTR) as part of the Advanced Gas Reactor (AGR) program. The AGR-1 TRISO fuel experiment, currently underway, is the first in a series of eight fuel tests planned for irradiation in the Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) located at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL). The AGR-1 experiment reached a peak compact averaged burn up of 9% FIMA with no known TRISO fuel particle failures in March 2008. The burnup goal for the majority of the fuel compacts is to have a compact averaged burnup greater than 18% FIMA and a minimum compact averaged burnup of 14% FIMA. At the INL the TRISO fuel in the AGR-1 experiment is closely monitored while it is being irradiated in the ATR. The effluent monitoring system used for the AGR-1 fuel is the Fission Product Monitoring System (FPMS). The FPMS is a valuable tool that provides near real-time data indicative of the AGR-1 test fuel performance and incorporates both high-purity germanium (HPGe) gamma-ray spectrometers and sodium iodide [NaI(Tl)] scintillation detector-based gross radiation monitors. To quantify the fuel performance, release-to-birth ratios (R/B’s) of radioactive fission gases are computed. The gamma-ray spectra acquired by the AGR-1 FPMS are analyzed and used to determine the released activities of specific fission gases, while a dedicated detector provides near-real time count rate information. Isotopic build up and depletion calculations provide the associated isotopic birth rates. This paper highlights the features of the FPMS, encompassing the equipment, methods and measures that enable the calculation of the release-to-birth ratios. Some preliminary results from the AGR-1 experiment are also presented.

  9. Fission Product Monitoring of TRISO Coated Fuel For The Advanced Gas Reactor -1 Experiment

    SciTech Connect

    Dawn M. Scates; John K. Hartwell; John b. Walter

    2010-10-01

    The US Department of Energy has embarked on a series of tests of TRISO-coated particle reactor fuel intended for use in the Very High Temperature Reactor (VHTR) as part of the Advanced Gas Reactor (AGR) program. The AGR-1 TRISO fuel experiment, currently underway, is the first in a series of eight fuel tests planned for irradiation in the Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) located at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL). The AGR-1 experiment reached a peak compact averaged burn up of 9% FIMA with no known TRISO fuel particle failures in March 2008. The burnup goal for the majority of the fuel compacts is to have a compact averaged burnup greater than 18% FIMA and a minimum compact averaged burnup of 14% FIMA. At the INL the TRISO fuel in the AGR-1 experiment is closely monitored while it is being irradiated in the ATR. The effluent monitoring system used for the AGR-1 fuel is the Fission Product Monitoring System (FPMS). The FPMS is a valuable tool that provides near real-time data indicative of the AGR-1 test fuel performance and incorporates both high-purity germanium (HPGe) gamma-ray spectrometers and sodium iodide [NaI(Tl)] scintillation detector-based gross radiation monitors. To quantify the fuel performance, release-to-birth ratios (R/B’s) of radioactive fission gases are computed. The gamma-ray spectra acquired by the AGR-1 FPMS are analyzed and used to determine the released activities of specific fission gases, while a dedicated detector provides near-real time count rate information. Isotopic build up and depletion calculations provide the associated isotopic birth rates. This paper highlights the features of the FPMS, encompassing the equipment, methods and measures that enable the calculation of the release-to-birth ratios. Some preliminary results from the AGR-1 experiment are also presented.

  10. Neutron spectra at two beam ports of a TRIGA Mark III reactor loaded with HEU fuel.

    PubMed

    Vega-Carrillo, H R; Hernández-Dávila, V M; Aguilar, F; Paredes, L; Rivera, T

    2014-01-01

    The neutron spectra have been measured in two beam ports, one radial and another tangential, of the TRIGA Mark III nuclear reactor from the National Institute of Nuclear Research in Mexico. Measurements were carried out with the reactor core loaded with high enriched uranium fuel. Two reactor powers, 5 and 10 W, were used during neutron spectra measurements using a Bonner sphere spectrometer with a (6)LiI(Eu) scintillator and 2, 3, 5, 8, 10 and 12 in.-diameter high-density polyethylene spheres. The neutron spectra were unfolded using the NSDUAZ unfolding code. For each spectrum total flux, mean energy and ambient dose equivalent were determined. Measured spectra show fission, epithermal and thermal neutrons, being harder in the radial beam port. PMID:23746708

  11. A physical description of fission product behavior fuels for advanced power reactors.

    SciTech Connect

    Kaganas, G.; Rest, J.; Nuclear Engineering Division; Florida International Univ.

    2007-10-18

    The Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) is considering a list of reactors and nuclear fuels as part of its chartered initiative. Because many of the candidate materials have not been explored experimentally under the conditions of interest, and in order to economize on program costs, analytical support in the form of combined first principle and mechanistic modeling is highly desirable. The present work is a compilation of mechanistic models developed in order to describe the fission product behavior of irradiated nuclear fuel. The mechanistic nature of the model development allows for the possibility of describing a range of nuclear fuels under varying operating conditions. Key sources include the FASTGRASS code with an application to UO{sub 2} power reactor fuel and the Dispersion Analysis Research Tool (DART ) with an application to uranium-silicide and uranium-molybdenum research reactor fuel. Described behavior mechanisms are divided into subdivisions treating fundamental materials processes under normal operation as well as the effect of transient heating conditions on these processes. Model topics discussed include intra- and intergranular gas-atom and bubble diffusion, bubble nucleation and growth, gas-atom re-solution, fuel swelling and ?scion gas release. In addition, the effect of an evolving microstructure on these processes (e.g., irradiation-induced recrystallization) is considered. The uranium-alloy fuel, U-xPu-Zr, is investigated and behavior mechanisms are proposed for swelling in the {alpha}-, intermediate- and {gamma}-uranium zones of this fuel. The work reviews the FASTGRASS kinetic/mechanistic description of volatile ?scion products and, separately, the basis for the DART calculation of bubble behavior in amorphous fuels. Development areas and applications for physical nuclear fuel models are identified.

  12. Radioactive Fission Product Release from Defective Light Water Reactor Fuel Elements

    SciTech Connect

    Konyashov, Vadim V.; Krasnov, Alexander M.

    2002-04-15

    Results are provided of the experimental investigation of radioactive fission product (RFP) release, i.e., krypton, xenon, and iodine radionuclides from fuel elements with initial defects during long-term (3 to 5 yr) irradiation under low linear power (5 to 12 kW/m) and during special experiments in the VK-50 vessel-type boiling water reactor.The calculation model for the RFP release from the fuel-to-cladding gap of the defective fuel element into coolant was developed. It takes into account the convective transport in the fuel-to-cladding gap and RFP sorption on the internal cladding surface and is in good agreement with the available experimental data. An approximate analytical solution of the transport equation is given. The calculation dependencies of the RFP release coefficients on the main parameters such as defect size, fuel-to-cladding gap, temperature of the internal cladding surface, and radioactive decay constant were analyzed.It is shown that the change of the RFP release from the fuel elements with the initial defects during long-term irradiation is, mainly, caused by fuel swelling followed by reduction of the fuel-to-cladding gap and the fuel temperature. The calculation model for the RFP release from defective fuel elements applicable to light water reactors (LWRs) was developed. It takes into account the change of the defective fuel element parameters during long-term irradiation. The calculation error according to the program does not exceed 30% over all the linear power change range of the LWR fuel elements (from 5 to 26 kW/m)

  13. Fission gas release from UO{sub 2+x} in defective light water reactor fuel rods

    SciTech Connect

    Skim, Y. S.

    1999-11-12

    A simplified semi-empirical model predicting fission gas release form UO{sub 2+x} fuel to the fuel rod plenum as a function of stoichiometry excess (x) is developed to apply to the fuel of a defective LWR fuel rod in operation. The effect of fuel oxidation in enhancing gas diffusion is included as a parabolic dependence of the stoichiometry excess. The increase of fission gas release in a defective BWR fuel rod is at the most 3 times higher than in an intact fuel rod because of small extent of UO{sub 2} oxidation. The major enhancement contributor in fission gas release of UO{sub 2+x} fuel is the increased diffusivity due to stoichiometry excess rather than the higher temperature caused by degraded fuel thermal conductivity.

  14. An analytical study of volatile metallic fission product release from very high temperature gas-cooled reactor fuel and core

    SciTech Connect

    Mitake, S.; Okamoto, F.

    1988-04-01

    Release characteristics of volatile metallic fission products from the coated fuel particle and the reactor core for a very high temperature gas-cooled reactor during its power operation has been studied using numerical analysis. A computer code FORNAX, based on Fick's diffusion law and the evaporation mass transfer relation, has been developed, which considers, in particular, distribution and time histories of power density, fuel temperature, and failed and degraded fuel particle fractions in the core. Applicability of the code to evaluate the core design has been shown and the following have been indicated on the release of cesium from the reactor: 1. The release from the intact fuel particles by diffusion through their intact coatings shows larger contribution in the total core release at higher temperature. 2. The diffusion release from the intact particle is governed not only by the diffusion in the silicon carbide layer but also by that in the fuel kernel.

  15. Nuclear Power from Fission Reactors. An Introduction.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Department of Energy, Washington, DC. Technical Information Center.

    The purpose of this booklet is to provide a basic understanding of nuclear fission energy and different fission reaction concepts. Topics discussed are: energy use and production, current uses of fuels, oil and gas consumption, alternative energy sources, fossil fuel plants, nuclear plants, boiling water and pressurized water reactors, the light…

  16. Fusion-Fission Hybrid for Fissile Fuel Production without Processing

    SciTech Connect

    Fratoni, M; Moir, R W; Kramer, K J; Latkowski, J F; Meier, W R; Powers, J J

    2012-01-02

    Two scenarios are typically envisioned for thorium fuel cycles: 'open' cycles based on irradiation of {sup 232}Th and fission of {sup 233}U in situ without reprocessing or 'closed' cycles based on irradiation of {sup 232}Th followed by reprocessing, and recycling of {sup 233}U either in situ or in critical fission reactors. This study evaluates a third option based on the possibility of breeding fissile material in a fusion-fission hybrid reactor and burning the same fuel in a critical reactor without any reprocessing or reconditioning. This fuel cycle requires the hybrid and the critical reactor to use the same fuel form. TRISO particles embedded in carbon pebbles were selected as the preferred form of fuel and an inertial laser fusion system featuring a subcritical blanket was combined with critical pebble bed reactors, either gas-cooled or liquid-salt-cooled. The hybrid reactor was modeled based on the earlier, hybrid version of the LLNL Laser Inertial Fusion Energy (LIFE1) system, whereas the critical reactors were modeled according to the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR) and the Pebble Bed Advanced High Temperature Reactor (PB-AHTR) design. An extensive neutronic analysis was carried out for both the hybrid and the fission reactors in order to track the fuel composition at each stage of the fuel cycle and ultimately determine the plant support ratio, which has been defined as the ratio between the thermal power generated in fission reactors and the fusion power required to breed the fissile fuel burnt in these fission reactors. It was found that the maximum attainable plant support ratio for a thorium fuel cycle that employs neither enrichment nor reprocessing is about 2. This requires tuning the neutron energy towards high energy for breeding and towards thermal energy for burning. A high fuel loading in the pebbles allows a faster spectrum in the hybrid blanket; mixing dummy carbon pebbles with fuel pebbles enables a softer spectrum in the critical reactors

  17. Italian hybrid and fission reactors scenario analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Ciotti, M.; Manzano, J.; Sepielli, M.

    2012-06-19

    Italy is a country where a long tradition of studies both in the fission and fusion field is consolidated; nevertheless a strong public opinion concerned with the destination of the Spent Nuclear Fuel hinders the development of nuclear power. The possibility to a severe reduction of the NSF mass generated from a fleet of nuclear reactors employing an hypothetical fusionfission hybrid reactor has been investigated in the Italian framework. The possibility to produce nuclear fuel for the fission nuclear reactors with the hybrid reactor was analyzed too.

  18. Italian hybrid and fission reactors scenario analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ciotti, M.; Manzano, J.; Sepielli, M.

    2012-06-01

    Italy is a country where a long tradition of studies both in the fission and fusion field is consolidated; nevertheless a strong public opinion concerned with the destination of the Spent Nuclear Fuel hinders the development of nuclear power. The possibility to a severe reduction of the NSF mass generated from a fleet of nuclear reactors employing an hypothetical fusionfission hybrid reactor has been investigated in the Italian framework. The possibility to produce nuclear fuel for the fission nuclear reactors with the hybrid reactor was analyzed too.

  19. Part I. Fuel-motion diagnostics in support of fast-reactor safety experiments. Part II. Fission product detection system in support of fast reactor safety experiments

    SciTech Connect

    Devolpi, A.; Doerner, R.C.; Fink, C.L.; Regis, J.P.; Rhodes, E.A.; Stanford, G.S.; Braid, T.H.; Boyar, R.E.

    1986-05-01

    In all destructive fast-reactor safety experiments at TREAT, fuel motion and cladding failure have been monitored by the fast-neutron/gamma-ray hodoscope, providing experimental results that are directly applicable to design, modeling, and validation in fast-reactor safety. Hodoscope contributions to the safety program can be considered to fall into several groupings: pre-failure fuel motion, cladding failure, post-failure fuel motion, steel blockages, pretest and posttest radiography, axial-power-profile variations, and power-coupling monitoring. High-quality results in fuel motion have been achieved, and motion sequences have been reconstructed in qualitative and quantitative visual forms. A collimated detection system has been used to observe fission products in the upper regions of a test loop in the TREAT reactor. Particular regions of the loop are targeted through any of five channels in a rotatable assembly in a horizontal hole through the biological shield. A well-type neutron detector, optimized for delayed neutrons, and two GeLi gamma ray spectrometers have been used in several experiments. Data are presented showing a time history of the transport of Dn emitters, of gamma spectra identifying volatile fission products deposited as aerosols, and of fission gas isotopes released from the coolant.

  20. Antineutrinos for Reactor Safeguards: Effect of Fuel Loading and Burnup on the Signal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Erickson, Anna; Bernstein, Adam; Bowden, Nathaniel

    2014-02-01

    Various types of nuclear reactor related information, including relative power level and fuel evolution parameters, can be inferred remotely using antineutrino detectors. We show that it is possible to verify assembly-level burnup using information derived from an antineutrino detector if the nominal reactor fuel loading is known. Alternatively, if the core power is measured using an independent method, for example, a thermal hydraulic element, and the nominal core behavior is known, the antineutrino detector has a capability to determine previously unknown MOX loading in the core.

  1. Impact of Fission Products Impurity on the Plutonium Content of Metal- and Oxide- Fuels in Sodium Cooled Fast Reactors

    SciTech Connect

    Hikaru Hiruta; Gilles Youinou

    2013-09-01

    This short report presents the neutronic analysis to evaluate the impact of fission product impurity on the Pu content of Sodium-cooled Fast Reactor (SFR) metal- and oxide- fuel fabrication. The similar work has been previously done for PWR MOX fuel [1]. The analysis will be performed based on the assumption that the separation of the fission products (FP) during the reprocessing of UOX spent nuclear fuel assemblies is not perfect and that, consequently, a certain amount of FP goes into the Pu stream used to fabricate SFR fuels. Only non-gaseous FPs have been considered (see the list of 176 isotopes considered in the calculations in Appendix 1 of Reference 1). Throughout of this report, we define the mixture of Pu and FPs as PuFP. The main objective of this analysis is to quantify the increase of the Pu content of SFR fuels necessary to maintain the same average burnup at discharge independently of the amount of FP in the Pu stream, i.e. independently of the PuFP composition. The FP losses are considered element-independent, i.e., for example, 1% of FP losses mean that 1% of all non-gaseous FP leak into the Pu stream.

  2. REACTOR FUEL SCAVENGING MEANS

    DOEpatents

    Coffinberry, A.S.

    1962-04-10

    A process for removing fission products from reactor liquid fuel without interfering with the reactor's normal operation or causing a significant change in its fuel composition is described. The process consists of mixing a liquid scavenger alloy composed of about 44 at.% plutoniunm, 33 at.% lanthanum, and 23 at.% nickel or cobalt with a plutonium alloy reactor fuel containing about 3 at.% lanthanum; removing a portion of the fuel and scavenger alloy from the reactor core and replacing it with an equal amount of the fresh scavenger alloy; transferring the portion to a quiescent zone where the scavenger and the plutonium fuel form two distinct liquid layers with the fission products being dissolved in the lanthanum-rich scavenger layer; and the clean plutonium-rich fuel layer being returned to the reactor core. (AEC)

  3. KUGEL: a thermal, hydraulic, fuel performance, and gaseous fission product release code for pebble bed reactor core analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Shamasundar, B.I.; Fehrenbach, M.E.

    1981-05-01

    The KUGEL computer code is designed to perform thermal/hydraulic analysis and coated-fuel particle performance calculations for axisymmetric pebble bed reactor (PBR) cores. This computer code was developed as part of a Department of Energy (DOE)-funded study designed to verify the published core performance data on PBRs. The KUGEL code is designed to interface directly with the 2DB code, a two-dimensional neutron diffusion code, to obtain distributions of thermal power, fission rate, fuel burnup, and fast neutron fluence, which are needed for thermal/hydraulic and fuel performance calculations. The code is variably dimensioned so that problem size can be easily varied. An interpolation routine allows variable mesh size to be used between the 2DB output and the two-dimensional thermal/hydraulic calculations.

  4. Neutronics for critical fission reactors and subcritical fission in hybrids

    SciTech Connect

    Salvatores, Massimo

    2012-06-19

    The requirements of future innovative nuclear fuel cycles will focus on safety, sustainability and radioactive waste minimization. Critical fast neutron reactors and sub-critical, external source driven systems (accelerator driven and fusion-fission hybrids) have a potential role to meet these requirements in view of their physics characteristics. This paper provides a short introduction to these features.

  5. Neutronics for critical fission reactors and subcritical fission in hybrids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salvatores, Massimo

    2012-06-01

    The requirements of future innovative nuclear fuel cycles will focus on safety, sustainability and radioactive waste minimization. Critical fast neutron reactors and sub-critical, external source driven systems (accelerator driven and fusion-fission hybrids) have a potential role to meet these requirements in view of their physics characteristics. This paper provides a short introduction to these features.

  6. Hybrid fusion-fission reactor with a thorium blanket: Its potential in the fuel cycle of nuclear reactors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shmelev, A. N.; Kulikov, G. G.; Kurnaev, V. A.; Salahutdinov, G. H.; Kulikov, E. G.; Apse, V. A.

    2015-12-01

    Discussions are currently going on as to whether it is suitable to employ thorium in the nuclear fuel cycle. This work demonstrates that the 231Pa-232U-233U-Th composition to be produced in the thorium blanket of a hybrid thermonuclear reactor (HTR) as a fuel for light-water reactors opens up the possibility of achieving high, up to 30% of heavy metals (HM), or even ultrahigh fuel burnup. This is because the above fuel composition is able to stabilize its neutron-multiplying properties in the process of high fuel burnup. In addition, it allows the nuclear fuel cycle (NFC) to be better protected against unauthorized proliferation of fissile materials owing to an unprecedentedly large fraction of 232U (several percent!) in the uranium bred from the Th blanket, which will substantially hamper the use of fissile materials in a closed NFC for purposes other than power production.

  7. Hybrid fusion–fission reactor with a thorium blanket: Its potential in the fuel cycle of nuclear reactors

    SciTech Connect

    Shmelev, A. N. Kulikov, G. G. Kurnaev, V. A. Salahutdinov, G. H. Kulikov, E. G. Apse, V. A.

    2015-12-15

    Discussions are currently going on as to whether it is suitable to employ thorium in the nuclear fuel cycle. This work demonstrates that the {sup 231}Pa–{sup 232}U–{sup 233}U–Th composition to be produced in the thorium blanket of a hybrid thermonuclear reactor (HTR) as a fuel for light-water reactors opens up the possibility of achieving high, up to 30% of heavy metals (HM), or even ultrahigh fuel burnup. This is because the above fuel composition is able to stabilize its neutron-multiplying properties in the process of high fuel burnup. In addition, it allows the nuclear fuel cycle (NFC) to be better protected against unauthorized proliferation of fissile materials owing to an unprecedentedly large fraction of {sup 232}U (several percent!) in the uranium bred from the Th blanket, which will substantially hamper the use of fissile materials in a closed NFC for purposes other than power production.

  8. Liquid uranium alloy-helium fission reactor

    DOEpatents

    Minkov, Vladimir

    1986-01-01

    This invention teaches a nuclear fission reactor having a core vessel and at least one tandem heat exchanger vessel coupled therewith across upper and lower passages to define a closed flow loop. Nuclear fuel such as a uranium alloy in its liquid phase fills these vessels and flow passages. Solid control elements in the reactor core vessel are adapted to be adjusted relative to one another to control fission reaction of the liquid fuel therein. Moderator elements in the other vessel and flow passages preclude fission reaction therein. An inert gas such as helium is bubbled upwardly through the heat exchanger vessel operable to move the liquid fuel upwardly therein and unidirectionally around the closed loop and downwardly through the core vessel. This helium gas is further directed to heat conversion means outside of the reactor vessels to utilize the heat from the fission reaction to generate useful output. The nuclear fuel operates in the 1200.degree.-1800.degree. C. range, and even higher to 2500.degree. C., limited only by the thermal effectiveness of the structural materials, increasing the efficiency of power generation from the normal 30-35% with 300.degree.-500.degree. C. upper limit temperature to 50-65%. Irradiation of the circulating liquid fuel, as contrasted to only localized irradiation of a solid fuel, provides improved fuel utilization.

  9. Microstructural Characterization of a Mg Matrix U-Mo Dispersion Fuel Plate Irradiated in the Advanced Test Reactor to High Fission Density: SEM Results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keiser, Dennis D.; Jue, Jan-Fong; Miller, Brandon D.; Gan, Jian; Robinson, Adam B.; Medvedev, Pavel G.; Madden, James W.; Moore, Glenn A.

    2016-04-01

    Low-enriched (U-235 <20 pct) U-Mo dispersion fuel is being developed for use in research and test reactors. In most cases, fuel plates with Al or Al-Si alloy matrices have been tested in the Advanced Test Reactor to support this development. In addition, fuel plates with Mg as the matrix have also been tested. The benefit of using Mg as the matrix is that it potentially will not chemically interact with the U-Mo fuel particles during fabrication or irradiation, whereas with Al and Al-Si alloys such interactions will occur. Fuel plate R9R010 is a Mg matrix fuel plate that was aggressively irradiated in ATR. This fuel plate was irradiated as part of the RERTR-8 experiment at high temperature, high fission rate, and high power, up to high fission density. This paper describes the results of the scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis of an irradiated fuel plate using polished samples and those produced with a focused ion beam. A follow-up paper will discuss the results of transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analysis. Using SEM, it was observed that even at very aggressive irradiation conditions, negligible chemical interaction occurred between the irradiated U-7Mo fuel particles and Mg matrix; no interconnection of fission gas bubbles from fuel particle to fuel particle was observed; the interconnected fission gas bubbles that were observed in the irradiated U-7Mo particles resulted in some transport of solid fission products to the U-7Mo/Mg interface; the presence of microstructural pathways in some U-9.1 Mo particles that could allow for transport of fission gases did not result in the apparent presence of large porosity at the U-7Mo/Mg interface; and, the Mg-Al interaction layers that were present at the Mg matrix/Al 6061 cladding interface exhibited good radiation stability, i.e. no large pores.

  10. Microstructural Characterization of a Mg Matrix U-Mo Dispersion Fuel Plate Irradiated in the Advanced Test Reactor to High Fission Density: SEM Results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keiser, Dennis D.; Jue, Jan-Fong; Miller, Brandon D.; Gan, Jian; Robinson, Adam B.; Medvedev, Pavel G.; Madden, James W.; Moore, Glenn A.

    2016-06-01

    Low-enriched (U-235 <20 pct) U-Mo dispersion fuel is being developed for use in research and test reactors. In most cases, fuel plates with Al or Al-Si alloy matrices have been tested in the Advanced Test Reactor to support this development. In addition, fuel plates with Mg as the matrix have also been tested. The benefit of using Mg as the matrix is that it potentially will not chemically interact with the U-Mo fuel particles during fabrication or irradiation, whereas with Al and Al-Si alloys such interactions will occur. Fuel plate R9R010 is a Mg matrix fuel plate that was aggressively irradiated in ATR. This fuel plate was irradiated as part of the RERTR-8 experiment at high temperature, high fission rate, and high power, up to high fission density. This paper describes the results of the scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis of an irradiated fuel plate using polished samples and those produced with a focused ion beam. A follow-up paper will discuss the results of transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analysis. Using SEM, it was observed that even at very aggressive irradiation conditions, negligible chemical interaction occurred between the irradiated U-7Mo fuel particles and Mg matrix; no interconnection of fission gas bubbles from fuel particle to fuel particle was observed; the interconnected fission gas bubbles that were observed in the irradiated U-7Mo particles resulted in some transport of solid fission products to the U-7Mo/Mg interface; the presence of microstructural pathways in some U-9.1 Mo particles that could allow for transport of fission gases did not result in the apparent presence of large porosity at the U-7Mo/Mg interface; and, the Mg-Al interaction layers that were present at the Mg matrix/Al 6061 cladding interface exhibited good radiation stability, i.e. no large pores.

  11. Fissioning Plasma Core Reactor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Albright, Dennis; Butler, Carey; West, Nicole; Cole, John W. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    Institute for Scientific Research, Inc. (ISR) research program consist of: 1.Study core physics by adapting existing codes: MCNP4C - Monte Carlo code; COMBINE/VENTURE - diffusion theory; SCALE4 - Monte Carlo, with many utility codes. 2. Determine feasibility and study major design parameters: fuel selection, temperature and reflector sizing. 3. Study reactor kinetics: develop QCALC1 to model point kinetics; study dynamic behavior of the power release.

  12. Design of an Online Fission Gas Monitoring System for Post-irradiation Examination Heating Tests of Coated Fuel Particles for High-Temperature Gas-Cooled Reactors

    SciTech Connect

    Dawn Scates

    2010-10-01

    A new Fission Gas Monitoring System (FGMS) has been designed at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) for use of monitoring online fission gas-released during fuel heating tests. The FGMS will be used with the Fuel Accident Condition Simulator (FACS) at the Hot Fuels Examination Facility (HFEF) located at the Materials and Fuels Complex (MFC) within the INL campus. Preselected Advanced Gas Reactor (AGR) TRISO (Tri-isotropic) fuel compacts will undergo testing to assess the fission product retention characteristics under high temperature accident conditions. The FACS furnace will heat the fuel to temperatures up to 2,000ºC in a helium atmosphere. Released fission products such as Kr and Xe isotopes will be transported downstream to the FGMS where they will accumulate in cryogenically cooledcollection traps and monitored with High Purity Germanium (HPGe) detectors during the heating process. Special INL developed software will be used to monitor the accumulated fission products and will report data in near real-time. These data will then be reported in a form that can be readily available to the INL reporting database. This paper describes the details of the FGMS design, the control and acqusition software, system calibration, and the expected performance of the FGMS. Preliminary online data may be available for presentation at the High Temperature Reactor (HTR) conference.

  13. Gamma-ray spectrometric measurements of fission rate ratios between fresh and burnt fuel following irradiation in a zero-power reactor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kröhnert, H.; Perret, G.; Murphy, M. F.; Chawla, R.

    2013-01-01

    The gamma-ray activity from short-lived fission products has been measured in fresh and burnt UO2 fuel samples after irradiation in a zero-power reactor. For the first time, short-lived gamma-ray activity from fresh and burnt fuel has been compared and fresh-to-burnt fuel fission rate ratios have been derived. For the measurements, well characterized fresh and burnt fuel samples, with burn-ups up to 46 GWd/t, were irradiated in the zero-power research reactor PROTEUS. Fission rate ratios were derived based on the counting of high-energy gamma-rays above 2200 keV, in order to discriminate against the high intrinsic activity of the burnt fuel. This paper presents the measured fresh-to-burnt fuel fission rate ratios based on the 142La (2542 keV), 89Rb (2570 keV), 138Cs (2640 keV) and 95Y (3576 keV) high-energy gamma-ray lines. Comparisons are made with the results of Monte Carlo modeling of the experimental configuration, carried out using the MCNPX code. The measured fission rate ratios have 1σ uncertainties of 1.7-3.4%. The comparisons with calculated predictions show an agreement within 1-3σ, although there appears to be a slight bias (∼3%).

  14. NUCLEAR REACTOR FUEL ELEMENT

    DOEpatents

    Currier, E.L. Jr.; Nicklas, J.H.

    1963-06-11

    A fuel plate is designed for incorporation into control rods of the type utilized in high-flux test reactors. The fuel plate is designed so that the portion nearest the poison section of the control rod contains about one-half as much fissionable material as in the rest of the plate, thereby eliminating dangerous flux peaking in that portion. (AEC)

  15. Nuclear reactor fuel element

    DOEpatents

    Johnson, Carl E.; Crouthamel, Carl E.

    1980-01-01

    A nuclear reactor fuel element is described which has an outer cladding, a central core of fissionable or mixed fissionable and fertile fuel material and a layer of oxygen gettering material on the inner surface of the cladding. The gettering material reacts with oxygen released by the fissionable material during irradiation of the core thereby preventing the oxygen from reacting with and corroding the cladding. Also described is an improved method for coating the inner surface of the cladding with a layer of gettering material.

  16. Fuel efficient hydrodynamic containment for gas core fission reactor rocket propulsion. Final report, September 30, 1992--May 31, 1995

    SciTech Connect

    Sforza, P.M.; Cresci, R.J.

    1997-05-31

    Gas core reactors can form the basis for advanced nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) systems capable of providing specific impulse levels of more than 2,000 sec., but containment of the hot uranium plasma is a major problem. The initial phase of an experimental study of hydrodynamic confinement of the fuel cloud in a gas core fission reactor by means of an innovative application of a base injection stabilized recirculation bubble is presented. The development of the experimental facility, a simulated thrust chamber approximately 0.4 m in diameter and 1 m long, is described. The flow rate of propellant simulant (air) can be varied up to about 2 kg/sec and that of fuel simulant (air, air-sulfur hexafluoride) up to about 0.2 kg/sec. This scale leads to chamber Reynolds numbers on the same order of magnitude as those anticipated in a full-scale nuclear rocket engine. The experimental program introduced here is focused on determining the size, geometry, and stability of the recirculation region as a function of the bleed ratio, i.e. the ratio of the injected mass flux to the free stream mass flux. A concurrent CFD study is being carried out to aid in demonstrating that the proposed technique is practical.

  17. Liquid uranium alloy-helium fission reactor

    DOEpatents

    Minkov, V.

    1984-06-13

    This invention describes a nuclear fission reactor which has a core vessel and at least one tandem heat exchanger vessel coupled therewith across upper and lower passages to define a closed flow loop. Nuclear fuel such as a uranium alloy in its liquid phase fills these vessels and flow passages. Solid control elements in the reactor core vessel are adapted to be adjusted relative to one another to control fission reaction of the liquid fuel therein. Moderator elements in the other vessel and flow passages preclude fission reaction therein. An inert gas such as helium is bubbled upwardly through the heat exchanger vessel operable to move the liquid fuel upwardly therein and unidirectionally around the closed loop and downwardly through the core vessel. This helium gas is further directed to heat conversion means outside of the reactor vessels to utilize the heat from the fission reaction to generate useful output. The nuclear fuel operates in the 1200 to 1800/sup 0/C range, and even higher to 2500/sup 0/C.

  18. The neutronics studies of fusion fission hybrid power reactor

    SciTech Connect

    Zheng Youqi; Wu Hongchun; Zu Tiejun; Yang Chao; Cao Liangzhi

    2012-06-19

    In this paper, a series of neutronics analysis of hybrid power reactor is proposed. The ideas of loading different fuels in a modular-type fission blanket is analyzed, fitting different level of fusion developments, i.e., the current experimental power output, the level can be obtained in the coming future and the high-power fusion reactor like ITER. The energy multiplication of fission blankets and tritium breeding ratio are evaluated as the criterion of design. The analysis is implemented based on the D-type simplified model, aiming to find a feasible 1000MWe hybrid power reactor for 5 years' lifetime. Three patterns are analyzed: 1) for the low fusion power, the reprocessed fuel is chosen. The fuel with high plutonium content is loaded to achieve large energy multiplication. 2) For the middle fusion power, the spent fuel from PWRs can be used to realize about 30 times energy multiplication. 3) For the high fusion power, the natural uranium can be directly used and about 10 times energy multiplication can be achieved.

  19. NEUTRONIC REACTOR FUEL ELEMENT

    DOEpatents

    Kesselring, K.A.; Seybolt, A.U.

    1958-12-01

    A reactor fuel element of the capillary tube type is described. The element consists of a thin walled tube, sealed at both ends, and having an interior coatlng of a fissionable material, such as uranium enriched in U-235. The tube wall is gas tight and is constructed of titanium, zirconium, or molybdenum.

  20. NEUTRONIC REACTOR FUEL PUMP

    DOEpatents

    Cobb, W.G.

    1959-06-01

    A reactor fuel pump is described which offers long life, low susceptibility to radiation damage, and gaseous fission product removal. An inert-gas lubricated bearing supports a journal on one end of the drive shsft. The other end has an impeller and expansion chamber which effect pumping and gas- liquid separation. (T.R.H.)

  1. FUEL ELEMENTS FOR NEUTRONIC REACTORS

    DOEpatents

    Foote, F.G.; Jette, E.R.

    1963-05-01

    A fuel element for a nuclear reactor is described that consists of a jacket containing a unitary core of fissionable material and a filling of a metal of the group consisting of sodium and sodium-potassium alloys. (AEC)

  2. New Fuel Cycle and Fuel Management Options in Heavy Liquid Metal-Cooled Reactors

    SciTech Connect

    Greenspan, Ehud; Hejzlar, Pavel; Sekimoto, Hiroshi; Toshinsky, Georgy; Wade, David

    2005-08-15

    Fast reactors cooled by lead or lead-bismuth alloy offer new interesting fuel cycle and fuel management options by virtue of the superb neutronics and safety features of these heavy liquid metal (HLM) coolants. One option is once-for-life cores having relatively low power density. These cores are fueled in the factory; there is no refueling or fuel shuffling on site. A second option is very long-life cores being made of a fissioning zone and a natural uranium blanket zone. The fissioning zone very slowly drifts toward the blanket. A third option is multirecycling of light water reactor (LWR) discharged fuel without partitioning of transuranics (TRUs) in fuel-self-sustaining reactors. LWR spent fuel could provide the initial fuel loading after extracting fission products and {approx}90% of its uranium. The makeup fuel is natural or depleted uranium. A fourth option is the high-burnup once-through fuel cycle using natural or depleted uranium feed. The initial fuel loading of this reactor is a mixture of enriched and natural uranium. The natural uranium utilization is 10 to 20 times higher than that of a once-through LWR. A fifth option is transmutation of TRUs from LWRs using critical HLM-cooled reactors; such reactors could be designed to have the same high actinide burning capability of accelerator-driven systems and have comparable safety, but at a substantially lower cost. These novel reactor designs and fuel management options are hereby reviewed.

  3. Fission-suppressed hybrid reactor: the fusion breeder

    SciTech Connect

    Moir, R.W.; Lee, J.D.; Coops, M.S.

    1982-12-01

    Results of a conceptual design study of a /sup 233/U-producing fusion breeder are presented. The majority of the study was devoted to conceptual design and evaluation of a fission-suppressed blanket and to fuel cycle issues such as fuel reprocessing, fuel handling, and fuel management. Studies in the areas of fusion engineering, reactor safety, and economics were also performed.

  4. NUCLEAR REACTOR FUEL-BREEDER FUEL ELEMENT

    DOEpatents

    Currier, E.L. Jr.; Nicklas, J.H.

    1962-08-14

    A fuel-breeder fuel element was developed for a nuclear reactor wherein discrete particles of fissionable material are dispersed in a matrix of fertile breeder material. The fuel element combines the advantages of a dispersion type and a breeder-type. (AEC)

  5. Core loading pattern optimization of thorium fueled heavy water breeder reactor using genetic algorithm

    SciTech Connect

    Soewono, C. N.; Takaki, N.

    2012-07-01

    In this work genetic algorithm was proposed to solve fuel loading pattern optimization problem in thorium fueled heavy water reactor. The objective function of optimization was to maximize the conversion ratio and minimize power peaking factor. Those objectives were simultaneously optimized using non-dominated Pareto-based population ranking optimal method. Members of non-dominated population were assigned selection probabilities based on their rankings in a manner similar to Baker's single criterion ranking selection procedure. A selected non-dominated member was bred through simple mutation or one-point crossover process to produce a new member. The genetic algorithm program was developed in FORTRAN 90 while neutronic calculation and analysis was done by COREBN code, a module of core burn-up calculation for SRAC. (authors)

  6. NUCLEAR REACTOR FUEL ELEMENT

    DOEpatents

    Anderson, W.F.; Tellefson, D.R.; Shimazaki, T.T.

    1962-04-10

    A plate type fuel element which is particularly useful for organic cooled reactors is described. Generally, the fuel element comprises a plurality of fissionable fuel bearing plates held in spaced relationship by a frame in which the plates are slidably mounted in grooves. Clearance is provided in the grooves to allow the plates to expand laterally. The plates may be rigidly interconnected but are floatingly supported at their ends within the frame to allow for longi-tudinal expansion. Thus, this fuel element is able to withstand large temperature differentials without great structural stresses. (AEC)

  7. Cermet fuel reactors

    SciTech Connect

    Cowan, C.L.; Palmer, R.S.; Van Hoomissen, J.E.; Bhattacharyya, S.K.; Barner, J.O.

    1987-09-01

    Cermet fueled nuclear reactors are attractive candidates for high performance space power systems. The cermet fuel consists of tungsten-urania hexagonal fuel blocks characterized by high strength at elevated temperatures, a high thermal conductivity and resultant high thermal shock resistance. Key features of the cermet fueled reactor design are (1) the ability to achieve very high coolant exit temperatures, and (2) thermal shock resistance during rapid power changes, and (3) two barriers to fission product release - the cermet matrix and the fuel element cladding. Additionally, thre is a potential for achieving a long operating life because of (1) the neutronic insensitivity of the fast-spectrum core to the buildup of fission products and (2) the utilization of a high strength refractory metal matrix and structural materials. These materials also provide resistance against compression forces that potentially might compact and/or reconfigure the core. In addition, the neutronic properties of the refractory materials assure that the reactor remains substantially subcritical under conditions of water immersion. It is concluded that cermet fueled reactors can be utilized to meet the power requirements for a broad range of advanced space applications. 4 refs., 4 figs., 3 tabs.

  8. Process and apparatus for recovery of fissionable materials from spent reactor fuel by anodic dissolution

    DOEpatents

    Tomczuk, Zygmunt; Miller, William E.; Wolson, Raymond D.; Gay, Eddie C.

    1991-01-01

    An electrochemical process and apparatus for the recovery of uranium and plutonium from spent metal clad fuel pins is disclosed. The process uses secondary reactions between U.sup.+4 cations and elemental uranium at the anode to increase reaction rates and improve anodic efficiency compared to prior art processes. In another embodiment of the process, secondary reactions between Cd.sup.+2 cations and elemental uranium to form uranium cations and elemental cadmium also assists in oxidizing the uranium at the anode.

  9. Gaseous fuel reactor research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thom, K.; Schneider, R. T.

    1977-01-01

    The paper reviews studies dealing with the concept of a gaseous fuel reactor and describes the structure and plans of the current NASA research program of experiments on uranium hexafluoride systems and uranium plasma systems. Results of research into the basic properties of uranium plasmas and fissioning gases are reported. The nuclear pumped laser is described, and the main results of experiments with these devices are summarized.

  10. NUCLEAR REACTOR FUEL ELEMENT

    DOEpatents

    Wheelock, C.W.; Baumeister, E.B.

    1961-09-01

    A reactor fuel element utilizing fissionable fuel materials in plate form is described. This fuel element consists of bundles of fuel-bearing plates. The bundles are stacked inside of a tube which forms the shell of the fuel element. The plates each have longitudinal fins running parallel to the direction of coolant flow, and interspersed among and parallel to the fins are ribs which position the plates relative to each other and to the fuel element shell. The plate bundles are held together by thin bands or wires. The ex tended surface increases the heat transfer capabilities of a fuel element by a factor of 3 or more over those of a simple flat plate.

  11. FUEL ELEMENT FOR NUCLEAR REACTORS

    DOEpatents

    Bassett, C.H.

    1961-11-21

    A fuel element is designed which is particularly adapted for reactors of high power density used to generate steam for the production of electricity. The fuel element consists of inner and outer concentric tubes forming an annular chamber within which is contained fissionable fuel pellet segments, wedge members interposed between the fuel segments, and a spring which, acting with wedge members, urges said fuel pellets radially into contact against the inner surface of the outer tube. The wedge members may be a fertile material convertible into fissionable fuel material by absorbing neutrons emitted from the fissionable fuel pellet segments. The costly grinding of cylindrical fuel pellets to close tolerances for snug engagement is reduced because the need to finish the exact size is eliminated. (AEC)

  12. The behavior of fission products during nuclear rocket reactor tests

    SciTech Connect

    Bokor, P.C.; Kirk, W.L.; Bohl, R.J.

    1991-01-01

    The experience base regarding fission product behavior developed during the Rover program, the nuclear rocket development program of 1955--1972, will be useful in planning a renewed nuclear rocket program. During the Rover program, 20 reactors were tested at the Nuclear Rocket Development Station in Nevada. Nineteen of these discharged effluent directly into the atmosphere; the last reactor tested, a non-flight-prototypic, fuel-element-testing reactor called the Nuclear Furnace (NF-1) was connected to an effluent cleanup system that removed fission products before the hydrogen coolant (propellant) was discharged to the atmosphere. In general, we are able to increase both test duration and fuel temperature during the test series. Therefore fission product data from the later part of the program are more interesting and more applicable to future reactors. We have collected fission product retention (and release) data reported in both formal and informal publications for six of the later reactor tests; five of these were Los Alamos reactors that were firsts of a kind in configuration or operating conditions. We have also, with the cooperation of Westinghouse, included fission product data from the NRX-A6 reactor, the final member of series of developmental reactors with the same basic geometry, but with significant design and fabrication improvements as the series continued. Table 1 lists the six selected reactors and the test parameters for each.

  13. EXPERIMENTAL LIQUID METAL FUEL REACTOR

    DOEpatents

    Happell, J.J.; Thomas, G.R.; Denise, R.P.; Bunts, J.L. Jr.

    1962-01-23

    A liquid metal fuel nuclear fission reactor is designed in which the fissionable material is dissolved or suspended in a liquid metal moderator and coolant. The liquid suspension flows into a chamber in which a critical amount of fissionable material is obtained. The fluid leaves the chamber and the heat of fission is extracted for power or other utilization. The improvement is in the support arrangement for a segrnented graphite core to permit dif ferential thermal expansion, effective sealing between main and blanket liquid metal flows, and avoidance of excessive stress development in the graphite segments. (AEC)

  14. A comparison of radioactive waste from first generation fusion reactors and fast fission reactors with actinide recycling

    SciTech Connect

    Koch, M.; Kazimi, M.S.

    1991-04-01

    Limitations of the fission fuel resources will presumably mandate the replacement of thermal fission reactors by fast fission reactors that operate on a self-sufficient closed fuel cycle. This replacement might take place within the next one hundred years, so the direct competitors of fusion reactors will be fission reactors of the latter rather than the former type. Also, fast fission reactors, in contrast to thermal fission reactors, have the potential for transmuting long-lived actinides into short-lived fission products. The associated reduction of the long-term activation of radioactive waste due to actinides makes the comparison of radioactive waste from fast fission reactors to that from fusion reactors more rewarding than the comparison of radioactive waste from thermal fission reactors to that from fusion reactors. Radioactive waste from an experimental and a commercial fast fission reactor and an experimental and a commercial fusion reactor has been characterized. The fast fission reactors chosen for this study were the Experimental Breeder Reactor 2 and the Integral Fast Reactor. The fusion reactors chosen for this study were the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor and a Reduced Activation Ferrite Helium Tokamak. The comparison of radioactive waste parameters shows that radioactive waste from the experimental fast fission reactor may be less hazardous than that from the experimental fusion reactor. Inclusion of the actinides would reverse this conclusion only in the long-term. Radioactive waste from the commercial fusion reactor may always be less hazardous than that from the commercial fast fission reactor, irrespective of the inclusion or exclusion of the actinides. The fusion waste would even be far less hazardous, if advanced structural materials, like silicon carbide or vanadium alloy, were employed.

  15. FUEL-BREEDER FUEL ELEMENT FOR NUCLEAR REACTOR

    DOEpatents

    Abbott, W.E.; Balent, R.

    1958-09-16

    A fuel element design to facilitate breeding reactor fuel is described. The fuel element is comprised of a coatainer, a central core of fertile material in the container, a first bonding material surrounding the core, a sheet of fissionable material immediately surrounding the first bonding material, and a second bonding material surrounding the fissionable material and being in coniact with said container.

  16. COMPARTMENTED REACTOR FUEL ELEMENT

    DOEpatents

    Cain, F.M. Jr.

    1962-09-11

    A method of making a nuclear reactor fuel element of the elongated red type is given wherein the fissionable fuel material is enclosed within a tubular metal cladding. The method comprises coating the metal cladding tube on its inside wall with a brazing alloy, inserting groups of cylindrical pellets of fissionable fuel material into the tube with spacing members between adjacent groups of pellets, sealing the ends of the tubes to leave a void space therewithin, heating the tube and its contents to an elevated temperature to melt the brazing alloy and to expand the pellets to their maximum dimensions under predetermined operating conditions thereby automatically positioning the spacing members along the tube, and finally cooling the tube to room temperature whereby the spacing disks become permanently fixed at their edges in the brazing alloy and define a hermetically sealed compartment for each fl group of fuel pellets. Upon cooling, the pellets contract thus leaving a space to accommodate thermal expansion of the pellets when in use in a reactor. The spacing members also provide lateral support for the tubular cladding to prevent collapse thereof when subjected to a reactor environment. (AEC)

  17. FUEL ELEMENT FOR NUCLEAR REACTORS

    DOEpatents

    Bassett, C.H.

    1961-05-01

    A nuclear reactor fuel element comprising high density ceramic fissionable material enclosed in a tubular cladding of corrosion-resistant material is described. The fissionable material is in the form of segments of a tube which have cooperating tapered interfaces which produce outward radial displacement when the segments are urged axially together. A resilient means is provided within the tubular housing to constantly urge the fuel segments axially. This design maintains the fuel material in tight contacting engagement against the inner surface of the outer cladding tube to eliminate any gap therebetween which may be caused by differential thermal expansion between the fuel material and the material of the tube.

  18. Installation and Final Testing of an On-Line, Multi-Spectrometer Fission Product Monitoring System (FPMS) to Support Advanced Gas Reactor (AGR) Fuel Testing and Qualification in the Advanced Test Reactor

    SciTech Connect

    J. K. Hartwell; D. M. Scates; M. W. Drigert; J. B. Walter

    2006-10-01

    The US Department of Energy (DOE) is initiating tests of reactor fuel for use in an Advanced Gas Reactor (AGR). The AGR will use helium coolant, a low-power-density ceramic core, and coated-particle fuel. A series of eight (8) fuel irradiation tests are planned for the Idaho National Laboratory’s (INL’s) Advanced Test Reactor (ATR). One important measure of fuel performance in these tests is quantification of the fission gas releases over the nominal 2-year duration of each irradiation experiment. This test objective will be met using the AGR Fission Product Monitoring System (FPMS) which includes seven (7) on-line detection stations viewing each of the six test capsule effluent lines (plus one spare). Each station incorporates both a heavily-shielded high-purity germanium (HPGe) gamma-ray spectrometer for quantification of the isotopic releases, and a NaI(Tl) scintillation detector to monitor the total count rate and identify the timing of the releases. The AGR-1 experiment will begin irradiation after October 1, 2006. To support this experiment, the FPMS has been completely assembled, tested, and calibrated in a laboratory at the INL, and then reassembled and tested in its final location in the ATR reactor basement. This paper presents the details of the equipment performance, the control and acquisition software, the test plan for the irradiation monitoring, and the installation in the ATR basement. Preliminary on-line data may be available by the Conference date.

  19. DESIGN OF AN ON-LINE, MULTI-SPECTROMETER FISSION PRODUCT MONITORING SYSTEM (FPMS) TO SUPPORT ADVANCED GAS REACTOR (AGR) FUEL TESTING AND QUALIFICATION IN THE ADVANCED TEST REACTOR

    SciTech Connect

    J. K. Hartwell; D. M. Scates; M. W. Drigert

    2005-11-01

    The US Department of Energy (DOE) is embarking on a series of tests of coated-particle reactor fuel for the Advanced Gas Reactor (AGR). As one part of this fuel development program a series of eight (8) fuel irradiation tests are planned for the Idaho National Laboratory’s (INL’s) Advanced Test Reactor (ATR). The first test in this series (AGR-1) will incorporate six separate “capsules” irradiated simultaneously, each containing about 51,000 TRISO-coated fuel particles supported in a graphite matrix and continuously swept with inert gas during irradiation. The effluent gas from each of the six capsules must be independently monitored in near real time and the activity of various fission gas nuclides determined and reported. A set of seven heavily-shielded high-purity germanium (HPGe) gamma-ray spectrometers and sodium iodide [NaI(Tl)] scintillation detector-based total radiation detectors have been designed, and are being configured and tested for use during the AGR-1 experiment. The AGR-1 test specification requires that the AGR-1 fission product measurement system (FPMS) have sufficient sensitivity to detect the failure of a single coated fuel particle and sufficient range to allow it to “count” multiple (up to 250) successive particle failures. This paper describes the design and expected performance of the AGR-1 FPMS.

  20. Uraninite: A 2 Ga spent nuclear fuel from the natural fission reactor at Bangombe in Gabon, West Africa

    SciTech Connect

    Jensen, K.A.; Ewing, R.C.; Gauthier-Lafaye, F.

    1997-12-31

    Uraninites from the Bangombe natural fission reactor (RZB) and normal uranium-ore occur as fine veins in the sandstone host-rock as well as altered, broken, and slightly displaced grains in an illitic matrix, and in nodules and veins of solid bitumen. Inclusions of galena, (Y,Gd)-rich phosphates, a Pb-oxide and a Ti-oxide? were observed. Uraninites just below RZB were partially altered to a uranyl-sulfate. Three generations of uraninite were identified based on their PbO-contents of 8--11.06 wt%, 6 wt% (the largest population), and a younger generation with 3 wt%. Diffusional loss of Pb is indicated by the presence of a Pb-oxide at the interface to the uraninites. The behavior of the metallic fission products, incompatible with the uraninite structure, may mimic the behavior of Pb in these uraninites. The averaged impurity-content ranges from 4.29 to 6.89 wt%, and consists mainly of SiO{sub 2}, TiO{sub 2}, ZrO{sub 2}, FeO, CaO, Al{sub 2}O{sub 3} and P{sub 2}O{sub 5}. The averaged content of Y{sub 2}O{sub 3} and the Ln`s is less than 0.78 wt% and there is a scattered positive correlation with P{sub 2}O{sub 5}. The content of Y + Ln`s is generally highest in the uraninites from RZB. Uraninite hydration and the formation of uranopelite/zippeite have caused complete loss of Y and the Ln`s. The analytical results indicate that Y and the Ln`s, which are high yield fission products, may be released from uraninite during alteration in the presence of P.

  1. FUEL ELEMENT FOR NUCLEAR REACTORS

    DOEpatents

    Bassett, C.H.

    1961-05-16

    A fuel element particularly adapted for use in nuclear reactors of high power density is offered. It has fissionable fuel pellet segments mounted in a tubular housing and defining a central passage in the fuel element. A burnable poison element extends through the central passage, which is designed to contain more poison material at the median portion than at the end portions thereby providing a more uniform hurnup and longer reactivity life.

  2. Future Scenarios for Fission Based Reactors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    David, S.

    2005-04-01

    The coming century will see the exhaustion of standard fossil fuels, coal, gas and oil, which today represent 75% of the world energy production. Moreover, their use will have caused large-scale emission of greenhouse gases (GEG), and induced global climate change. This problem is exacerbated by a growing world energy demand. In this context, nuclear power is the only GEG-free energy source available today capable of responding significantly to this demand. Some scenarios consider a nuclear energy production of around 5 Gtoe in 2050, wich would represent a 20% share of the world energy supply. Present reactors generate energy from the fission of U-235 and require around 200 tons of natural Uranium to produce 1GWe.y of energy, equivalent to the fission of one ton of fissile material. In a scenario of a significant increase in nuclear energy generation, these standard reactors will consume the whole of the world's estimated Uranium reserves in a few decades. However, natural Uranium or Thorium ore, wich are not themselves fissile, can produce a fissile material after a neutron capture ( 239Pu and 233U respectively). In a breeder reactor, the mass of fissile material remains constant, and the fertile ore is the only material to be consumed. In this case, only 1 ton of natural ore is needed to produce 1GWe.y. Thus, the breeding concept allows optimal use of fertile ore and development of sustainable nuclear energy production for several thousand years into the future. Different sustainable nuclear reactor concepts are studied in the international forum "generation IV". Different types of coolant (Na, Pb and He) are studied for fast breeder reactors based on the Uranium cycle. The thermal Thorium cycle requires the use of a liquid fuel, which can be reprocessed online in order to extract the neutron poisons. This paper presents these different sustainable reactors, based on the Uranium or Thorium fuel cycles and will compare the different options in term of fissile

  3. Time/motion observations of reactor loading, transportation, and dry unloading of an oversized truck spent-fuel shipment

    SciTech Connect

    Lavender, J.C.; Hostick, C.J.; Wakeman, B.H.

    1988-01-01

    This paper presents actual time/motion data for an oversize truck spent-fuel shipment from its origin, Surry, Virginia to its destination, Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL). These data include the receipt of the empty cask at the reactor, wet-loading the cask, over-the-road or in-transit data, and receipt and dry unloading of the shipping cask at the receiving facility. Occupational doses were recorded at the Surry Power Plant as well as at INEL, and public doses were calculated for the in-transit dose analysis. This shipment was one of a series performed in support of a demonstration and evaluation of dry storage at INEL. The oversized shipment consisted of a TN-8L shipping cask loaded with three 10-yr-old pressurized water reactor assemblies. The total distance traveled was {approx}2800 miles, requiring 62 h including stops. The time required to receive and inspect the empty shipping cask and wet-load and release the shipment at the reactor was {approx}14.1 h, and the time to receive the loaded cask, dry-transfer the spent fuel to the storage cask, and release the empty cask and trailer at the INEL facility was {approx}8.2 h.

  4. Fission product release from nuclear fuel by recoil and knockout

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lewis, B. J.

    1987-03-01

    An analytical model has been developed to describe the fission product release from nuclear fuel arising from the surface-fission release mechanisms of recoil and knockout. Release expressions are evaluated and compared to the short-lived activity measurements from in-reactor experiments with intact operating fuel. Recoil is shown to be an important process for releasing fission products from free UO 2 surfaces into the fuel-to-sheath gap. The model is also applied to tramp uranium in a power reactor primary heat transport circuit where it is demonstrated that recoil is the dominant release mechanism for small particles of fuel which are deposited on in-core surfaces. A methodology is established whereby release from surface contamination can be distinguished from that of fuel pin failure.

  5. NEUTRONIC REACTOR FUEL ELEMENT AND CORE SYSTEM

    DOEpatents

    Moore, W.T.

    1958-09-01

    This patent relates to neutronic reactors and in particular to an improved fuel element and a novel reactor core system for facilitating removal of contaminating fission products, as they are fermed, from association with the flssionable fuel, so as to mitigate the interferent effects of such fission products during reactor operation. The fuel elements are comprised of tubular members impervious to fluid and contatning on their interior surfaces a thin layer of fissionable material providing a central void. The core structure is comprised of a plurality of the tubular fuel elements arranged in parallel and a closed manifold connected to their ends. In the reactor the core structure is dispersed in a water moderator and coolant within a pressure vessel, and a means connected to said manifuld is provided for withdrawing and disposing of mobile fission product contamination from the interior of the feel tubes and manifold.

  6. Preliminary Results of an On-Line, Multi-Spectrometer Fission Product Monitoring System to Support Advanced Gas Reactor Fuel Testing and Qualification in the Advanced Test Reactor at the Idaho National Laboratory

    SciTech Connect

    Dawn M. Scates; John K. Hartwell; John B. Walter; Mark W. Drigert

    2007-10-01

    The Advanced Gas Reactor -1 (AGR-1) experiment is the first experiment in a series of eight separate low enriched uranium (LEU) oxycarbide (UCO) tri-isotropic (TRISO) particle fuel (in compact form) experiments scheduled for placement in the Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) located at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL). The experiment began irradiation in the ATR with a cycle that reached full power on December 26, 2006 and will continue irradiation for about 2.5 years. During this time six separate capsules, will be irradiated in an inert sweep gas atmosphere with individual on-line fission product monitoring on its effluent to track performance of the fuel in each individual capsule during irradiation. The goals of the irradiation experiment is to provide irradiation performance data to support fuel process development, to qualify fuel for normal operating conditions, to support development and validation of fuel, and to provide irradiated fuel and materials for post irradiation examination (PIE) and safety testing. This paper presents the preliminary test details of the fuel performance, as measured by the control and acquisition software.

  7. Proliferation Resistant Nuclear Reactor Fuel

    SciTech Connect

    Gray, L W; Moody, K J; Bradley, K S; Lorenzana, H E

    2011-02-18

    Global appetite for fission power is projected to grow dramatically this century, and for good reason. Despite considerable research to identify new sources of energy, fission remains the most plentiful and practical alternative to fossil fuels. The environmental challenges of fossil fuel have made the fission power option increasingly attractive, particularly as we are forced to rely on reserves in ecologically fragile or politically unstable corners of the globe. Caught between a globally eroding fossil fuel reserve as well as the uncertainty and considerable costs in the development of fusion power, most of the world will most likely come to rely on fission power for at least the remainder of the 21st century. Despite inevitable growth, fission power faces enduring challenges in sustainability and security. One of fission power's greatest hurdles to universal acceptance is the risk of potential misuse for nefarious purposes of fissionable byproducts in spent fuel, such as plutonium. With this issue in mind, we have discussed intrinsic concepts in this report that are motivated by the premise that the utility, desirability, and applicability of nuclear materials can be reduced. In a general sense, the intrinsic solutions aim to reduce or eliminate the quantity of existing weapons usable material; avoid production of new weapons-usable material through enrichment, breeding, extraction; or employ engineering solutions to make the fuel cycle less useful or more difficult for producing weapons-usable material. By their nature, these schemes require modifications to existing fuel cycles. As such, the concomitants of these modifications require engagement from the nuclear reactor and fuel-design community to fully assess their effects. Unfortunately, active pursuit of any scheme that could further complicate the spread of domestic nuclear power will probably be understandably unpopular. Nevertheless, the nonproliferation and counterterrorism issues are paramount, and

  8. Safety characteristics of a suspended-pellet fission reactor system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kingdon, David Ross

    A new fission reactor system with passive safety characteristics to eliminate the occurrence of loss-of-coolant accidents, reduce reactivity excursion effects, and which also provides for closure of the nuclear fuel cycle through on-site spent fuel management is examined. The concept uses multi-coated fuel pellets which are suspended by an upward moving coolant in vertical columns of the reactor core and electro-refining elemental separation to remove selected fission products prior to actinide recycling. The possibility of fuel melt following a loss-of-coolant is avoided as a decrease in coolant flow results in the removal of fuel from the core through the action of gravity alone. Average fluid velocities in the columns which are necessary to suspend the pellets are calculated and found to be consistent with the necessary heat extraction to yield ˜1--10 Wth per column. The total output power of such suspended pellet-type reactors is compared to the power necessary to provide the suspending fluid flow, yielding favourable ratios of ˜102--103. The reduction of reactivity excursion tendencies is envisaged through an ablative layer of material in the pellets which sublimates at temperatures above normal operating conditions. In the event of a power or temperature increase the particles fragment and thereby change their hydrodynamic drag characteristics, thus leading to fuel removal from the core by elutriation. Comparison of nuclear-to-thermal response times and elutriation rates for limiting power transients indicate that the present design assists in reactivity excursion mitigation. Closure of the nuclear fuel cycle is attained through a spent fuel management strategy which requires only on-site storage of a fraction of the fission products produced during reactor operation. Electro-refining separation of selected fission products combined with complete actinide recycling yields no isolation of plutonium or highly enriched uranium during the procedure. The out

  9. Reference reactor module for NASA's lunar surface fission power system

    SciTech Connect

    Poston, David I; Kapernick, Richard J; Dixon, David D; Werner, James; Qualls, Louis; Radel, Ross

    2009-01-01

    Surface fission power systems on the Moon and Mars may provide the first US application of fission reactor technology in space since 1965. The Affordable Fission Surface Power System (AFSPS) study was completed by NASA/DOE to determine the cost of a modest performance, low-technical risk surface power system. The AFSPS concept is now being further developed within the Fission Surface Power (FSP) Project, which is a near-term technology program to demonstrate system-level TRL-6 by 2013. This paper describes the reference FSP reactor module concept, which is designed to provide a net power of 40 kWe for 8 years on the lunar surface; note, the system has been designed with technologies that are fully compatible with a Martian surface application. The reactor concept uses stainless-steel based. UO{sub 2}-fueled, pumped-NaK fission reactor coupled to free-piston Stirling converters. The reactor shielding approach utilizes both in-situ and launched shielding to keep the dose to astronauts much lower than the natural background radiation on the lunar surface. The ultimate goal of this work is to provide a 'workhorse' power system that NASA can utilize in near-term and future Lunar and Martian mission architectures, with the eventual capability to evolve to very high power, low mass systems, for either surface, deep space, and/or orbital missions.

  10. Reference Reactor Module for the Affordable Fission Surface Power System

    SciTech Connect

    Poston, David I.; Kapernick, Richard J.; Dixon, David D.; Amiri, Benjamin W.; Marcille, Thomas F.

    2008-01-21

    Surface fission power systems on the Moon and Mars may provide the first US application of fission reactor technology in space since 1965. The requirements of many surface power applications allow the consideration of systems with much less development risk than most other space reactor applications, because of modest power (10s of kWe) and no driving need for minimal mass (allowing temperatures <1000 K). The Affordable Fission Surface Power System (AFSPS) study was completed by NASA/DOE to determine the cost of a modest performance, low-technical risk surface power system. This paper describes the reference AFSPS reactor module concept, which is designed to provide a net power of 40 kWe for 8 years on the lunar surface; note, the system has been designed with technologies that are fully compatible with a Martian surface application. The reactor concept uses stainless-steel based, UO{sub 2}-fueled, liquid metal-cooled fission reactor coupled to free-piston Stirling converters. The reactor shielding approach utilizes both in-situ and launched shielding to keep the dose to astronauts much lower than the natural background radiation on the lunar surface. One of the important 'affordability' attributes is that the concept has been designed to minimize both the technical and programmatic safety risk.

  11. JACKETED FUEL ELEMENTS FOR GRAPHITE MODERATED REACTORS

    DOEpatents

    Szilard, L.; Wigner, E.P.; Creutz, E.C.

    1959-05-12

    Fuel elements for a heterogeneous, fluid cooled, graphite moderated reactor are described. The fuel elements are comprised of a body of natural uranium hermetically sealed in a jacket of corrosion resistant material. The jacket, which may be aluminum or some other material which is non-fissionable and of a type having a low neutron capture cross-section, acts as a barrier between the fissioning isotope and the coolant or moderator or both. The jacket minimizes the tendency of the moderator and coolant to become radioactive and/or contaminated by fission fragments from the fissioning isotope.

  12. NUCLEAR REACTOR AND THERMIONIC FUEL ELEMENT THEREFOR

    DOEpatents

    Rasor, N.S.; Hirsch, R.L.

    1963-12-01

    The patent relates to the direct conversion of fission heat to electricity by use of thermionic plasma diodes having fissionable material cathodes, said diodes arranged to form a critical mass in a nuclear reactor. The patent describes a fuel element comprising a plurality of diodes each having a fissionable material cathode, an anode around said cathode, and an ionizable gas therebetween. Provision is made for flowing the gas and current serially through the diodes. (AEC)

  13. Depletion Analysis of Modular High Temperature Gas-cooled Reactor Loaded with LEU/Thorium Fuel

    SciTech Connect

    Sonat Sen; Gilles Youinou

    2013-02-01

    Thorium based fuel has been considered as an option to uranium-based fuel, based on considerations of resource utilization (Thorium is more widely available when compared to Uranium). The fertile isotope of Thorium (Th-232) can be converted to fissile isotope U-233 by neutron capture during the operation of a suitable nuclear reactor such as High Temperature Gas-cooled Reactor (HTGR). However, the fertile Thorium needs a fissile supporter to start and maintain the conversion process such as U-235 or Pu-239. This report presents the results of a study that analyzed the thorium utilization in a prismatic HTGR, namely Modular High Temperature Gas-Cooled Reactor (MHTGR) that was designed by General Atomics (GA). The collected for the modeling of this design come from Chapter 4 of MHTGR Preliminary Safety Information Document that GA sent to Department of Energy (DOE) on 1995. Both full core and unit cell models were used to perform this analysis using SCALE 6.1 and Serpent 1.1.18. Because of the long mean free paths (and migration lengths) of neutrons in HTRs, using a unit cell to represent a whole core can be non-trivial. The sizes of these cells were set to match the spectral index between unit cell and full core domains. It was found that for the purposes of this study an adjusted unit cell model is adequate. Discharge isotopics and one-group cross-sections were delivered to the transmutation analysis team. This report provides documentation for these calculations

  14. Automated fuel pin loading system

    DOEpatents

    Christiansen, D.W.; Brown, W.F.; Steffen, J.M.

    An automated loading system for nuclear reactor fuel elements utilizes a gravity feed conveyor which permits individual fuel pins to roll along a constrained path perpendicular to their respective lengths. The individual lengths of fuel cladding are directed onto movable transports, where they are aligned coaxially with the axes of associated handling equipment at appropriate production stations. Each fuel pin can be be reciprocated axially and/or rotated about its axis as required during handling steps. The fuel pins are inerted as a batch prior to welding of end caps by one of two disclosed welding systems.

  15. Automated fuel pin loading system

    DOEpatents

    Christiansen, David W.; Brown, William F.; Steffen, Jim M.

    1985-01-01

    An automated loading system for nuclear reactor fuel elements utilizes a gravity feed conveyor which permits individual fuel pins to roll along a constrained path perpendicular to their respective lengths. The individual lengths of fuel cladding are directed onto movable transports, where they are aligned coaxially with the axes of associated handling equipment at appropriate production stations. Each fuel pin can be reciprocated axially and/or rotated about its axis as required during handling steps. The fuel pins are inserted as a batch prior to welding of end caps by one of two disclosed welding systems.

  16. Monitoring system for a liquid-cooled nuclear fission reactor

    DOEpatents

    DeVolpi, Alexander

    1987-01-01

    A monitoring system for detecting changes in the liquid levels in various regions of a water-cooled nuclear power reactor, viz., in the downcomer, in the core, in the inlet and outlet plenums, at the head, and elsewhere; and also for detecting changes in the density of the liquid in these regions. A plurality of gamma radiation detectors are used, arranged vertically along the outside of the reactor vessel, and collimator means for each detector limits the gamma-radiation it receives as emitting from only isolated regions of the vessel. Excess neutrons produced by the fission reaction will be captured by the water coolant, by the steel reactor walls, or by the fuel or control structures in the vessel. Neutron capture by steel generates gamma radiation having an energy level of the order of 5-12 MeV, whereas neutron capture by water provides an energy level of approximately 2.2 MeV, and neutron capture by the fission fuel or its cladding provides an energy level of 1 MeV or less. The intensity of neutron capture thus changes significantly at any water-metal interface. Comparative analysis of adjacent gamma detectors senses changes from the normal condition with liquid coolant present to advise of changes in the presence and/or density of the coolant at these specific regions. The gamma detectors can also sense fission-product gas accumulation at the reactor head to advise of a failure of fuel-pin cladding.

  17. Gaseous fuel reactors for power systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kendall, J. S.; Rodgers, R. J.

    1977-01-01

    Gaseous-fuel nuclear reactors have significant advantages as energy sources for closed-cycle power systems. The advantages arise from the removal of temperature limits associated with conventional reactor fuel elements, the wide variety of methods of extracting energy from fissioning gases, and inherent low fissile and fission product in-core inventory due to continuous fuel reprocessing. Example power cycles and their general performance characteristics are discussed. Efficiencies of gaseous fuel reactor systems are shown to be high with resulting minimal environmental effects. A technical overview of the NASA-funded research program in gaseous fuel reactors is described and results of recent tests of uranium hexafluoride (UF6)-fueled critical assemblies are presented.

  18. Fission-product retention in HTGR fuels

    SciTech Connect

    Homan, F.J.; Kania, M.J.; Tiegs, T.N.

    1982-01-01

    Retention data for gaseous and metallic fission products are presented for both Triso-coated and Biso-coated HTGR fuel particles. Performance trends are established that relate fission product retention to operating parameters, such as temperature, burnup, and neutron exposure. It is concluded that Biso-coated particles are not adequately retentive of fission gas or metallic cesium, and Triso-coated particles which retain cesium still lose silver. Design implications related to these performance trends are identified and discussed.

  19. Nuclear Design of the HOMER-15 Mars Surface Fission Reactor

    SciTech Connect

    Poston, David I.

    2002-07-01

    The next generation of robotic missions to Mars will most likely require robust power sources in the range of 3 to 20 kWe. Fission systems are well suited to provide safe, reliable, and economic power within this range. The goal of this study is to design a compact, low-mass fission system that meets Mars surface power requirements, while maintaining a high level of safety and reliability at a relatively low cost. The Heat pipe Power System (HPS) is one possible approach for producing near-term, low-cost, space fission power. The goal of the HPS project is to devise an attractive space fission system that can be developed quickly and affordably. The primary ways of doing this are by using existing technology and by designing the system for inexpensive testing. If the system can be designed to allow highly prototypic testing with electrical heating, then an exhaustive test program can be carried out quickly and inexpensively, and thorough testing of the actual flight unit can be performed - which is a major benefit to reliability. Over the past 4 years, three small HPS proof-of-concept technology demonstrations have been conducted, and each has been highly successful. The Heat pipe-Operated Mars Exploration Reactor (HOMER) is a derivative of the HPS designed especially for producing power on the surface of Mars. The HOMER-15 is a 15-kWt reactor that couples with a 3-kWe Stirling engine power system. The reactor contains stainless-steel (SS)-clad uranium nitride (UN) fuel pins that are structurally and thermally bonded to SS/sodium heat pipes. Fission energy is conducted from the fuel pins to the heat pipes, which then carry the heat to the Stirling engine. This paper describes conceptual design and nuclear performance the HOMER-15 reactor. (author)

  20. Gaseous fuel reactor systems for aerospace applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thom, K.; Schwenk, F. C.

    1977-01-01

    Research on the gaseous fuel nuclear rocket concept continues under the programs of the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Office for Aeronautics and Space Technology and now includes work related to power applications in space and on earth. In a cavity reactor test series, initial experiments confirmed the low critical mass determined from reactor physics calculations. Recent work with flowing UF6 fuel indicates stable operation at increased power levels. Preliminary design and experimental verification of test hardware for high-temperature experiments have been accomplished. Research on energy extraction from fissioning gases has resulted in lasers energized by fission fragments. Combined experimental results and studies indicate that gaseous-fuel reactor systems have significant potential for providing nuclear fission power in space and on earth.

  1. Precise Nuclear Data Measurements Possible with the NIFFTE fissionTPC for Advanced Reactor Designs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Towell, Rusty; Niffte Collaboration

    2015-10-01

    The Neutron Induced Fission Fragment Tracking Experiment (NIFFTE) Collaboration has applied the proven technology of Time Projection Chambers (TPC) to the task of precisely measuring fission cross sections. With the NIFFTE fission TPC, precise measurements have been made during the last year at the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center from both U-235 and Pu-239 targets. The exquisite tracking capabilities of this device allow the full reconstruction of charged particles produced by neutron beam induced fissions from a thin central target. The wealth of information gained from this approach will allow systematics to be controlled at the level of 1%. The fissionTPC performance will be presented. These results are critical to the development of advanced uranium-fueled reactors. However, there are clear advantages to developing thorium-fueled reactors such as Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors over uranium-fueled reactors. These advantages include improved reactor safety, minimizing radioactive waste, improved reactor efficiency, and enhanced proliferation resistance. The potential for using the fissionTPC to measure needed cross sections important to the development of thorium-fueled reactors will also be discussed.

  2. AFC-1 Fuel Rodlet Fission Power Deposition Validation in ATR

    SciTech Connect

    G. S. Chang; M. A. Lillo; D. J. Utterbeck

    2008-11-01

    One of the viable options of long-term geological disposal of the nuclear power reactors generated spent fuel is to extract plutonium, the minor actinides (MA) and potentially long-lived fission products from the spent fuel and transmute them into short-lived or stable radionuclides in an appropriate reactor for the reduction of the radiological toxicity of the nuclear waste stream. An important component of that technology will be a non-fertile / low-fertile actinide transmutation fuel form containing the plutonium, neptunium, americium (and possibly curium) isotopes to be transmuted. Such advanced fuel forms, especially ones enriched in the long-life minor actinide (LLMA) elements (i.e., Np, Am, Cm), have minimal irradiation performance data available from which to establish a transmutation fuel form design. Recognizing these needs, an Advanced Fuel Cycle test series-1 (AFC-1) irradiation test on a variety of candidate fuel forms is now being conducted in Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL). The first advanced fuel experiment (AFC-1) has been finalized and the test assembly analyzed for insertion and irradiation in ATR. The ATR core consists of a serpentine and rotationally symmetric fuel assembly about the z-axis of the core center. The plan view of the ATR core configuration is shown in Fig. 5, in Ref. 1. A cadmium filter with a 0.178 cm (0.045") thickness and 121.5 cm (48") in length, is currently used in the actinide-fuel capsule design for the East Flux Trap (EFT) position in ATR, to depress the linear heat generation rate (LHGR) lower than the project’s 330 W/cm limit for the experimental fuel rodlets. The LHGR is proportional to the fission power deposited in the fuel rodlets from the neutron fissions. The fraction of the fission power generated from the neutron fission reactions deposited in the fuel rodlet is an important parameter for test assembly thermal analysis, which will be validated in this summary.

  3. The effect of water vapor on the release of fission gas from the fuel elements of high temperature, gas-cooled reactors: A preliminary assessment of experiments HRB-17, HFR-B1, HFR-K6 and KORA

    SciTech Connect

    Myers, B.F.

    1995-09-01

    The effect of water vapor on the release of fission gas from the fuel elements of high temperature, gas-cooled reactors has been measured in different laboratories under both irradiation and post irradiation conditions. The data from experiments HRB-17, HFR-B1, HFR-K6, and in the KORA facility are compared to assess their consistency and complimentarily. The experiments are consistent under comparable experimental conditions and reveal two general mechanisms involving exposed fuel kernels embedded in carbonaceous materials. One is manifest as a strong dependence of fission gas release on the partial pressure of water vapor below 1 kPa and the other, as a weak dependence above 1 kPa.

  4. Control system for a small fission reactor

    DOEpatents

    Burelbach, J.P.; Kann, W.J.; Saiveau, J.G.

    1985-02-08

    A system for controlling the reactivity of a small fission reactor includes an elongated, flexible hollow tube in the general form of a helical coiled spring axially positioned around and outside of the reactor vessel in an annular space between the reactor vessel and a surrounding cylindrical-shaped neutron reflector. A neutron absorbing material is provided within the hollow tube with the rate of the reaction controlled by the extension and compression of the hollow tube, e.g., extension of the tube increases reactivity while its compression reduces reactivity, in varying the amount of neutron absorbing material disposed between the reactor vessel and the neutron reflector. Conventional mechanical displacement means may be employed to control the coil density of the hollow tube as desired.

  5. NUCLEAR REACTOR FUEL SYSTEMS

    DOEpatents

    Thamer, B.J.; Bidwell, R.M.; Hammond, R.P.

    1959-09-15

    Homogeneous reactor fuel solutions are reported which provide automatic recombination of radiolytic gases and exhibit large thermal expansion characteristics, thereby providing stability at high temperatures and enabling reactor operation without the necessity of apparatus to recombine gases formed by the radiolytic dissociation of water in the fuel and without the necessity of liquid fuel handling outside the reactor vessel except for recovery processes. The fuels consist of phosphoric acid and water solutions of enriched uranium, wherein the uranium is in either the hexavalent or tetravalent state.

  6. Control system for a small fission reactor

    DOEpatents

    Burelbach, James P.; Kann, William J.; Saiveau, James G.

    1986-01-01

    A system for controlling the reactivity of a small fission reactor includes an elongated, flexible hollow tube in the general form of a helical coiled spring axially positioned around and outside of the reactor vessel in an annular space between the reactor vessel and a surrounding cylindrical-shaped neutron reflector. A neutron absorbing material is provided within the hollow tube with the rate of the reaction controlled by the extension and compression of the hollow tube, e.g., extension of the tube increases reactivity while its compression reduces reactivity, in varying the amount of neutron absorbing material disposed between the reactor vessel and the neutron reflector. Conventional mechanical displacement means may be employed to control the coil density of the hollow tube as desired. In another embodiment, a plurality of flexible hollow tubes each containing a neutron absorber are positioned adjacent to one another in spaced relation around the periphery of the reactor vessel and inside the outer neutron reflector with reactivity controlled by the extension and compression of all or some of the coiled hollow tubes. Yet another embodiment of the invention envisions the neutron reflector in the form of an expandable coil spring positioned in an annular space between the reactor vessel and an outer neutron absorbing structure for controlling the neutron flux reflected back into the reactor vessel.

  7. Undergraduate Measurements For Fission Reactor Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hicks, S. F.; Kersting, L. J.; Lueck, C. J.; McDonough, P.; Crider, B. P.; McEllistrem, M. T.; Peters, E. E.; Vanhoy, J. R.

    2011-06-01

    Undergraduate students at the University of Dallas (UD) have investigated elastic and inelastic neutron scattering cross sections on structural materials important for criticality considerations in nuclear fission processes. Neutrons scattered off of 23Na and NatFe were detected using neutron time-of-flight techniques at the University of Kentucky Low-Energy Nuclear Accelerator Facility. These measurements are part of an effort to increase the efficiency of power generation from existing fission reactors in the US and in the design of new fission systems. Students have learned the basics of how to operate the Model CN Van de Graaff generator at the laboratory, setup detectors and electronics, use data acquisition systems, and they are currently analyzing the angular dependence of the scattered neutrons for incident neutron energies of 3.57 and 3.80 MeV. Most students participating in the project will use the research experience as the material for their undergraduate research thesis required for all Bachelor of Science students at the University of Dallas. The first student projects on this topic were completed during the summer of 2010; an overview of student participation in this investigation and their preliminary results will be presented.

  8. NEUTRONIC REACTOR FUEL COMPOSITION

    DOEpatents

    Thurber, W.C.

    1961-01-10

    Uranium-aluminum alloys in which boron is homogeneously dispersed by adding it as a nickel boride are described. These compositions have particular utility as fuels for neutronic reactors, boron being present as a burnable poison.

  9. A compact breed and burn fast reactor using spent nuclear fuel blanket

    SciTech Connect

    Hartanto, D.; Kim, Y.

    2012-07-01

    A long-life breed-and-burn (B and B) type fast reactor has been investigated from the neutronics points of view. The B and B reactor has the capability to breed the fissile fuels and use the bred fuel in situ in the same reactor. In this work, feasibility of a compact sodium-cooled B and B fast reactor using spent nuclear fuel as blanket material has been studied. In order to derive a compact B and B fast reactor, a tight fuel lattice and relatively large fuel pin are used to achieve high fuel volume fraction. The core is initially loaded with an LEU (Low Enriched Uranium) fuel and a metallic fuel is used in the core. The Monte Carlo depletion has been performed for the core to see the long-term behavior of the B and B reactor. Several important parameters such as reactivity coefficients, delayed neutron fraction, prompt neutron generation lifetime, fission power, and fast neutron fluence, are analyzed through Monte Carlo reactor analysis. Evolution of the core fuel composition is also analyzed as a function of burnup. Although the long-life small B and B fast reactor is found to be feasible from the neutronics point of view, it is characterized to have several challenging technical issues including a very high fast neutron fluence of the structural materials. (authors)

  10. High flux research reactors based on particulate fuel

    SciTech Connect

    Powell, J.R.; Takahashi, H.; Horn, F.L.

    1986-02-01

    High Flux Particle Bed Reactor (HFPBR) designs based on High Temperature Gas Reactors (HTGR) particular fuel are described. The coated fuel particles, approx.500 microns in diameter, are packed between porous metal frits, and directly cooled by flowing D/sub 2/O. The large heat transfer surface area in the packed bed, approx.100 cm/sup 2//cm/sup 3/ of volume, allows high power densities, typically 10 MW/liter. Peak thermal fluxes in the HFPBR are 1 to 2 x 1/sup 16/ n/c/sup 2/ sec., depending on configuration and moderator choice with beryllium and D/sub 2/O Moderators yielding the best flux performance. Spent fuel particles can be hydraulically unloaded every day or two and fresh fuel reloaded. The short fuel cycle allows HFPBR fuel loading to be very low, approx.2 kg of /sup 235/U, with a fission product inventory one-tenth of that in present high flux research reactors. The HFPBR can use partially enriched fuel, 20% /sup 235/U, without degradation in flux reactivity. 8 refs., 12 figs., 2 tabs.

  11. Nuclear reactors and the nuclear fuel cycle

    SciTech Connect

    Pearlman, H

    1989-11-01

    According to the author, the first sustained nuclear fission chain reaction was not at the University of Chicago, but at the Oklo site in the African country of Gabon. Proof of this phenomenon is provided by mass spectrometric and analytical chemical measurements by French scientists. The U.S. experience in developing power-producing reactors and their related fuel and fuel cycles is discussed.

  12. FUEL ELEMENT FOR NUCLEAR REACTORS

    DOEpatents

    Dickson, J.J.

    1963-09-24

    A method is described whereby fuel tubes or pins are cut, loaded with fuel pellets and a heat transfer medium, sealed at each end with slotted fittings, and assembled into a rectangular tube bundle to form a fuel element. The tubes comprising the fuel element are laterally connected between their ends by clips and tabs to form a linear group of spaced parallel tubes, which receive their vertical support by resting on a grid. The advantages of this method are that it permits elimination of structural material (e.g., fuel-element cans) within the reactor core, and removal of at least one fuel pin from an element and replacement thereof so that a burnable poison may be utilized during the core lifetime. (AEC)

  13. U.S. Plans for the Next Fast Reactor Transmutation Fuels Irradiation Test

    SciTech Connect

    B. A. Hilton

    2007-09-01

    The U.S. Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative (AFCI) seeks to develop and demonstrate the technologies needed to transmute the long-lived transuranic actinide isotopes contained in spent nuclear fuel into shorter-lived fission products, thereby dramatically decreasing the volume of material requiring disposal and the long-term radio-toxicity and heat load of high-level waste sent to a geologic repository. One important component of the technology development is actinide-bearing transmutation fuel forms containing plutonium, neptunium, americium (and possibly curium) isotopes. Metallic alloy and oxide fuel forms are being developed as the near term options for fast reactor implementation.

  14. A Study of Fast Reactor Fuel Transmutation in a Candidate Dispersion Fuel Design

    SciTech Connect

    Mark DeHart; Hongbin Zhang; Eric Shaber; Matthew Jesse

    2010-11-01

    Dispersion fuels represent a significant departure from typical ceramic fuels to address swelling and radiation damage in high burnup fuel. Such fuels use a manufacturing process in which fuel particles are encapsulated within a non-fuel matrix. Dispersion fuels have been studied since 1997 as part of an international effort to develop and test very high density fuel types for the Reduced Enrichment for Research and Test Reactors (RERTR) program.[1] The Idaho National Laboratory is performing research in the development of an innovative dispersion fuel concept that will meet the challenges of transuranic (TRU) transmutation by providing an integral fission gas plenum within the fuel itself, to eliminate the swelling that accompanies the irradiation of TRU. In this process, a metal TRU vector produced in a separations process is atomized into solid microspheres. The dispersion fuel process overcoats the microspheres with a mixture of resin and hollow carbon microspheres to create a TRUC. The foam may then be heated and mixed with a metal power (e.g., Zr, Ti, or Si) and resin to form a matrix metal carbide, that may be compacted and extruded into fuel elements. In this paper, we perform reactor physics calculations for a core loaded with the conceptual fuel design. We will assume a “typical” TRU vector and a reference matrix density. We will employ a fuel and core design based on the Advanced Burner Test Reactor (ABTR) design.[2] Using the CSAS6 and TRITON modules of the SCALE system [3] for preliminary scoping studies, we will demonstrate the feasibility of reactor operations. This paper will describe the results of these analyses.

  15. Fuel systems for compact fast space reactors

    SciTech Connect

    Cox, C.M.; Dutt, D.S.; Karnesky, R.A.

    1983-12-01

    About 200 refractory metal clad ceramic fuel pins have been irradiated in thermal reactors under the 1200 K to 1550 K cladding temperature conditions of primary relevance to space reactors. This paper reviews performance with respect to fissile atom density, operating temperatures, fuel swelling, fission gas release, fuel-cladding compatibility, and consequences of failure. It was concluded that UO/sub 2/ and UN fuels show approximately equal performance potential and that UC fuel has lesser potential. W/Re alloys have performed quite well as cladding materials, and Ta, Nb, and Mo/Re alloys, in conjunction with W diffusion barriers, show good promise. Significant issues to be addressed in the future include high burnup swelling of UN, effects of UO/sub 2/-Li coolant reaction in the event of fuel pin failure, and development of an irradiation performance data base with prototypically configured fuel pins irradiated in a fast neutron flux.

  16. NEUTRONIC REACTOR FUEL ELEMENT

    DOEpatents

    Horning, W.A.; Lanning, D.D.; Donahue, D.J.

    1959-10-01

    A fuel slug for a reactor which acts as a safety device is described. The fuel slug is an aluminum tube with a foil lining the inside surface of the tube, the foil being fabricated of uranium in a lead matrix.

  17. Micro-Pocket Fission Detectors (MPFD) For Fuel Assembly Analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Troy Unruh; Michael Reichenberger; Phillip Ugorowski

    2013-09-01

    Neutron sensors capable of real-time measurement of thermal flux, fast flux, and temperature in a single miniaturized probe are needed in irradiation tests required to demonstrate the performance of candidate new fuels, and cladding materials. In-core ceramic-based miniature neutron detectors or “Micro-Pocket Fission Detectors” (MPFDs) have been studied at Kansas State University (KSU). The first MPFD prototypes were tested in various neutron fields at the KSU TRIGA research reactor with successful results. Currently, a United States Department of Energy-sponsored joint KSU/Idaho National Laboratory (INL) effort is underway to develop a high-temperature, high-pressure version of the MPFD using radiation-resistant, high temperature materials, which would be capable of withstanding irradiation test conditions in high performance material and test reactors (MTRs). Ultimately, this more compact, more accurate, and longer lifetime flux sensor for critical mock-ups, existing and advanced reactor designs, high performance MTRs, and transient test reactors has the potential to lead to higher accuracy and resolution data from irradiation testing, more detailed core flux measurements and enhanced fuel assembly processing. Prior evaluations by KSU indicate that these sensors could also be used to monitor burn-up of nuclear fuel. If integrated into nuclear fuel assemblies, MPFDs offer several advantages to current spent fuel management systems.

  18. Corrosion Minimization for Research Reactor Fuel

    SciTech Connect

    Eric Shaber; Gerard Hofman

    2005-06-01

    Existing university research reactors are being converted to use low-enriched uranium fue to eliminate the use of highly-enriched uranium. These conversions require increases in fuel loading that will result in the use of elements with more fuel plates, resulting in a net decrease in the water annulus between fuel plates. The proposed decrease in the water annulus raises questions about the requirements and stability of the surface hydroxide on the aluminum fuel cladding and the potential for runaway corrosion resulting in fuel over-temperature incidents. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), as regulator for these university reactors, must ensure that proposed fuel modifications will not result in any increased risk or hazard to the reactor operators or the public. This document reviews the characteristics and behavior of aluminum hydroxides, analyzes the drivers for fuel plate corrosion, reviews relevant historical incidents, and provides recommendations on fuel design, surface treatment, and reactor operational practices to avoid corrosion issues.

  19. Developments and Tendencies in Fission Reactor Concepts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adamov, E. O.; Fuji-Ie, Y.

    This chapter describes, in two parts, new-generation nuclear energy systems that are required to be in harmony with nature and to make full use of nuclear resources. The issues of transmutation and containment of radioactive waste will also be addressed. After a short introduction to the first part, Sect. 58.1.2 will detail the requirements these systems must satisfy on the basic premise of peaceful use of nuclear energy. The expected designs themselves are described in Sect. 58.1.3. The subsequent sections discuss various types of advanced reactor systems. Section 58.1.4 deals with the light water reactor (LWR) whose performance is still expected to improve, which would extend its application in the future. The supercritical-water-cooled reactor (SCWR) will also be shortly discussed. Section 58.1.5 is mainly on the high temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR), which offers efficient and multipurpose use of nuclear energy. The gas-cooled fast reactor (GFR) is also included. Section 58.1.6 focuses on the sodium-cooled fast reactor (SFR) as a promising concept for advanced nuclear reactors, which may help both to achieve expansion of energy sources and environmental protection thus contributing to the sustainable development of mankind. The molten-salt reactor (MSR) is shortly described in Sect. 58.1.7. The second part of the chapter deals with reactor systems of a new generation, which are now found at the research and development (R&D) stage and in the medium term of 20-30 years can shape up as reliable, economically efficient, and environmentally friendly energy sources. They are viewed as technologies of cardinal importance, capable of resolving the problems of fuel resources, minimizing the quantities of generated radioactive waste and the environmental impacts, and strengthening the regime of nonproliferation of the materials suitable for nuclear weapons production. Particular attention has been given to naturally safe fast reactors with a closed fuel cycle (CFC

  20. Analysis of fission-product effects in a Fast Mixed-Spectrum Reactor concept

    SciTech Connect

    White, J.R.; Burns, T.J.

    1980-02-01

    The Fast Mixed-Spectrum Reactor (FMSR) concept has been proposed by BNL as a means of alleviating certain nonproliferation concerns relating to civilian nuclear power. This breeder reactor concept has been tailored to operate on natural uranium feed (after initial startup), thus eliminating the need for fuel reprocessing. The fissile material required for criticality is produced, in situ, from the fertile feed material. This process requires that large burnup and fluence levels be achievable, which, in turn, necessarily implies that large fission-product inventories will exist in the reactor. It was the purpose of this study to investigate the effects of large fission-product inventories and to analyze the effect of burnup on fission-product nuclide distributions and effective cross sections. In addition, BNL requested that a representative 50-group fission-product library be generated for use in FMSR design calculations.

  1. Fission fragment assisted reactor concept for space propulsion: Foil reactor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wright, Steven A.

    1991-01-01

    The concept is to fabricate a reactor using thin films or foils of uranium, uranium oxide and then to coat them on substrates. These coatings would be made so thin as to allow the escaping fission fragments to directly heat a hydrogen propellant. The idea was studied of direct gas heating and direct gas pumping in a nuclear pumped laser program. Fission fragments were used to pump lasers. In this concept two substrates are placed opposite each other. The internal faces are coated with thin foil of uranium oxide. A few of the advantages of this technology are listed. In general, however, it is felt that if one look at all solid core nuclear thermal rockets or nuclear thermal propulsion methods, one is going to find that they all pretty much look the same. It is felt that this reactor has higher potential reliability. It has low structural operating temperatures, very short burn times, with graceful failure modes, and it has reduced potential for energetic accidents. Going to a design like this would take the NTP community part way to some of the very advanced engine designs, such as the gas core reactor, but with reduced risk because of the much lower temperatures.

  2. Time/motion observations and dose analysis of reactor loading, transportation, and dry unloading of an overweight truck spent fuel shipment

    SciTech Connect

    Hostick, C.J.; Lavender, J.C.; Wakeman, B.H.

    1992-04-01

    This document presents observed activity durations and radiation dose analyses for an overweight truck shipment of pressurized water reactor (PWR) spent fuel from the Surry Power Station in Virginia to the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory. The shipment consisted of a TN-8L shipping cask carrying three 9-year-old PWR spent fuel assemblies. Handling times and dose analyses for at-reactor activities were completed by Virginia Electric and Power Company (Virginia Power) personnel. Observations of in-transit and unloading activities were made by Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL) personnel, who followed the shipment for approximately 2800 miles and observed cask unloading activities. In-transit dose estimates were calculated using dose rate maps provided by Virginia Power for a fully loaded TN-8L shipping cask. The dose analysis for the cask unloading operations is based on the observations of PNL personnel.

  3. Fission induced swelling and creep of U–Mo alloy fuel

    SciTech Connect

    Yeon Soo Kim; G. L. Hofman; J. S. Cheon; A. B. Robinson; D. M. Wachs

    2013-06-01

    Tapering of U–Mo alloy fuel at the end of plates is attributed to lateral mass transfer by fission induced creep, by which fuel mass is relocated away from the fuel end region where fission product induced fuel swelling is in fact the highest. This mechanism permits U–Mo fuel to achieve high burnup by effectively relieving stresses at the fuel end region, where peak stresses are otherwise expected because peak fission product induced fuel swelling occurs there. ABAQUS FEA was employed to examine whether the observed phenomenon can be simulated using physical–mechanical data available in the literature. The simulation results obtained for several plates with different fuel fabrication and loading scheme showed that the measured data were able to be simulated with a reasonable creep rate coefficient. The obtained creep rate constant lies between values for pure uranium and MOX, and is greater than all other ceramic uranium fuels.

  4. FUEL ASSAY REACTOR

    DOEpatents

    Spinrad, B.I.; Sandmeier, H.A.; Martens, F.H.

    1962-12-25

    A reactor having maximum sensitivity to perturbations is described comprising a core consisting of a horizontally disposed, rectangular, annular fuel zone containing enriched uranium dioxide dispersed in graphite, the concentration of uranium dioxide increasing from the outside to the inside of the fuel zone, an internal reflector of graphite containing an axial test opening disposed within the fuel zone, an external graphite reflector, means for changing the neutron spectrum in the test opening, and means for measuring perturbations in the neutron flux caused by the introduction of different fuel elements into the test opening. (AEC)

  5. Curved Waveguide Based Nuclear Fission for Small, Lightweight Reactors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Coker, Robert; Putnam, Gabriel

    2012-01-01

    The focus of the presented work is on the creation of a system of grazing incidence, supermirror waveguides for the capture and reuse of fission sourced neutrons. Within research reactors, neutron guides are a well known tool for directing neutrons from the confined and hazardous central core to a more accessible testing or measurement location. Typical neutron guides have rectangular, hollow cross sections, which are crafted as thin, mirrored waveguides plated with metal (commonly nickel). Under glancing angles with incoming neutrons, these waveguides can achieve nearly lossless transport of neutrons to distant instruments. Furthermore, recent developments have created supermirror surfaces which can accommodate neutron grazing angles up to four times as steep as nickel. A completed system will form an enclosing ring or spherical resonator system to a coupled neutron source for the purpose of capturing and reusing free neutrons to sustain and/or accelerate fission. While grazing incidence mirrors are a known method of directing and safely using neutrons, no method has been disclosed for capture and reuse of neutrons or sustainment of fission using a circular waveguide structure. The presented work is in the process of fabricating a functional, highly curved, neutron supermirror using known methods of Ni-Ti layering capable of achieving incident reflection angles up to four times steeper than nickel alone. Parallel work is analytically investigating future geometries, mirror compositions, and sources for enabling sustained fission with applicability to the propulsion and energy goals of NASA and other agencies. Should research into this concept prove feasible, it would lead to development of a high energy density, low mass power source potentially capable of sustaining fission with a fraction of the standard critical mass for a given material and a broadening of feasible materials due to reduced rates of release, absorption, and non-fission for neutrons. This

  6. Studies on the properties of hard-spectrum, actinide fissioning reactors. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Nelson, J.B.; Prichard, A.W.; Schofield, P.E.; Robinson, A.H.; Spinrad, B.I.

    1980-01-01

    It is technically feasible to construct an operable (e.g., safe and stable) reactor to burn waste actinides rapidly. The heart of the concept is a driver core of EBR-II type, with a central radial target zone in which fuel elements, made entirely of waste actinides are exposed. This target fuel undergoes fission, as a result of which actinides are rapidly destroyed. Although the same result could be achieved in more conventionally designed LWR or LMFBR systems, the fast spectrum reactor does a much more efficient job, by virtue of the fact that in both LWR and LMFBR reactors, actinide fission is preceded by several captures before a fissile nuclide is formed. In the fast spectrum reactor that is called ABR (actinide burning reactor), these neutron captures are short-circuited.

  7. Stationary Liquid Fuel Fast Reactor

    SciTech Connect

    Yang, Won Sik; Grandy, Andrew; Boroski, Andrew; Krajtl, Lubomir; Johnson, Terry

    2015-09-30

    For effective burning of hazardous transuranic (TRU) elements of used nuclear fuel, a transformational advanced reactor concept named SLFFR (Stationary Liquid Fuel Fast Reactor) was proposed based on stationary molten metallic fuel. The fuel enters the reactor vessel in a solid form, and then it is heated to molten temperature in a small melting heater. The fuel is contained within a closed, thick container with penetrating coolant channels, and thus it is not mixed with coolant nor flow through the primary heat transfer circuit. The makeup fuel is semi- continuously added to the system, and thus a very small excess reactivity is required. Gaseous fission products are also removed continuously, and a fraction of the fuel is periodically drawn off from the fuel container to a processing facility where non-gaseous mixed fission products and other impurities are removed and then the cleaned fuel is recycled into the fuel container. A reference core design and a preliminary plant system design of a 1000 MWt TRU- burning SLFFR concept were developed using TRU-Ce-Co fuel, Ta-10W fuel container, and sodium coolant. Conservative design approaches were adopted to stay within the current material performance database. Detailed neutronics and thermal-fluidic analyses were performed to develop a reference core design. Region-dependent 33-group cross sections were generated based on the ENDF/B-VII.0 data using the MC2-3 code. Core and fuel cycle analyses were performed in theta-r-z geometries using the DIF3D and REBUS-3 codes. Reactivity coefficients and kinetics parameters were calculated using the VARI3D perturbation theory code. Thermo-fluidic analyses were performed using the ANSYS FLUENT computational fluid dynamics (CFD) code. Figure 0.1 shows a schematic radial layout of the reference 1000 MWt SLFFR core, and Table 0.1 summarizes the main design parameters of SLFFR-1000 loop plant. The fuel container is a 2.5 cm thick cylinder with an inner radius of 87.5 cm. The fuel

  8. Thermohydraulic and nuclear modeling of natural fission reactors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Viggato, Jason Charles

    Experimental verification of proposed nuclear waste storage schemes in geologic repositories is not possible, however, a natural analog exists in the form of ancient natural reactors that existed in uranium-rich ores. Two billion years ago, the enrichment of natural uranium was high enough to allow a sustained chain reaction in the presence of water as a moderator. Several natural reactors occurred in Gabon, Africa and were discovered in the early 1970's. These reactors operated at low power levels for hundreds of thousands of years. Heated water generated from the reactors also leached uranium from the surrounding rock strata and deposited it in the reactor cores. This increased the concentration of uranium in the core over time and served to "refuel" the reactor. This has strong implications in the design of modern geologic repositories for spent nuclear fuel. The possibility of accidental fission events in man-made repositories exists and the geologic evidence from Oklo suggests how those events may progress and enhance local concentrations of uranium. Based on a review of the literature, a comprehensive code was developed to model the thermohydraulic behavior and criticality conditions that may have existed in the Oklo reactor core. A two-dimensional numerical model that incorporates modeling of fluid flow, temperatures, and nuclear fission and subsequent heat generation was developed for the Oklo natural reactors. The operating temperatures ranged from about 456 K to about 721 K. Critical reactions were observed for a wide range of concentrations and porosity values (9 to 30 percent UO2 and 10 to 20 percent porosity). Periodic operation occurred in the computer model prediction with UO2 concentrations of 30 percent in the core and 5 percent in the surrounding material. For saturated conditions and 30 percent porosity, the model predicted temperature transients with a period of about 5 hours. Kuroda predicted 3 to 4 hour durations for temperature transients

  9. On the Criticality Safety of Transuranic Sodium Fast Reactor Fuel Transport Casks

    SciTech Connect

    Samuel Bays; Ayodeji Alajo

    2010-05-01

    This work addresses the neutronic performance and criticality safety issues of transport casks for fuel pertaining to low conversion ratio sodium cooled fast reactors, conventionally known as Advanced Burner Reactors. The criticality of a one, three, seven and 19-assembly cask capacity is presented. Both dry “helium” and flooded “water” filled casks are considered. No credit for fuel burnup or fission products was assumed. As many as possible of the conservatisms used in licensing light water reactor universal transport casks were incorporated into this SFR cask criticality design and analysis. It was found that at 7-assemblies or more, adding moderator to the SFR cask increases criticality margin. Also, removal of MAs from the fuel increases criticality margin of dry casks and takes a slight amount of margin away for wet casks. Assuming credit for borated fuel tube liners, this design analysis suggests that as many as 19 assemblies can be loaded in a cask if limited purely by criticality safety. If no credit for boron is assumed, the cask could possibly hold seven assemblies if low conversion ratio fast reactor grade fuel and not breeder reactor grade fuel is assumed. The analysis showed that there is a need for new cask designs for fast reactors spent fuel transportation. There is a potential of modifying existing transportation cask design as the starting point for fast reactor spent fuel transportation.

  10. Optimum Reflector Configurations for Minimizing Fission Power Peaking in a Lithium-Cooled, Liquid-Metal Reactor with Sliding Reflectors

    SciTech Connect

    Fensin, Michael L.; Poston, David I.

    2005-02-06

    Many design constraints limit the development of a space fission power system optimized for fuel performance, system reliability, and mission cost. These design constraints include fuel mass provisions to meet cycle-length requirements, fuel centerline and clad temperatures, and clad creep from fission gas generation. Decreasing the fission power peaking of the reactor system enhances all of the mentioned parameters. This design study identifies the cause, determines the reflector configurations for reactor criticality, and generates worth curves for minimized fission-power-peaking configuration in a lithium-cooled liquid-metal reactor that uses sliding reflectors. Because of the characteristics of the core axial power distribution and axial power distortions inherent to the sliding reflector design, minimizing the power peaking of the reactor involves placing the reflectors in a position that least distorts the axial power distribution. The views expressed in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect agreement by the Government.

  11. VENTED FUEL ELEMENT FOR GAS-COOLED NEUTRONIC REACTORS

    DOEpatents

    Furgerson, W.T.

    1963-12-17

    A hollow, porous-walled fuel element filled with fissionable fuel and provided with an outlet port through its wall is described. In operation in a gas-cooled reactor, the element is connected, through its outlet port, to the vacuum side of a pump that causes a portion of the coolant gas flowing over the exterior surface of the element to be drawn through the porous walls thereof and out through the outlet port. This continuous purging gas flow sweeps away gaseous fission products as they are released by the fissioning fuel. (AEC) A fuel element for a nuclear reactor incorporating a body of metal of melting point lower than the temperature of operation of the reactor and a nuclear fuel in finely divided form dispersed in the body of metal as a settled slurry is presented. (AEC)

  12. Preparation, loading and storage of castor THTR/AVR-casks for spent fuel elements-part of the decommissioning of the high temperature reactor AVR

    SciTech Connect

    Theenhaus, R.; Halaszovich, S.; Storch, S.

    1994-12-31

    Shipment of spent fuel elements of the AVR reactor to the interim storage site at the Forschungszentrum Juelich KFA has started in August 1993. The handling procedure involves the preparation of the transport-storage casks, their remote loading with two stainless steel flasks, each of them containing 950 spherical fuel elements, the closing of the casks, the leak testing, the dose rate measurements, smear tests, the transportation and stacking of the casks and finally their connection with the permanent electronical leak control system. The handling strictly follows the manual which is part of the license and it is inspected by a member of the supervising ministry and an independent expert ordered by the ministry. Until the end of 1993 32,300 fuel elements have been transferred to the storage site.

  13. Catalog of experimental projects for a fissioning plasma reactor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lanzo, C. D.

    1973-01-01

    Experimental and theoretical investigations were carried out to determine the feasibility of using a small scale fissioning uranium plasma as the power source in a driver reactor. The driver system is a light water cooled and moderated reactor of the MTR type. The eight experiments and proposed configurations for the reactor are outlined.

  14. Neutron flux profile monitor for use in a fission reactor

    DOEpatents

    Kopp, Manfred K.; Valentine, Kenneth H.

    1983-01-01

    A neutron flux monitor is provided which consists of a plurality of fission counters arranged as spaced-apart point detectors along a delay line. As a fission event occurs in any one of the counters, two delayed current pulses are generated at the output of the delay line. The time separation of the pulses identifies the counter in which the particular fission event occured. Neutron flux profiles of reactor cores can be more accurately measured as a result.

  15. Fuel elements of research reactor CM

    SciTech Connect

    Kozlov, A.V.; Morozov, A.V.; Vatulin, A.V.; Ershov, S.A.

    2013-07-01

    In 1961 the CM research reactor was commissioned at the Research Institute of Atomic Reactors (Dimitrovgrad, Russia), it was intended to carry on investigations and the production of transuranium nuclides. The reactor is of a tank type. Original fuel assembly contained plate fuels that were spaced with vanes and corrugated bands. Nickel was used as a cladding material, fuel meat was produced from UO{sub 2} + electrolytic nickel composition. Fuel plates have been replaced by self-spacing cross-shaped dispersion fuels clad in stainless steel. In 2005 the reactor was updated. The purpose of this updating was to increase the quantity of irradiation channels in the reactor core and to improve the neutron balance. The updating was implemented at the expense of 20 % reduction in the quantity of fuel elements in the core which released a space for extra channels and decreased the mass of structural materials in the core. The updated reactor is loaded with modified standard fuel elements with 20 % higher uranium masses. At the same time stainless steel in fuel assembly shrouds was substituted by zirconium alloy. Today in progress are investigations and work to promote the second stage of reactor updating that involve developments of cross-shaped fuel elements having low neutron absorption matrix materials. This article gives an historical account of the design and main technical changes that occurred for the CM reactor since its commissioning.

  16. NEUTRONIC REACTOR FUEL ELEMENT

    DOEpatents

    Stacy, J.T.

    1958-12-01

    A reactor fuel element having a core of molybdenum-uranium alloy jacketed in stainless steel is described. A barrier layer of tungsten, tantalum, molybdenum, columbium, or silver is interposed between the core and jacket to prevent formation of a low melting eutectic between uranium and the varlous alloy constituents of the stainless steel.

  17. JACKETED REACTOR FUEL ELEMENT

    DOEpatents

    Smith, K.F.; Van Thyne, R.J.

    1958-12-01

    A fuel element is described for fast reactors comprised of a core of uranium metal containing material and a jacket around the core, the jacket consisting of from 2.5 to 15 percent of titanium, from 1 to 5 percent of niobium, and from 80 to 96.5 percent of vanadium.

  18. Performance of the fissionTPC and the Potential to Advance the Thorium Fuel Cycle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Towell, Rusty; Niffte Collaboration

    2014-09-01

    The NIFFTE fission Time Projection Chamber (fissionTPC) is a powerful tool that is being developed to take precision measurements of neutron-induced fission cross sections of transuranic elements. During the last run at the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center (LANSCE) the fully instrumented TPC took data for the first time. The exquisite tracking capabilities of this device allow the full reconstruction of charged particles produced by neutron beam induced fissions from a thin central target. The wealth of information gained from this approach will allow cross section systematics to be controlled at the level of 1%. The fissionTPC performance from this run will be shared. These results are critical to the development of advanced uranium-fueled reactors. However, there are clear advantages to developing thorium-fueled reactors including the abundance of thorium verses uranium, minimizing radioactive waste, improved reactor safety, and enhanced proliferation resistance. The potential for using the fissionTPC to measure needed cross sections important to the development of thorium fueled nuclear reactors will also be discussed.

  19. Molten salt considerations for accelerator-driven subcritical fission to close the nuclear fuel cycle

    SciTech Connect

    Sooby, Elizabeth; Baty, Austin; Gerity, James; McIntyre, Peter; Melconian, Karie; Pogue, Nathaniel; Sattarov, Akhdiyor; Adams, Marvin; Tsevkov, Pavel; Phongikaroon, Supathorn; Simpson, Michael; Tripathy, Prabhat

    2013-04-19

    The host salt selection, molecular modeling, physical chemistry, and processing chemistry are presented here for an accelerator-driven subcritical fission in a molten salt core (ADSMS). The core is fueled solely with the transuranics (TRU) and long-lived fission products (LFP) from used nuclear fuel. The neutronics and salt composition are optimized to destroy the transuranics by fission and the long-lived fission products by transmutation. The cores are driven by proton beams from a strong-focusing cyclotron stack. One such ADSMS system can destroy the transuranics in the used nuclear fuel produced by a 1GWe conventional reactor. It uniquely provides a method to close the nuclear fuel cycle for green nuclear energy.

  20. The chemical state of fission products in oxide fuels at different stages of the nuclear fuel cycle

    SciTech Connect

    Kleykamp, H.

    1988-03-01

    A survey of work at the Kernforschungszentrum Karlsruhe is presented on the chemical state of selected fission products that are relevant in the fuel cycle of light water reactor (LWR) and fast breeder reactor fuels. The influence of fuel type and irradiation progress on the composition of the Mo-Tc-Ru-Rh-Pd fission product alloys precipitated in the oxide matrix is examined using the respective multicomponent phase diagrams. The kinetics of dissolution of these phases in nitric acid at the reprocessing stage is discussed. Composition and structure of the residues, and the reprecipitation phenomena from highly active waste (HAW), are elucidated. A second metamorphosis of the fission products is recognized during the vitrification process. The formation of Ru(Rh) oxide and Pd(Rh, U, Te) alloys in simulated vitrified HAW concentrate and in HAW concentrate from the reprocessing of irradiated LWR fuels in interpreted on the basis of heterogeneous equilibria.

  1. Heat transfer in a fissioning uranium plasma reactor cavity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kascak, A. F.

    1973-01-01

    Two schemes are investigated by which a fission-heated uranium plasma located in the central cavity of a test reactor could be insulated to keep its temperature above condensation in a neutron flux of 10 to the 15th power neutrons/(sq cm)(sec) or less. The first scheme was to use a mirrored cavity wall to reflect the thermal radiation back into the plasma. The second scheme was to seed the transpirational cavity wall coolant so as to make it opaque to thermal radiation, thus insulating the hot plasma from the cold wall. The analysis showed that a mirrored cavity wall must have a reflectivity of over 95 percent or that seeded argon must be used as the wall coolant to give an acceptable operating margin above fuel condensation conditions.

  2. Gaseous fuel reactors for power systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Helmick, H. H.; Schwenk, F. C.

    1978-01-01

    The Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory is participating in a NASA-sponsored program to demonstrate the feasibility of a gaseous uranium fueled reactor. The work is aimed at acquiring experimental and theoretical information for the design of a prototype plasma core reactor which will test heat removal by optical radiation. The basic goal of this work is for space applications, however, other NASA-sponsored work suggests several attractive applications to help meet earth-bound energy needs. Such potential benefits are: small critical mass, on-site fuel processing, high fuel burnup, low fission fragment inventory in reactor core, high temperature for process heat, optical radiation for photochemistry and space power transmission, and high temperature for advanced propulsion systems.

  3. Dynamical Safety Analysis of the SABR Fusion-Fission Hybrid Reactor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sumner, Tyler; Stacey, Weston; Ghiaassian, Seyed

    2009-11-01

    A hybrid fusion-fission reactor for the transmutation of spent nuclear fuel is being developed at Georgia Tech. The Subcritical Advanced Burner Reactor (SABR) is a 3000 MWth sodium-cooled, metal TRU-Zr fueled fast reactor driven by a tokamak fusion neutron source based on ITER physics and technology. We are investigating the accident dynamics of SABR's coupled fission, fusion and heat removal systems to explore the safety characteristics of a hybrid reactor. Possible accident scenarios such as loss of coolant mass flow (LOFA), of power (LOPA) and of heat sink (LOHSA), as well as inadvertent reactivity insertions and fusion source excursion are being analyzed using the RELAP5-3D code, the ATHENA version of which includes liquid metal coolants.

  4. Fuel behavior comparison for a research reactor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Negut, Gh.; Mladin, M.; Prisecaru, I.; Danila, N.

    2006-06-01

    The paper presents the behavior and properties analysis of the low enriched uranium fuel, which will be loaded in the Romanian TRIGA 14 MW steady state research reactor compared with the original high enriched uranium fuel. The high and low enriched uranium fuels have similar thermal properties, but different nuclear properties. The research reactor core was modeled with both fuel materials and the reactor behavior was studied during a reactivity insertion accident. The thermal hydraulic analysis results are compared with that obtained from the safety analysis report for high enriched uranium fuel core. The low enriched uranium fuel shows a good behavior during reactivity insertion accident and a revised safety analysis report will be made for the low enriched uranium fuel core.

  5. Nuclear mass inventory, photon dose rate and thermal decay heat of spent research reactor fuel assemblies

    SciTech Connect

    Pond, R.B.; Matos, J.E.

    1996-12-31

    This document has been prepared to assist research reactor operators possessing spent fuel containing enriched uranium of United States origin to prepare part of the documentation necessary to ship this fuel to the United States. Data are included on the nuclear mass inventory, photon dose rate, and thermal decay heat of spent research reactor fuel assemblies. Isotopic masses of U, Np, Pu and Am that are present in spent research reactor fuel are estimated for MTR, TRIGA and DIDO-type fuel assembly types. The isotopic masses of each fuel assembly type are given as functions of U-235 burnup in the spent fuel, and of initial U-235 enrichment and U-235 mass in the fuel assembly. Photon dose rates of spent MTR, TRIGA and DIDO-type fuel assemblies are estimated for fuel assemblies with up to 80% U-235 burnup and specific power densities between 0.089 and 2.857 MW/kg[sup 235]U, and for fission product decay times of up to 20 years. Thermal decay heat loads are estimated for spent fuel based upon the fuel assembly irradiation history (average assembly power vs. elapsed time) and the spent fuel cooling time.

  6. Spent fuel utilization in a compact traveling wave reactor

    SciTech Connect

    Hartanto, Donny; Kim, Yonghee

    2012-06-06

    In recent years, several innovative designs of nuclear reactors are proposed. One of them is Traveling Wave Reactor (TWR). The unique characteristic of a TWR is the capability of breeding its own fuel in the reactor. The reactor is fueled by mostly depleted, natural uranium or spent nuclear fuel and a small amount of enriched uranium to initiate the fission process. Later on in the core, the reactor gradually converts the non-fissile material into the fissile in a process like a traveling wave. In this work, a TWR with spent nuclear fuel blanket was studied. Several parameters such as reactivity coefficients, delayed neutron fraction, prompt neutron generation lifetime, and fission power, were analyzed. The discharge burnup composition was also analyzed. The calculation is performed by a continuous energy Monte Carlo code McCARD.

  7. Chemistry of fission product iodine under nuclear reactor accident conditions

    SciTech Connect

    Malinauskas, A.P.; Bell, J.T.

    1986-01-01

    The radioisotopes of iodine are generally acknowledged to be the species whose release into the biosphere as a result of a nuclear reactor accident is of the greatest concern. In the course of its release, the fission product is subjected to differing chemical environments; these can alter the physicochemical form of the fission product and thus modify the manner and extent to which release occurs. Both the chemical environments which are characteristic of reactor accidents and their effect in determining physical and chemical form of fission product iodine have been studied extensively, and are reviewed in this report. 76 refs.

  8. Nuclear reactor fuel element having improved heat transfer

    DOEpatents

    Garnier, J.E.; Begej, S.; Williford, R.E.; Christensen, J.A.

    1982-03-03

    A nuclear reactor fuel element having improved heat transfer between fuel material and cladding is described. The element consists of an outer cladding tube divided into an upper fuel section containing a central core of fissionable or mixed fissionable and fertile fuel material, slightly smaller in diameter than the inner surface of the cladding tube and a small lower accumulator section, the cladding tube being which is filled with a low molecular weight gas to transfer heat from fuel material to cladding during irradiation. A plurality of essentially vertical grooves in the fuel section extend downward and communicate with the accumulator section. The radial depth of the grooves is sufficient to provide a thermal gradient between the hot fuel surface and the relatively cooler cladding surface to allow thermal segregation to take place between the low molecular weight heat transfer gas and high molecular weight fission product gases produced by the fuel material during irradiation.

  9. Fundamental Studies of Irradiation-Induced Defect Formation and Fission Product Dynamics in Oxide Fuels

    SciTech Connect

    Stubbins, James

    2012-12-19

    The objective of this research program is to address major nuclear fuels performance issues for the design and use of oxide-type fuels in the current and advanced nuclear reactor applications. Fuel performance is a major issue for extending fuel burn-up which has the added advantage of reducing the used fuel waste stream. It will also be a significant issue with respect to developing advanced fuel cycle processes where it may be possible to incorporate minor actinides in various fuel forms so that they can be 'burned' rather than join the used fuel waste stream. The potential to fission or transmute minor actinides and certain long-lived fission product isotopes would transform the high level waste storage strategy by removing the need to consider fuel storage on the millennium time scale.

  10. Uncertainty analysis of fission fraction for reactor antineutrino experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ma, X. B.; Lu, F.; Wang, L. Z.; Chen, Y. X.; Zhong, W. L.; An, F. P.

    2016-06-01

    Reactor simulation is an important source of uncertainties for a reactor neutrino experiment. Therefore, how to evaluate the antineutrino flux uncertainty results from reactor simulation is an important question. In this study, a method of the antineutrino flux uncertainty result from reactor simulation was proposed by considering the correlation coefficient. In order to use this method in the Daya Bay antineutrino experiment, the open source code DRAGON was improved and used for obtaining the fission fraction and correlation coefficient. The average fission fraction between DRAGON and SCIENCE code was compared and the difference was less than 5% for all the four isotopes. The uncertainty of fission fraction was evaluated by comparing simulation atomic density of four main isotopes with Takahama-3 experiment measurement. After that, the uncertainty of the antineutrino flux results from reactor simulation was evaluated as 0.6% per core for Daya Bay antineutrino experiment.

  11. DIRECT ENERGY CONVERSION FISSION REACTOR FOR THE PERIOD JANUARY 1, 2002 THROUGH MARCH 31, 2002

    SciTech Connect

    L.C. BROWN

    2002-03-31

    Direct energy conversion is the only potential means for producing electrical energy from a fission reactor without the Carnot efficiency limitations. This project was undertaken by Sandia National Laboratories, Los Alamos National Laboratories, The University of Florida, Texas A&M University and General Atomics to explore the possibilities of direct energy conversion. Other means of producing electrical energy from a fission reactor, without any moving parts, are also within the statement of proposed work. This report documents the efforts of General Atomics. Sandia National Laboratories, the lead laboratory, provides overall project reporting and documentation. The highlights of this reporting period are: (1) Cooling of the vapor core reactor and the MHD generator was incorporated into the Vapor Core Reactor model using standard heat transfer calculation methods. (2) Fission product removal, previously modeled as independent systems for each class of fission product, was incorporated into the overall fuel recycle loop of the Vapor Core Reactor. The model showed that the circulating activity levels are quite low. (3) Material distribution calculations were made for the ''pom-pom'' style cathode for the Fission Electric Cell. Use of a pom-pom cathode will eliminate the problem of hoop stress in the thin spherical cathode caused by the electric field.

  12. Comparison of REMIX vs. MOX fuel characteristics in multiple recycling in VVER reactor

    SciTech Connect

    Dekusar, V.M.; Kalashnikov, A.G.; Kapranova, E.N.; Korobitsyn, V.E.; Puzakov, A.Y.

    2013-07-01

    Multiple recycling of regenerated uranium-plutonium fuel in thermal reactors of VVER-1000 type with high enriched uranium feeding (REMIX-fuel) gives a possibility to terminate the accumulation of spent nuclear fuels (SNF) and Pu and decrease the accumulation of irradiated uranium by an order of magnitude. Results of comparison of VVER-1000 nuclear fuel cycle characteristics vs different fuel types such as UOX, MOX and REMIX-fuel have been presented. REMIX fuel (Regenerated Mixture of U-, Pu oxides) is the mixture of plutonium and uranium extracted from SNF and refined from other actinides and fission products with the addition of enriched uranium to provide the power potential necessary. The savings in terms of uranium quantities and separation works in the nuclear energy system (NES) with reactors using REMIX-fuel compared to the NES with uranium-fuelled reactors are shown to be of about 30% and 8%, respectively. For the NES with thermal reactors partially loaded with MOX-fuel, the uranium and separation works saving of about 14% would be obtained. Production of neptunium and americium in reactors with REMIX-fuel in steady state increases by a factor 3, and production of curium - by 10 compared to the reactors with UOX-fuel. This increase of minor actinide buildup is owed to the multiple recycling of plutonium. It should be noted that in this case all fuel assemblies contain high-background plutonium, and their manufacturing involves an expensive technology. Besides, management of REMIX-fuel will require special protection measures even during the fresh fuel manufacturing phase. The above-said gives ground to state that the use of REMIX fuel would be questionable in economic aspect.

  13. Fabrication and Pre-irradiation Characterization of a Minor Actinide and Rare Earth Containing Fast Reactor Fuel Experiment for Irradiation in the Advanced Test Reactor

    SciTech Connect

    Timothy A. Hyde

    2012-06-01

    The United States Department of Energy, seeks to develop and demonstrate the technologies needed to transmute the long-lived transuranic actinide isotopes contained in spent nuclear fuel into shorter lived fission products, thereby decreasing the volume of material requiring disposal and reducing the long-term radiotoxicity and heat load of high-level waste sent to a geologic repository. This transmutation of the long lived actinides plutonium, neptunium, americium and curium can be accomplished by first separating them from spent Light Water Reactor fuel using a pyro-metalurgical process, then reprocessing them into new fuel with fresh uranium additions, and then transmuted to short lived nuclides in a liquid metal cooled fast reactor. An important component of the technology is developing actinide-bearing fuel forms containing plutonium, neptunium, americium and curium isotopes that meet the stringent requirements of reactor fuels and materials.

  14. Polarized advanced fuel reactors

    SciTech Connect

    Kulsrud, R.M.

    1987-07-01

    The d-/sup 3/He reaction has the same spin dependence as the d-t reaction. It produces no neutrons, so that if the d-d reactivity could be reduced, it would lead to a neutron-lean reactor. The current understanding of the possible suppression of the d-d reactivity by spin polarization is discussed. The question as to whether a suppression is possible is still unresolved. Other advanced fuel reactions are briefly discussed. 11 refs.

  15. NEUTRON REACTOR FUEL ELEMENT UTILIZING ZIRCONIUM-BASE ALLOYS

    DOEpatents

    Saller, H.A.; Keeler, J.R.; Szumachowski, E.R.

    1957-11-12

    This patent relates to clad fuel elements for use in neutronic reactors and is drawn to such a fuel element which consists of a core of fissionable material, comprised of an alloy of zirconium and U/sup 235/ enriched uranium, encased in a jacket of a binary zirconium-tin alloy in which the tin content ranges between 1 and 15% by weight.

  16. The effect of the composition of plutonium loaded on the reactivity change and the isotopic composition of fuel produced in a fast reactor

    SciTech Connect

    Blandinskiy, V. Yu.

    2014-12-15

    This paper presents the results of a numerical investigation into burnup and breeding of nuclides in metallic fuel consisting of a mixture of plutonium and depleted uranium in a fast reactor with sodium coolant. The feasibility of using plutonium contained in spent nuclear fuel from domestic thermal reactors and weapons-grade plutonium is discussed. It is shown that the largest production of secondary fuel and the least change in the reactivity over the reactor lifetime can be achieved when employing plutonium contained in spent nuclear fuel from a reactor of the RBMK-1000 type.

  17. The effect of the composition of plutonium loaded on the reactivity change and the isotopic composition of fuel produced in a fast reactor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blandinskiy, V. Yu.

    2014-12-01

    This paper presents the results of a numerical investigation into burnup and breeding of nuclides in metallic fuel consisting of a mixture of plutonium and depleted uranium in a fast reactor with sodium coolant. The feasibility of using plutonium contained in spent nuclear fuel from domestic thermal reactors and weapons-grade plutonium is discussed. It is shown that the largest production of secondary fuel and the least change in the reactivity over the reactor lifetime can be achieved when employing plutonium contained in spent nuclear fuel from a reactor of the RBMK-1000 type.

  18. Fuel failure and fission gas release in high burnup PWR fuels under RIA conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fuketa, Toyoshi; Sasajima, Hideo; Mori, Yukihide; Ishijima, Kiyomi

    1997-09-01

    To study the fuel behavior and to evaluate the fuel enthalpy threshold of fuel rod failure under reactivity initiated accident (RIA) conditions, a series of experiments using pulse irradiation capability of the Nuclear Safety Research Reactor (NSRR) has been performed. During the experiments with 50 MWd/kg U PWR fuel rods (HBO test series; an acronym for high burnup fuels irradiated in Ohi unit 1 reactor), significant cladding failure occurred. The energy deposition level at the instant of the fuel failure in the test is 60 cal/g fuel, and is considerably lower than those expected and pre-evaluated. The result suggests that mechanical interaction between the fuel pellets and the cladding tube with decreased integrity due to hydrogen embrittlement causes fuel failure at the low energy deposition level. After the pulse irradiation, the fuel pellets were found as fragmented debris in the coolant water, and most of these were finely fragmented. This paper describes several key observations in the NSRR experiments, which include cladding failure at the lower enthalpy level, possible post-failure events and large fission gas release.

  19. Evaluation of DD and DT fusion fuel cycles for different fusion-fission energy systems

    SciTech Connect

    Gohar, Y.

    1980-01-01

    A study has been carried out in order to investigate the characteristics of an energy system to produce a new source of fissile fuel for existing fission reactors. The denatured fuel cycles were used because it gives additional proliferation resistance compared to other fuel cycles. DT and DD fusion drivers were examined in this study with a thorium or uranium blanket for each fusion driver. Various fuel cycles were studied for light-water and heavy-water reactors. The cost of electricity for each energy system was calculated.

  20. Nuclear reactor fuel element with vanadium getter on cladding

    DOEpatents

    Johnson, Carl E.; Carroll, Kenneth G.

    1977-01-01

    A nuclear reactor fuel element is described which has an outer cladding, a central core of fissionable or mixed fissionable and fertile fuel material and a layer of vanadium as an oxygen getter on the inner surface of the cladding. The vanadium reacts with oxygen released by the fissionable material during irradiation of the core to prevent the oxygen from reacting with and corroding the cladding. Also described is a method for coating the inner surface of small diameter tubes of cladding with a layer of vanadium.

  1. Proposed fuel cycle for the Integral Fast Reactor

    SciTech Connect

    Burris, L.; Walters, L.C.

    1985-01-01

    One of the key features of ANL's Integral Fast Reactor (IFR) concept is a close-coupled fuel cycle. The proposed fuel cycle is similar to that demonstrated over the first five to six years of operation of EBR-II, when a fuel cycle facility adjacent to EBR-II was operated to reprocess and refabricate rapidly fuel discharged from the EBR-II. Locating the IFR and its fuel cycle facility on the same site makes the IFR a self-contained system. Because the reactor fuel and the uranium blanket are metals, pyrometallurgical processes (shortned to ''pyroprocesses'') have been chosen. The objectives of the IFR processes for the reactor fuel and blanket materials are to (1) recover fissionable materials in high yield; (2) remove fission products adequately from the reactor fuel, e.g., a decontamination factor of 10 to 100; and (3) upgrade the concentration of plutonium in uranium sufficiently to replenish the fissile-material content of the reactor fuel. After the fuel has been reconstituted, new fuel elements will be fabricated for recycle to the reactor.

  2. PYROCHEMICAL DECONTAMINATION METHOD FOR REACTOR FUEL

    DOEpatents

    Buyers, A.G.

    1959-06-30

    A pyro-chemical method is presented for decontaminating neutron irradiated uranium and separating plutonium therefrom by contact in the molten state with a metal chloride salt. Uranium trichloride and uranium tetrachloride either alone or in admixture with alkaline metal and alkaline eanth metal fluorides under specified temperature and specified phase ratio conditions extract substantially all of the uranium from the irradiated uranium fuel together with certain fission products. The phases are then separated leaving purified uranium metal. The uranium and plutonium in the salt phase can be reduced to forin a highly decontaminated uraniumplutonium alloy. The present method possesses advantages for economically decontaminating irradiated nuclear fuel elements since irradiated fuel may be proccessed immediately after withdrawal from the reactor and the uranium need not be dissolved and later reduced to the metallic form. Accordingly, the uranium may be economically refabricated and reinserted into the reactor.

  3. Assessment of Possible Cycle Lengths for Fully-Ceramic Micro-Encapsulated Fuel-Based Light Water Reactor Concepts

    SciTech Connect

    R. Sonat Sen; Michael A. Pope; Abderrafi M. Ougouag; Kemal O. Pasamehmetoglu

    2012-04-01

    The tri-isotropic (TRISO) fuel developed for High Temperature reactors is known for its extraordinary fission product retention capabilities [1]. Recently, the possibility of extending the use of TRISO particle fuel to Light Water Reactor (LWR) technology, and perhaps other reactor concepts, has received significant attention [2]. The Deep Burn project [3] currently focuses on once-through burning of transuranic fissile and fissionable isotopes (TRU) in LWRs. The fuel form for this purpose is called Fully-Ceramic Micro-encapsulated (FCM) fuel, a concept that borrows the TRISO fuel particle design from high temperature reactor technology, but uses SiC as a matrix material rather than graphite. In addition, FCM fuel may also use a cladding made of a variety of possible material, again including SiC as an admissible choice. The FCM fuel used in the Deep Burn (DB) project showed promising results in terms of fission product retention at high burnup values and during high-temperature transients. In the case of DB applications, the fuel loading within a TRISO particle is constituted entirely of fissile or fissionable isotopes. Consequently, the fuel was shown to be capable of achieving reasonable burnup levels and cycle lengths, especially in the case of mixed cores (with coexisting DB and regular LWR UO2 fuels). In contrast, as shown below, the use of UO2-only FCM fuel in a LWR results in considerably shorter cycle length when compared to current-generation ordinary LWR designs. Indeed, the constraint of limited space availability for heavy metal loading within the TRISO particles of FCM fuel and the constraint of low (i.e., below 20 w/0) 235U enrichment combine to result in shorter cycle lengths compared to ordinary LWRs if typical LWR power densities are also assumed and if typical TRISO particle dimensions and UO2 kernels are specified. The primary focus of this summary is on using TRISO particles with up to 20 w/0 enriched uranium kernels loaded in Pressurized Water

  4. Pattern fuel assembly loading system

    SciTech Connect

    Ahmed, H.J.; Gerkey, K.S.; Miller, T.W.; Wylie, M.E.

    1986-12-02

    This patent describes an interactive system for facilitating preloading of fuel rods into magazines, which comprises: an operator work station adapted for positioning between a supply of fuel rods of predetermined types, and the magazine defining grid locations for a predetermined fuel assembly; display means associated with the work station; scanner means associated with the work station and adapted for reading predetermined information accompanying the fuel rods; a rectangular frame adapted for attachment to one end of the fuel assembly loading magazine; prompter/detector means associated with the frame for detecting insertion of a fuel rod into the magazine; and processing means responsive to the scanner means and the sensing means for prompting the operator via the display means to pre-load the fuel rods into desired grid locations in the magazine. An apparatus is described for facilitating pre-loading of fuel rods in predetermined grid locations of a fuel assembly loading magazine, comprising: a rectangular frame adapted for attachment to one end of the fuel assembly loading magazine; and means associated with the frame for detecting insertion of fuel rods into the magazine.

  5. A fission gas release correlation for uranium nitride fuel pins

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weinstein, M. B.; Davison, H. W.

    1973-01-01

    A model was developed to predict fission gas releases from UN fuel pins clad with various materials. The model was correlated with total release data obtained by different experimentors, over a range of fuel temperatures primarily between 1250 and 1660 K, and fuel burnups up to 4.6 percent. In the model, fission gas is transported by diffusion mechanisms to the grain boundaries where the volume grows and eventually interconnects with the outside surface of the fuel. The within grain diffusion coefficients are found from fission gas release rate data obtained using a sweep gas facility.

  6. Fossil fuel furnace reactor

    DOEpatents

    Parkinson, William J.

    1987-01-01

    A fossil fuel furnace reactor is provided for simulating a continuous processing plant with a batch reactor. An internal reaction vessel contains a batch of shale oil, with the vessel having a relatively thin wall thickness for a heat transfer rate effective to simulate a process temperature history in the selected continuous processing plant. A heater jacket is disposed about the reactor vessel and defines a number of independent controllable temperature zones axially spaced along the reaction vessel. Each temperature zone can be energized to simulate a time-temperature history of process material through the continuous plant. A pressure vessel contains both the heater jacket and the reaction vessel at an operating pressure functionally selected to simulate the continuous processing plant. The process yield from the oil shale may be used as feedback information to software simulating operation of the continuous plant to provide operating parameters, i.e., temperature profiles, ambient atmosphere, operating pressure, material feed rates, etc., for simulation in the batch reactor.

  7. (Fuel, fission product, and graphite technology)

    SciTech Connect

    Stansfield, O.M.

    1990-07-25

    Travel to the Forschungszentrum (KFA) -- Juelich described in this report was for the purpose of participating in the annual meeting of subprogram managers for the US/DOE Umbrella Agreement for Fuel, Fission Product, and Graphite Technology. At this meeting the highlights of the cooperative exchange were reviewed for the time period June 1989 through June 1990. The program continues to contribute technology in an effective way for both countries. Revision 15 of the Subprogram Plan will be issued as a result of the meeting. There was interest expressed by KFA management in the level of support received from the NPR program and in potential participation in the COMEDIE loop experiment being conducted at the CEA.

  8. Fission Product Monitoring and Release Data for the Advanced Gas Reactor -1 Experiment

    SciTech Connect

    Dawn M. Scates; John B. Walter; Jason M. Harp; Mark W. Drigert; Edward L. Reber

    2010-10-01

    The AGR-1 experiment is a fueled multiple-capsule irradiation experiment that was irradiated in the Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) from December 26, 2006 until November 6, 2009 in support of the Very High Temperature Reactor (VHTR) Technology Development Office (TDO) Fuel Development and Qualification program. An important measure of the fuel performance is the quantification of the fission product releases over the duration of the experiment. To provide this data for the inert fission gasses(Kr and Xe), a fission product monitoring system (FPMS) was developed and implemented to monitor the individual capsule effluents for the radioactive species. The FPMS continuously measured the concentrations of various krypton and xenon isotopes in the sweep gas from each AGR-1 capsule to provide an indicator of fuel irradiation performance. Spectrometer systems quantified the concentrations of Kr-85m, Kr-87, Kr-88, Kr-89, Kr-90, Xe-131m, Xe-133, Xe 135, Xe 135m, Xe-137, Xe-138, and Xe-139 accumulated over repeated eight hour counting intervals.-. To determine initial fuel quality and fuel performance, release activity for each isotope of interest was derived from FPMS measurements and paired with a calculation of the corresponding isotopic production or birthrate. The release activities and birthrates were combined to determine Release-to-Birth ratios for the selected nuclides. R/B values provide indicators of initial fuel quality and fuel performance during irradiation. This paper presents a brief summary of the FPMS, the release to birth ratio data for the AGR-1 experiment and preliminary comparisons of AGR-1 experimental fuels data to fission gas release models.

  9. High flux Particle Bed Reactor systems for rapid transmutation of actinides and long lived fission products

    SciTech Connect

    Powell, J.; Ludewig, H.; Maise, G.; Steinberg, M.; Todosow, M.

    1993-08-01

    An initial assessment of several actinide/LLFP burner concepts based on the Particle Bed Reactor (PBR) is described. The high power density/flux level achievable with the PBR make it an attractive candidate for this application. The PBR based actinide burner concept also possesses a number of safety and economic benefits relative to other reactor based transmutation approaches including a low inventory of radionuclides, and high integrity, coated fuel particles which can withstand extremely high in temperatures while retaining virtually all fission products. In addition the reactor also posesses a number of ``engineered safety features,`` which, along with the use of high temperature capable materials further enhance its safety characteristics.

  10. Fission energy: The integral fast reactor

    SciTech Connect

    Chang, Yoon I.

    1989-01-01

    The Integral Fast Reactor (IFR) is an innovative reactor concept being developed at Argonne National Laboratory as a such next- generation reactor concept. The IFR concept has a number of specific technical advantages that collectively address the potential difficulties facing the expansion of nuclear power deployment. In particular, the IFR concept can meet all three fundamental requirements needed in a next-generation reactor as discussed below. This document discusses these requirements.

  11. Nuclear breeder reactor fuel element with axial tandem stacking and getter

    DOEpatents

    Gibby, Ronald L.; Lawrence, Leo A.; Woodley, Robert E.; Wilson, Charles N.; Weber, Edward T.; Johnson, Carl E.

    1981-01-01

    A breeder reactor fuel element having a tandem arrangement of fissile and fertile fuel with a getter for fission product cesium disposed between the fissile and fertile sections. The getter is effective at reactor operating temperatures to isolate the cesium generated by the fissile material from reacting with the fertile fuel section.

  12. Mass spectrometric study of the release of volatile fission products from irradiated LWR fuel

    SciTech Connect

    Johnson, I.; Steidl, D.V.; Johnson, C.E.

    1984-01-01

    The objective of these studies is to experimentally determine the chemical form and the rate of release of volatile fission product species from defected irradiated LWR reactor fuel pins. After release from the defected fuel pin the gaseous species immediately enters the ionizer of a quadrupole mass spectrometer thus ensuring that their chemical form is not likely to be changed prior to identification and measurement. These studies differ from prior studies in that: (1) the chemical form of the volatile fission products will be determined; and (2) the detection and measurement method does not depend on the radioactivity of the fission product element. Information on the chemical form of the released fission product species will enable a more accurate description of their transport and reaction in the primary system. These studies are also expected to yield information on the reaction of fission products after release from the fuel oxide with the zircaloy cladding. The results of these studies are expected to increase the understanding of the first step in the release of fission products by irradiated fuel and therefore help in the accurate prediction of source terms.

  13. Mixed oxide fuels testing in the advanced test reactor to support plutonium disposition

    SciTech Connect

    Ryskamp, J.M.; Sterbentz, J.W.; Chang, G.S.

    1995-09-01

    An intense worldwide effort is now under way to find means of reducing the stockpile of weapons-grade plutonium. One of the most attractive solutions would be to use WGPu as fuel in existing light water reactors (LWRs) in the form of mixed oxide (MOX) fuel - i.e., plutonia (PUO{sub 2}) mixed with urania (UO{sub 2}). Before U.S. reactors could be used for this purpose, their operating licenses would have to be amended. Numerous technical issues must be resolved before LWR operating licenses can be amended to allow the use of MOX fuel. These issues include the following: (1) MOX fuel fabrication process verification, (2) Whether and how to use burnable poisons to depress MOX fuel initial reactivity, which is higher than that of urania, (3) The effects of WGPu isotopic composition, (4) The feasibility of loading MOX fuel with plutonia content up to 7% by weight, (5) The effects of americium and gallium in WGPu, (6) Fission gas release from MOX fuel pellets made from WGPu, (7) Fuel/cladding gap closure, (8) The effects of power cycling and off-normal events on fuel integrity, (9) Development of radial distributions of burnup and fission products, (10) Power spiking near the interfaces of MOX and urania fuel assemblies, and (11) Fuel performance code validation. We have performed calculations to show that the use of hafnium shrouds can produce spectrum adjustments that will bring the flux spectrum in ATR test loops into a good approximation to the spectrum anticipated in a commercial LWR containing MOX fuel while allowing operation of the test fuel assemblies near their optimum values of linear heat generation rate. The ATR would be a nearly ideal test bed for developing data needed to support applications to license LWRs for operation with MOX fuel made from weapons-grade plutonium. The requirements for planning and implementing a test program in the ATR have been identified.

  14. Updated comparison of economics of fusion reactors with advanced fission reactors

    SciTech Connect

    Delene, J.G.

    1990-01-01

    The projected cost of electricity (COE) for fusion is compared with that from current and advanced nuclear fission and coal-fired plants. Fusion cost models were adjusted for consistency with advanced fission plants and the calculational methodology and cost factors follow guidelines recommended for cost comparisons of advanced fission reactors. The results show COEs of about 59--74 mills/kWh for the fusion designs considered. In comparison, COEs for future fission reactors are estimated to be in the 43--54 mills/kWh range with coal-fired plant COEs of about 53--69 mills/kWh ($2--3/GJ coal). The principal cost driver for the fusion plants relative to fission plants is the fusion island cost. Although the estimated COEs for fusion are greater than those for fission or coal, the costs are not so high as to preclude fusion's competitiveness as a safe and environmentally sound alternative.

  15. Fuel handling system for a nuclear reactor

    DOEpatents

    Saiveau, James G.; Kann, William J.; Burelbach, James P.

    1986-01-01

    A pool type nuclear fission reactor has a core, with a plurality of core elements and a redan which confines coolant as a hot pool at a first end of the core separated from a cold pool at a second end of the core by the redan. A fuel handling system for use with such reactors comprises a core element storage basket located outside of the redan in the cold pool. An access passage is formed in the redan with a gate for opening and closing the passage to maintain the temperature differential between the hot pool and the cold pool. A mechanism is provided for opening and closing the gate. A lifting arm is also provided for manipulating the fuel core elements through the access passage between the storage basket and the core when the redan gate is open.

  16. Fuel handling system for a nuclear reactor

    DOEpatents

    Saiveau, James G.; Kann, William J.; Burelbach, James P.

    1986-12-02

    A pool type nuclear fission reactor has a core, with a plurality of core elements and a redan which confines coolant as a hot pool at a first end of the core separated from a cold pool at a second end of the core by the redan. A fuel handling system for use with such reactors comprises a core element storage basket located outside of the redan in the cold pool. An access passage is formed in the redan with a gate for opening and closing the passage to maintain the temperature differential between the hot pool and the cold pool. A mechanism is provided for opening and closing the gate. A lifting arm is also provided for manipulating the fuel core elements through the access passage between the storage basket and the core when the redan gate is open.

  17. Neutron irradiation facilities for fission and fusion reactor materials studies

    SciTech Connect

    Rowcliffe, A.F.

    1985-01-01

    The successful development of energy-conversion machines based upon nuclear fission or fusion reactors is critically dependent upon the behavior of the engineering materials used to construct the full containment and primary heat extraction systems. The development of radiation damage-resistant materials requires irradiation testing facilities which reproduce, as closely as possible, the thermal and neutronic environment expected in a power-producing reactor. The Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) reference core design for the Center for Neutron Research (CNR) reactor provides for instrumented facilities in regions of both hard and mixed neutron spectra, with substantially higher fluxes than are currently available. The benefits of these new facilities to the development of radiation damage resistant materials are discussed in terms of the major US fission and fusion reactor programs.

  18. ACRR (Annular Core Research Reactor) fission product release tests: ST-1 and ST-2

    SciTech Connect

    Allen, M.D.; Stockman, H.W.; Reil, K.O.; Grimley, A.J.; Camp, W.J.

    1988-01-01

    Two experiments (ST-1 and ST-2) have been performed in the Annular Core Research Reactor (ACER) at Sandia National Laboratories (SNLA) to obtain time-resolved data on the release of fission products from irradiated fuels under light water reactor (LWR) severe accident conditions. Both experiments were conducted in a highly reducing environment at maximum fuel temperatures of greater than 2400 K. These experiments were designed specifically to investigate the effect of increased total pressure on fission product release; ST-1 was performed at approximately 0.16 MPa and ST-2 was run at 1.9 MPa, whereas other parameters were matched as closely as possible. Release rate data were measured for Cs, I, Ba, Sr, Eu, Te, and U. The release rates were higher than predicted by existing codes for Ba, Sr, Eu, and U. Te release was very low, but Te did not appear to be sequestered by the zircaloy cladding; it was evenly distributed in the fuel. In addition, in posttest analysis a unique fuel morphology (fuel swelling) was observed which may have enhanced fission product release, especially in the high pressure test (ST-2). These data are compared with analytical results from the CORSOR correlation and the VICTORIA computer model. 8 refs., 8 figs., 2 tabs.

  19. Validation of ATR Fission Power Deposition Fraction in HEU and LEU Fuel Plates

    SciTech Connect

    G. S. Chang

    2008-09-01

    The Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) is a high power (250 MW), high neutron flux research reactor operating in the United States. Powered with highly enriched uranium (HEU), the ATR has a maximum unperturbed thermal neutron flux rating of 1.0 x 1015 n/cm2–s. Because of its high power and large test volumes located in high flux areas, the ATR is an ideal candidate for assessing the feasibility of converting an HEU driven reactor to a low-enriched core. A detailed plate-by-plate MCNP ATR full core model has been developed and validated for the low-enriched uranium (LEU) fuel conversion feasibility study. Using this model, an analysis has been performed to determine the LEU density and U-235 enrichment required in the fuel meat to yield equivalent K-eff versus effective full power days (EFPDs) between the HEU and LEU cores. This model has also been used to optimize U-235 content of the LEU core, minimizing the differences in K-eff and heat flux profile between the HEU and LEU cores at 115 MW total core power for 125 EFPDs. The LEU core conversion feasibility study evaluated foil type (U-10Mo) fuel with the LEU reference design of 19.7 wt% U-235 enrichment. The LEU reference design has a fixed fuel meat thickness of 0.330 mm and can sustain the same operating cycle length as the HEU fuel. Heat flux and fission power density are parameters that are proportional to the fraction of fission power deposited in fuel. Thus, the accurate determination of the fraction of fission power deposited in the fuel is important to ATR nuclear safety. In this work, a new approach was developed and validated, the Tally Fuel Cells Only (TFCO) method. This method calculates and compares the fission power deposition fraction between HEU and LEU fuel plates. Due to the high density of the U-10Mo LEU fuel, the fission ?-energy deposition fraction is 37.12%, which is larger than the HEU’s ?-energy deposition fraction of 19.7%. As a result, the fuel decay heat cooling will need to be improved

  20. REACTOR FUEL ELEMENTS TESTING CONTAINER

    DOEpatents

    Whitham, G.K.; Smith, R.R.

    1963-01-15

    This patent shows a method for detecting leaks in jacketed fuel elements. The element is placed in a sealed tank within a nuclear reactor, and, while the reactor operates, the element is sparged with gas. The gas is then led outside the reactor and monitored for radioactive Xe or Kr. (AEC)

  1. Deep-Earth reactor: Nuclear fission, helium, and the geomagnetic field

    PubMed Central

    Hollenbach, D. F.; Herndon, J. M.

    2001-01-01

    Geomagnetic field reversals and changes in intensity are understandable from an energy standpoint as natural consequences of intermittent and/or variable nuclear fission chain reactions deep within the Earth. Moreover, deep-Earth production of helium, having 3He/4He ratios within the range observed from deep-mantle sources, is demonstrated to be a consequence of nuclear fission. Numerical simulations of a planetary-scale geo-reactor were made by using the SCALE sequence of codes. The results clearly demonstrate that such a geo-reactor (i) would function as a fast-neutron fuel breeder reactor; (ii) could, under appropriate conditions, operate over the entire period of geologic time; and (iii) would function in such a manner as to yield variable and/or intermittent output power. PMID:11562483

  2. Fission product release from irradiated LWR fuel under accident conditions

    SciTech Connect

    Strain, R.V.; Sanecki, J.E.; Osborne, M.F.

    1984-01-01

    Fission product release from irradiated LWR fuel is being studied by heating fuel rod segments in flowing steam and an inert carrier gas to simulate accident conditions. Fuels with a range of irradiation histories are being subjected to several steam flow rates over a wide range of temperatures. Fission product release during each test is measured by gamma spectroscopy and by detailed examination of the collection apparatus after the test has been completed. These release results are complemented by a detailed posttest examination of samples of the fuel rod segment. Results of release measurements and fuel rod characterizations for tests at 1400 through 2000/sup 0/C are presented in this paper.

  3. Fission control system for nuclear reactor

    DOEpatents

    Conley, G.H.; Estes, G.P.

    Control system for nuclear reactor comprises a first set of reactivity modifying rods fixed in a reactor core with their upper ends stepped in height across the core, and a second set of reactivity modifying rods movable vertically within the reactor core and having their lower ends stepped to correspond with the stepped arrangement of the first set of rods, pairs of the rods of the first and second sets being in coaxial alignment.

  4. THERMAL FISSION REACTOR COMPOSITIONS AND METHOD OF FABRICATING SAME

    DOEpatents

    Blainey, A.

    1959-10-01

    A body is presented for use in a thermal fission reactor comprising a sintered compressed mass of a substance of the group consisting of uranium, thorium, and oxides and carbides of uranium and thorium, enclosed in an envelope of a sintered, compacted, heat-conductive material of the group consisting of beryllium, zirconium, and oxides and carbides of beryllium and zirconium.

  5. FUEL ELEMENT FOR A NUCLEAR REACTOR

    DOEpatents

    Duffy, J.G. Jr.

    1961-05-30

    A lattice type fissionable fuel structure for a nuclear reactor is described. The fissionable material is formed into a plurality of rod-llke bodies with each encased in a fluid-tight jacket. A plurality of spaced longitudinal fins are mounted on the exterior and extend radially from each jacket, with a portion of the fins extending radially beyond the remainder of the fins. A collar of short length for each body is mounted on the extended fins for spacing the bodies, and adjacent bodies abut each other through these collars. Should distortion of the bodies take place, coilapse of the outer fins is limited by the shorter flns, thereby insuring some coolant flow at all times. (AEC)

  6. Fuel Element for a Nuclear Reactor

    DOEpatents

    Duffy, Jr., J. G.

    1961-05-30

    A lattice-type fissionable fuel structure for a nuclear reactor is offered. The fissionable material is formed into a plurality of rod-like bodies each encased in a fluid-tight jacket. A plurality of spaced longitudinal fins are mounted on the exterior of and extend radially from each jacket, and a portion of the fins extends radially beyond the remainder of the fins. A collar of short lengih for each body is mounted on the extended fins for spacing the bodies, and adjacent bodies abut each other through these collars. Should distortion of the bodies take place, collapse of the outer fins is limited by the shorter fins thereby insuring some coolant flow therethrough at all times.

  7. Exploratory Design of a Reactor/Fuel Cycle Using Spent Nuclear Fuel Without Conventional Reprocessing - 13579

    SciTech Connect

    Bertch, Timothy C.; Schleicher, Robert W.; Rawls, John D.

    2013-07-01

    General Atomics has started design of a waste to energy nuclear reactor (EM2) that can use light water reactor (LWR) spent nuclear fuel (SNF). This effort addresses two problems: using an advanced small reactor with long core life to reduce nuclear energy overnight cost and providing a disposal path for LWR SNF. LWR SNF is re-fabricated into new EM2 fuel using a dry voloxidation process modeled on AIROX/ OREOX processes which remove some of the fission products but no heavy metals. By not removing all of the fission products the fuel remains self-protecting. By not separating heavy metals, the process remains proliferation resistant. Implementation of Energy Multiplier Module (EM2) fuel cycle will provide low cost nuclear energy while providing a long term LWR SNF disposition path which is important for LWR waste confidence. With LWR waste confidence recent impacts on reactor licensing, an alternate disposition path is highly relevant. Centered on a reactor operating at 250 MWe, the compact electricity generating system design maximizes site flexibility with truck transport of all system components and available dry cooling features that removes the need to be located near a body of water. A high temperature system using helium coolant, electricity is efficiently produced using an asynchronous high-speed gas turbine while the LWR SNF is converted to fission products. Reactor design features such as vented fuel and silicon carbide cladding support reactor operation for decades between refueling, with improved fuel utilization. Beyond the reactor, the fuel cycle is designed so that subsequent generations of EM2 reactor fuel will use the previous EM2 discharge, providing its own waste confidence plus eliminating the need for enrichment after the first generation. Additional LWR SNF is added at each re-fabrication to replace the removed fission products. The fuel cycle uses a dry voloxidation process for both the initial LWR SNF re-fabrication and later for EM2

  8. Relative fission product yield determination in the USGS TRIGA Mark I reactor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koehl, Michael A.

    Fission product yield data sets are one of the most important and fundamental compilations of basic information in the nuclear industry. This data has a wide range of applications which include nuclear fuel burnup and nonproliferation safeguards. Relative fission yields constitute a major fraction of the reported yield data and reduce the number of required absolute measurements. Radiochemical separations of fission products reduce interferences, facilitate the measurement of low level radionuclides, and are instrumental in the analysis of low-yielding symmetrical fission products. It is especially useful in the measurement of the valley nuclides and those on the extreme wings of the mass yield curve, including lanthanides, where absolute yields have high errors. This overall project was conducted in three stages: characterization of the neutron flux in irradiation positions within the U.S. Geological Survey TRIGA Mark I Reactor (GSTR), determining the mass attenuation coefficients of precipitates used in radiochemical separations, and measuring the relative fission products in the GSTR. Using the Westcott convention, the Westcott flux, modified spectral index, neutron temperature, and gold-based cadmium ratios were determined for various sampling positions in the USGS TRIGA Mark I reactor. The differential neutron energy spectrum measurement was obtained using the computer iterative code SAND-II-SNL. The mass attenuation coefficients for molecular precipitates were determined through experiment and compared to results using the EGS5 Monte Carlo computer code. Difficulties associated with sufficient production of fission product isotopes in research reactors limits the ability to complete a direct, experimental assessment of mass attenuation coefficients for these isotopes. Experimental attenuation coefficients of radioisotopes produced through neutron activation agree well with the EGS5 calculated results. This suggests mass attenuation coefficients of molecular

  9. Estimation of average burnup of damaged fuels loaded in Fukushima Dai-ichi reactors by using the {sup 134}Cs/{sup 137}Cs ratio method

    SciTech Connect

    Endo, T.; Sato, S.; Yamamoto, A.

    2012-07-01

    Average burnup of damaged fuels loaded in Fukushima Dai-ichi reactors is estimated, using the {sup 134}Cs/{sup 137}Cs ratio method for measured radioactivities of {sup 134}Cs and {sup 137}Cs in contaminated soils within the range of 100 km from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plants. As a result, the measured {sup 134}Cs/{sup 137}Cs ratio from the contaminated soil is 0.996{+-}0.07 as of March 11, 2011. Based on the {sup 134}Cs/{sup 137}Cs ratio method, the estimated burnup of damaged fuels is approximately 17.2{+-}1.5 [GWd/tHM]. It is noted that the numerical results of various calculation codes (SRAC2006/PIJ, SCALE6.0/TRITON, and MVP-BURN) are almost the same evaluation values of {sup 134}Cs/ {sup 137}Cs ratio with same evaluated nuclear data library (ENDF-B/VII.0). The void fraction effect in depletion calculation has a major impact on {sup 134}Cs/{sup 137}Cs ratio compared with the differences between JENDL-4.0 and ENDF-B/VII.0. (authors)

  10. Parametric Studies on Plutonium Transmutation Using Uranium-Free Fuels in Light Water Reactors

    SciTech Connect

    Shelley, Afroza; Akie, Hiroshi; Takano, Hideki; Sekimoto, Hiroshi

    2000-08-15

    To compare the once-through use of U-free fuels for plutonium burnup in light water reactors (LWRs), plutonium transmutation, minor actinide (MA) and long-life fission product (LLFP) buildup and radiotoxicity hazards were compared for PuO{sub 2} + ZrO{sub 2} (rock-like oxide: ROX) and PuO{sub 2} + ThO{sub 2} (thorium oxide: TOX) fuels, loaded in a soft-to-hard neutron spectrum LWR core (a moderator-to-fuel volume ratio V{sub m}/V{sub f} is from 0.5 to 3.0). For better understanding and proper improvement of the reactivity coefficient problem of ROX, the fuel temperature coefficient, the void coefficient, and the delayed neutron fraction were also studied. A mixed-oxide (MOX)-fueled LWR was considered for reference purposes.From the result of the cell burnup calculation, ROX fuel transmutes 90% of net initially loaded weapons-grade Pu, and 2.5% of initially loaded Pu is converted to MAs when V{sub m}/V{sub f} is 2.0 and discharge burnup in effective full-power days is equivalent to that of 33 GWd/t in MOX fuel. Reactor-grade Pu-based ROX fuel transmutes 80% of net initially loaded Pu, and 6.7% of initially loaded Pu converts to MAs with the same condition as the weapons-grade Pu ROX fuel. TOX fuel also has a good Pu transmutation capability, but the {sup 233}U production amount is approximately a half of the fissile Pu transmutation amount. The MA production amount in TOX fuel is lower than that in MOX and ROX fuels. The LLFP production amount in ROX fuel is lower than that in MOX and TOX fuels. The radiotoxicity hazard of ROX spent fuel is lower compared to that in TOX and MOX spent fuels.The thermal neutron energy region is important in ROX fuel for fuel temperature coefficient and void coefficient problems. From these calculations, 15 to 20% {sup 232}Th-added ROX fuel seems the best to use as a once-through Pu-burning fuel compared to TOX and MOX fuels in conventional LWRs, because of its higher Pu transmutation, lower radiotoxicity hazard.

  11. Fission-product SiC reaction in HTGR fuel

    SciTech Connect

    Montgomery, F.

    1981-07-13

    The primary barrier to release of fission product from any of the fuel types into the primary circuit of the HTGR are the coatings on the fuel particles. Both pyrolytic carbon and silicon carbide coatings are very effective in retaining fission gases under normal operating conditions. One of the possible performance limitations which has been observed in irradiation tests of TRISO fuel is chemical interaction of the SiC layer with fission products. This reaction reduces the thickness of the SiC layer in TRISO particles and can lead to release of fission products from the particles if the SiC layer is completely penetrated. The experimental section of this report describes the results of work at General Atomic concerning the reaction of fission products with silicon carbide. The discussion section describes data obtained by various laboratories and includes (1) a description of the fission products which have been found to react with SiC; (2) a description of the kinetics of silicon carbide thinning caused by fission product reaction during out-of-pile thermal gradient heating and the application of these kinetics to in-pile irradiation; and (3) a comparison of silicon carbide thinning in LEU and HEU fuels.

  12. Two-billion-year-old nuclear reactors: Nature goes fission

    SciTech Connect

    Curtis, D.B.

    1992-12-31

    Once it was thought that the isotopic composition of natural uranium was invariant. It was thus surprising in 1972 when French scientists observed small but significant deficiencies of the minor isotope {sup 235}U in uranium ore. Subsequent investigations traced the isotopically anomalous material to the Oklo mine in the African Republic of Gabon. In the mine, cubic-dekametre-sized pods of rock were found to contain extraordinary concentrations of uranium, as much as 65%, with as little as half the normal isotopic abundance of {sup 235}U. In these rocks, neodymium was found to be deficient in the premordial isotope {sup 142}Nd and enriched in the fission-produced isotopes {sup 143-150}Nd. The presence of fission products was unambiguous evidence that the {sup 235}U deficiencies were the result of sustained nuclear fission. Within the heart of the natural reactors, the fission densities were on the order of 10{sup 20} fissions/cm{sup 3}, producing hundreds of megajoules of energy and tens of microwatts of power per gram of rock. Nature had forestalled man`s great discovery of energy production by nuclear fission.

  13. Fueling of tandem mirror reactors

    SciTech Connect

    Gorker, G.E.; Logan, B.G.

    1985-01-01

    This paper summarizes the fueling requirements for experimental and demonstration tandem mirror reactors (TMRs), reviews the status of conventional pellet injectors, and identifies some candidate accelerators that may be needed for fueling tandem mirror reactors. Characteristics and limitations of three types of accelerators are described; neutral beam injectors, electromagnetic rail guns, and laser beam drivers. Based on these characteristics and limitations, a computer module was developed for the Tandem Mirror Reactor Systems Code (TMRSC) to select the pellet injector/accelerator combination which most nearly satisfies the fueling requirements for a given machine design.

  14. Fuel Development For Gas-Cooled Fast Reactors

    SciTech Connect

    M. K. Meyer

    2006-06-01

    The Generation IV Gas-cooled Fast Reactor (GFR) concept is proposed to combine the advantages of high-temperature gas-cooled reactors (such as efficient direct conversion with a gas turbine and the potential for application of high-temperature process heat), with the sustainability advantages that are possible with a fast-spectrum reactor. The latter include the ability to fission all transuranics and the potential for breeding. The GFR is part of a consistent set of gas-cooled reactors that includes a medium-term Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR)-like concept, or concepts based on the Gas Turbine Modular Helium Reactor (GT-MHR), and specialized concepts such as the Very High Temperature Reactor (VHTR), as well as actinide burning concepts [ ]. To achieve the necessary high power density and the ability to retain fission gas at high temperature, the primary fuel concept proposed for testing in the United States is a dispersion coated fuel particles in a ceramic matrix. Alternative fuel concepts considered in the U.S. and internationally include coated particle beds, ceramic clad fuel pins, and novel ceramic ‘honeycomb’ structures. Both mixed carbide and mixed nitride-based solid solutions are considered as fuel phases.

  15. Fuel development for gas-cooled fast reactors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meyer, M. K.; Fielding, R.; Gan, J.

    2007-09-01

    The Generation IV Gas-cooled Fast Reactor (GFR) concept is proposed to combine the advantages of high-temperature gas-cooled reactors (such as efficient direct conversion with a gas turbine and the potential for application of high-temperature process heat), with the sustainability advantages that are possible with a fast-spectrum reactor. The latter include the ability to fission all transuranics and the potential for breeding. The GFR is part of a consistent set of gas-cooled reactors that includes a medium-term Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR)-like concept, or concepts based on the Gas Turbine Modular Helium Reactor (GT-MHR), and specialized concepts such as the Very High-Temperature Reactor (VHTR), as well as actinide burning concepts [A Technology Roadmap for Generation IV Nuclear Energy Systems, US DOE Nuclear Energy Research Advisory Committee and the Generation IV International Forum, December 2002]. To achieve the necessary high power density and the ability to retain fission gas at high temperature, the primary fuel concept proposed for testing in the United States is dispersion coated fuel particles in a ceramic matrix. Alternative fuel concepts considered in the US and internationally include coated particle beds, ceramic clad fuel pins, and novel ceramic 'honeycomb' structures. Both mixed carbide and mixed nitride-based solid solutions are considered as fuel phases.

  16. Radiation re-solution of fission gas in non-oxide nuclear fuel

    SciTech Connect

    Matthews, Christopher; Schwen, Daniel; Klein, Andrew C.

    2015-02-01

    Renewed interest in fast nuclear reactors is creating a need for better understanding of fission gas bubble behavior in non-oxide fuels to support very long fuel lifetimes. Collisions between fission fragments and their subsequent cascades can knock fission gas atoms out of bubbles and back into the fuel lattice. We showed that these collisions can be treated as using the so-called ‘‘homogenous’’ atom-by-atom re-solution theory and calculated using the Binary Collision Approximation code 3DOT. The calculations showed that there is a decrease in the re-solution parameter as bubble radius increases until about 50 nm, at which the re-solution parameter stays nearly constant. Furthermore, our model shows ion cascades created in the fuel result in many more implanted fission gas atoms than collisions directly with fission fragments. This calculated re-solution parameter can be used to find a re-solution rate for future bubble simulations.

  17. Fuel cladding behavior under rapid loading conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yueh, K.; Karlsson, J.; Stjärnsäter, J.; Schrire, D.; Ledergerber, G.; Munoz-Reja, C.; Hallstadius, L.

    2016-02-01

    A modified burst test (MBT) was used in an extensive test program to characterize fuel cladding failure behavior under rapid loading conditions. The MBT differs from a normal burst test with the use of a driver tube to simulate the expansion of a fuel pellet, thereby producing a partial strain driven deformation condition similar to that of a fuel pellet expansion in a reactivity insertion accident (RIA). A piston/cylinder assembly was used to pressurize the driver tube. By controlling the speed and distance the piston travels the loading rate and degree of sample deformation could be controlled. The use of a driver tube with a machined gauge section localizes deformation and allows for continuous monitoring of the test sample diameter change at the location of maximum hoop strain, during each test. Cladding samples from five irradiated fuel rods were tested between 296 and 553 K and loading rates from 1.5 to 3.5/s. The test rods included variations of Zircaloy-2 with different liners and ZIRLO, ranging in burn-up from 41 to 74 GWd/MTU. The test results show cladding ductility is strongly temperature and loading rate dependent. Zircaloy-2 cladding ductility degradation due to operational hydrogen pickup started to recover at approximately 358 K for test condition used in the study. This recovery temperature is strongly loading rate dependent. At 373 K, ductility recovery was small for loading rates less than 8 ms equivalent RIA pulse width, but longer than 8 ms the ductility recovery increased exponentially with increasing pulse width, consistent with literature observations of loading rate dependent brittle-to-ductile (BTD) transition temperature. The cladding ductility was also observed to be strongly loading rate/pulse width dependent for BWR cladding below the BTD temperature and Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) cladding at both 296 and 553 K.

  18. Evaluation of fission product worth margins in PWR spent nuclear fuel burnup credit calculations.

    SciTech Connect

    Blomquist, R.N.; Finck, P.J.; Jammes, C.; Stenberg, C.G.

    1999-02-17

    Current criticality safety calculations for the transportation of irradiated LWR fuel make the very conservative assumption that the fuel is fresh. This results in a very substantial overprediction of the actual k{sub eff} of the transportation casks; in certain cases, this decreases the amount of spent fuel which can be loaded in a cask, and increases the cost of transporting the spent fuel to the repository. Accounting for the change of reactivity due to fuel depletion is usually referred to as ''burnup credit.'' The US DOE is currently funding a program aimed at establishing an actinide only burnup credit methodology (in this case, the calculated reactivity takes into account the buildup or depletion of a limited number of actinides). This work is undergoing NRC review. While this methodology is being validated on a significant experimental basis, it implicitly relies on additional margins: in particular, the absorption of neutrons by certain actinides and by all fission products is not taken into account. This provides an important additional margin and helps guarantee that the methodology is conservative provided these neglected absorption are known with reasonable accuracy. This report establishes the accuracy of fission product absorption rate calculations: (1) the analysis of European fission product worth experiments demonstrates that fission product cross-sections available in the US provide very good predictions of fission product worth; (2) this is confirmed by a direct comparison of European and US cross section evaluations; (3) accuracy of Spent Nuclear Fuel (SNF) fission product content predictions is established in a recent ORNL report where several SNF isotopic assays are analyzed; and (4) these data are then combined to establish in a conservative manner the fraction of the predicted total fission product absorption which can be guaranteed based on available experimental data.

  19. MOLTEN FLUORIDE NUCLEAR REACTOR FUEL

    DOEpatents

    Barton, C.J.; Grimes, W.R.

    1960-01-01

    Molten-salt reactor fuel compositions consisting of mixtures of fluoride salts are reported. In its broadest form, the composition contains an alkali fluoride such as sodium fluoride, zirconium tetrafluoride, and a uranium fluoride, the latter being the tetrafluoride or trifluoride or a mixture of the two. An outstanding property of these fuel compositions is a high coeffieient of thermal expansion which provides a negative temperature coefficient of reactivity in reactors in which they are used.

  20. Thermochemical modelling of advanced CANDU reactor fuel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Corcoran, Emily Catherine

    2009-04-01

    With an aging fleet of nuclear generating facilities, the imperative to limit the use of non-renewal fossil fuels and the inevitable need for additional electricity to power Canada's economy, a renaissance in the use of nuclear technology in Canada is at hand. The experience and knowledge of over 40 years of CANDU research, development and operation in Ontario and elsewhere has been applied to a new generation of CANDU, the Advanced CANDU Reactor (ACR). Improved fuel design allows for an extended burnup, which is a significant improvement, enhancing the safety and the economies of the ACR. The use of a Burnable Neutron Absorber (BNA) material and Low Enriched Uranium (LEU) fuel has created a need to understand better these novel materials and fuel types. This thesis documents a work to advance the scientific and technological knowledge of the ACR fuel design with respect to thermodynamic phase stability and fuel oxidation modelling. For the BNA material, a new (BNA) model is created based on the fundamental first principles of Gibbs energy minimization applied to material phase stability. For LEU fuel, the methodology used for the BNA model is applied to the oxidation of irradiated fuel. The pertinent knowledge base for uranium, oxygen and the major fission products is reviewed, updated and integrated to create a model that is applicable to current and future CANDU fuel designs. As part of this thesis, X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) and Coulombic Titration (CT) experiments are compared to the BNA and LEU models, respectively. From the analysis of the CT results, a number of improvements are proposed to enhance the LEU model and provide confidence in its application to ACR fuel. A number of applications for the potential use of these models are proposed and discussed. Keywords: CANDU Fuel, Gibbs Energy Mimimization, Low Enriched Uranium (LEU) Fuel, Burnable Neutron Absorber (BNA) Material, Coulometric Titration, X-Ray Diffraction

  1. Feasibility study of a fission supressed blanket for a tandem-mirror hybrid reactor

    SciTech Connect

    Moir, R.W.; Lee, J.D.; Barr, W.L.

    1981-10-05

    A study of fission suppressed blankets for the tandem mirror not only showed such blankets to be feasible but also to be safer than fissioning blankets. Such hybrids could produce enough fissile material to support up to 17 light water reactors of the same nuclear power rating. Beryllium was compared to /sup 7/Li for neutron multiplication; both were considered feasible but the blanket with Li produced 20% less fissile fuel per unit of nuclear power in the reactor. The beryllium resource, while possibly being too small for extensive pure fusion application, would be adequate (with carefully planned industrial expansion) for the hybrid because of the large support ratio, and hence few hybrids required. Radiation damage and coatings for beryllium remain issues to be resolved by further study and experimentation.

  2. The 235U Prompt Fission Neutron Spectrum in the BR1 Reactor at SCK•CEN

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wagemans, Jan; Malambu, Edouard; Borms, Luc; Fiorito, Luca

    2016-02-01

    The BR1 research reactor at SCK•CEN has a spherical cavity in the graphite above the reactor core. In this cavity an accurately characterised Maxwellian thermal neutron field is present. Different converters can be loaded in the cavity in order to obtain other types of neutron (and gamma) irradiation fields. Inside the so-called MARK III converter a fast 235U(n,f) prompt fission neutron field can be obtained. With the support of MCNP calculations, irradiations in MARK III can be directly related to the pure 235U(n,f) prompt fission neutron spectrum. For this purpose MARK III spectrum averaged cross sections for the most relevant fluence dosimetry reactions have been determined. A calibration factor for absolute measurements has been determined applying activation dosimetry following ISO/IEC 17025 standards.

  3. Fuel Performance Experiments and Modeling: Fission Gas Bubble Nucleation and Growth in Alloy Nuclear Fuels

    SciTech Connect

    McDeavitt, Sean; Shao, Lin; Tsvetkov, Pavel; Wirth, Brian; Kennedy, Rory

    2014-04-07

    Advanced fast reactor systems being developed under the DOE's Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative are designed to destroy TRU isotopes generated in existing and future nuclear energy systems. Over the past 40 years, multiple experiments and demonstrations have been completed using U-Zr, U-Pu-Zr, U-Mo and other metal alloys. As a result, multiple empirical and semi-empirical relationships have been established to develop empirical performance modeling codes. Many mechanistic questions about fission as mobility, bubble coalescience, and gas release have been answered through industrial experience, research, and empirical understanding. The advent of modern computational materials science, however, opens new doors of development such that physics-based multi-scale models may be developed to enable a new generation of predictive fuel performance codes that are not limited by empiricism.

  4. High loading uranium fuel plate

    DOEpatents

    Wiencek, Thomas C.; Domagala, Robert F.; Thresh, Henry R.

    1990-01-01

    Two embodiments of a high uranium fuel plate are disclosed which contain a meat comprising structured uranium compound confined between a pair of diffusion bonded ductile metal cladding plates uniformly covering the meat, the meat having a uniform high fuel loading comprising a content of uranium compound greater than about 45 Vol. % at a porosity not greater than about 10 Vol. %. In a first embodiment, the meat is a plurality of parallel wires of uranium compound. In a second embodiment, the meat is a dispersion compact containing uranium compound. The fuel plates are fabricated by a hot isostatic pressing process.

  5. FUSED REACTOR FUELS

    DOEpatents

    Mayer, S.W.

    1962-11-13

    This invention relates to a nuciear reactor fuel composition comprising (1) from about 0.01 to about 50 wt.% based on the total weight of said composition of at least one element selected from the class consisting of uranium, thorium, and plutonium, wherein said eiement is present in the form of at least one component selected from the class consisting of oxides, halides, and salts of oxygenated anions, with components comprising (2) at least one member selected from the class consisting of (a) sulfur, wherein the sulfur is in the form of at least one entity selected irom the class consisting of oxides of sulfur, metal sulfates, metal sulfites, metal halosulfonates, and acids of sulfur, (b) halogen, wherein said halogen is in the form of at least one compound selected from the class of metal halides, metal halosulfonates, and metal halophosphates, (c) phosphorus, wherein said phosphorus is in the form of at least one constituent selected from the class consisting of oxides of phosphorus, metal phosphates, metal phosphites, and metal halophosphates, (d) at least one oxide of a member selected from the class consisting of a metal and a metalloid wherein said oxide is free from an oxide of said element in (1); wherein the amount of at least one member selected from the class consisting of halogen and sulfur is at least about one at.% based on the amount of the sum of said sulfur, halogen, and phosphorus atom in said composition; and wherein the amount of said 2(a), 2(b) and 2(c) components in said composition which are free from said elements of uranium, thorium, arid plutonium, is at least about 60 wt.% based on the combined weight of the components of said composition which are free from said elements of uranium, thorium, and plutonium. (AEC)

  6. Fuels for research and test reactors, status review: July 1982

    SciTech Connect

    Stahl, D.

    1982-12-01

    A thorough review is provided on nuclear fuels for steady-state thermal research and test reactors. The review was conducted to provide a documented data base in support of recent advances in research and test reactor fuel development, manufacture, and demonstration in response to current US policy on availability of enriched uranium. The review covers current fabrication practice, fabrication development efforts, irradiation performance, and properties affecting fuel utilization, including thermal conductivity, specific heat, density, thermal expansion, corrosion, phase stability, mechanical properties, and fission-product release. The emphasis is on US activities, but major work in Europe and elsewhere is included. The standard fuel types discussed are the U-Al alloy, UZrH/sub x/, and UO/sub 2/ rod fuels. Among new fuels, those given major emphasis include H/sub 3/Si-Al dispersion and UO/sub 2/ caramel plate fuels.

  7. Opportunities for mixed oxide fuel testing in the advanced test reactor to support plutonium disposition

    SciTech Connect

    Terry, W.K.; Ryskamp, J.M.; Sterbentz, J.W.

    1995-08-01

    Numerous technical issues must be resolved before LWR operating licenses can be amended to allow the use of MOX fuel. These issues include the following: (1) MOX fuel fabrication process verification; (2) Whether and how to use burnable poisons to depress MOX fuel initial reactivity, which is higher than that of urania; (3) The effects of WGPu isotopic composition; (4) The feasibility of loading MOX fuel with plutonia content up to 7% by weight; (5) The effects of americium and gallium in WGPu; (6) Fission gas release from MOX fuel pellets made from WGPu; (7) Fuel/cladding gap closure; (8) The effects of power cycling and off-normal events on fuel integrity; (9) Development of radial distributions of burnup and fission products; (10) Power spiking near the interfaces of MOX and urania fuel assemblies; and (11) Fuel performance code validation. The Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory possesses many advantages for performing tests to resolve most of the issues identified above. We have performed calculations to show that the use of hafnium shrouds can produce spectrum adjustments that will bring the flux spectrum in ATR test loops into a good approximation to the spectrum anticipated in a commercial LWR containing MOX fuel while allowing operation of the test fuel assemblies near their optimum values of linear heat generation rate. The ATR would be a nearly ideal test bed for developing data needed to support applications to license LWRs for operation with MOX fuel made from weapons-grade plutonium. The requirements for planning and implementing a test program in the ATR have been identified. The facilities at Argonne National Laboratory-West can meet all potential needs for pre- and post-irradiation examination that might arise in a MOX fuel qualification program.

  8. Use of freeze-casting in advanced burner reactor fuel design

    SciTech Connect

    Lang, A. L.; Yablinsky, C. A.; Allen, T. R.; Burger, J.; Hunger, P. M.; Wegst, U. G. K.

    2012-07-01

    This paper will detail the modeling of a fast reactor with fuel pins created using a freeze-casting process. Freeze-casting is a method of creating an inert scaffold within a fuel pin. The scaffold is created using a directional solidification process and results in open porosity for emplacement of fuel, with pores ranging in size from 300 microns to 500 microns in diameter. These pores allow multiple fuel types and enrichments to be loaded into one fuel pin. Also, each pore could be filled with varying amounts of fuel to allow for the specific volume of fission gases created by that fuel type. Currently fast reactors, including advanced burner reactors (ABR's), are not economically feasible due to the high cost of operating the reactors and of reprocessing the fuel. However, if the fuel could be very precisely placed, such as within a freeze-cast scaffold, this could increase fuel performance and result in a valid design with a much lower cost per megawatt. In addition to competitive costs, freeze-cast fuel would also allow for selective breeding or burning of actinides within specific locations in fast reactors. For example, fast flux peak locations could be utilized on a minute scale to target specific actinides for transmutation. Freeze-cast fuel is extremely flexible and has great potential in a variety of applications. This paper performs initial modeling of freeze-cast fuel, with the generic fast reactor parameters for this model based on EBR-II. The core has an assumed power of 62.5 MWt. The neutronics code used was Monte Carlo N-Particle (MCNP5) transport code. Uniform pore sizes were used in increments of 100 microns. Two different freeze-cast scaffold materials were used: ceramic (MgO-ZrO{sub 2}) and steel (SS316L). Separate models were needed for each material because the freeze-cast ceramic and metal scaffolds have different structural characteristics and overall porosities. Basic criticality results were compiled for the various models. Preliminary

  9. Gaseous fuel nuclear reactor research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schwenk, F. C.; Thom, K.

    1975-01-01

    Gaseous-fuel nuclear reactors are described; their distinguishing feature is the use of fissile fuels in a gaseous or plasma state, thereby breaking the barrier of temperature imposed by solid-fuel elements. This property creates a reactor heat source that may be able to heat the propellant of a rocket engine to 10,000 or 20,000 K. At this temperature level, gas-core reactors would provide the breakthrough in propulsion needed to open the entire solar system to manned and unmanned spacecraft. The possibility of fuel recycling makes possible efficiencies of up to 65% and nuclear safety at reduced cost, as well as high-thrust propulsion capabilities with specific impulse up to 5000 sec.

  10. A new concept of nuclear fission reactors safety

    SciTech Connect

    Petrov, Y.V.

    1993-12-31

    To develop safe nuclear energy production acceptable to the society it is proposed to use in the future strongly subcritical reactors (k=0.96-0.97) driven by proton or deuteron accelerators. The accelerator with the current of 40mA and particle energy {approximately}0.8 GeV/nucleon will provide 2 GW (th.) reactor power in fast reactor with metallic U-Pu fuel. The design, control and parameters of such a system are discussed.

  11. A delayed neutron technique for measuring induced fission rates in fresh and burnt LWR fuel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jordan, K. A.; Perret, G.

    2011-04-01

    The LIFE@PROTEUS program at the Paul Scherrer Institut is being undertaken to characterize the interfaces between burnt and fresh fuel assemblies in modern LWRs. Techniques are being developed to measure fission rates in burnt fuel following re-irradiation in the zero-power PROTEUS research reactor. One such technique utilizes the measurement of delayed neutrons. To demonstrate the feasibility of the delayed neutron technique, fresh and burnt UO 2 fuel samples were irradiated in different positions in the PROTEUS reactor, and their neutron outputs were recorded shortly after irradiation. Fission rate ratios of the same sample irradiated in two different positions (inter-positional) and of two different samples irradiated in the same position (inter-sample) were derived from the measurements and compared with Monte Carlo predictions. Derivation of fission rate ratios from the delayed neutron measured signal requires correcting the signal for the delayed neutron source properties, the efficiency of the measurement setup, and the time dependency of the signal. In particular, delayed neutron source properties strongly depend on the fissile and fertile isotopes present in the irradiated sample and must be accounted for when deriving inter-sample fission rate ratios. Measured inter-positional fission rate ratios generally agree within 1σ uncertainty (on the order of 1.0%) with the calculation predictions. For a particular irradiation position, however, a bias of about 2% is observed and is currently under investigation. Calculated and measured inter-sample fission rate ratios have C/E values deviating from unity by less than 1% and within 2σ of the statistical uncertainties. Uncertainty arising from delayed neutron data is also assessed, and is found to give an additional 3% uncertainty factor. The measurement data indicate that uncertainty is overestimated.

  12. Pressurized heavy water reactor fuel behaviour in power ramp conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ionescu, S.; Uţă, O.; Pârvan, M.; Ohâi, D.

    2009-03-01

    In order to check and improve the quality of the Romanian CANDU fuel, an assembly of six CANDU fuel rods has been subjected to a power ramping test in the 14 MW TRIGA reactor at INR. After testing, the fuel rods have been examined in the hot cells using post-irradiation examination (PIE) techniques such as: visual inspection and photography, eddy current testing, profilometry, gamma scanning, fission gas release and analysis, metallography, ceramography, burn-up determination by mass spectrometry, mechanical testing. This paper describes the PIE results from one out of the six fuel rods. The PIE results concerning the integrity, dimensional changes, oxidation, hydriding and mechanical properties of the sheath, the fission-products activity distribution in the fuel column, the pressure, volume and composition of the fission gas, the burn-up, the isotopic composition and structural changes of the fuel enabled the characterization of the behaviour of the Romanian CANDU fuel in power ramping conditions performed in the TRIGA materials testing reactor.

  13. Summary of the radiological assessment of the fuel cycle for a thorium-uranium carbide-fueled fast breeder reactor

    SciTech Connect

    Tennery, V.J.; Bomar, E.S.; Bond, W.D.; Meyer, H.R.; Morse, L.E.; Till, J.E.; Yalcintas, M.G.

    1980-01-01

    A large fraction of the potential fuel for nuclear power reactors employing fissionable materials exists as ores of thorium. In addition, certain characteristics of a fuel system based on breeding of the fissionable isotope {sup 233}U from thorium offer the possibility of a greater resistance to the diversion of fissionable material for the fabrication of nuclear weapons. This report consolidates into a single source the principal content of two previous reports which assess the radiological environmental impact of mining and milling of thorium ore and of the reprocessing and refabrication of spent FBR thorium-uranium carbide fuel.

  14. NEUTRONIC REACTOR FUEL ELEMENT

    DOEpatents

    Shackleford, M.H.

    1958-12-16

    A fuel element possessing good stability and heat conducting properties is described. The fuel element comprises an outer tube formed of material selected from the group consisting of stainhess steel, V, Ti. Mo. or Zr, a fuel tube concentrically fitting within the outer tube and containing an oxide of an isotope selected from the group consisting of U/sup 235/, U/sup 233/, and Pu/sup 239/, and a hollow, porous core concentrically fitting within the fuel tube and formed of an oxide of an element selected from the group consisting of Mg, Be, and Zr.

  15. Criticality Safety Analysis Of As-loaded Spent Nuclear Fuel Casks

    SciTech Connect

    Banerjee, Kaushik; Scaglione, John M

    2015-01-01

    The final safety analysis report (FSAR) or the safety analysis report (SAR) for a particular spent nuclear fuel (SNF) cask system documents models and calculations used to demonstrate that a system meets the regulatory requirements under all normal, off-normal, and accident conditions of spent fuel storage, and normal and accident conditions of transportation. FSAR/SAR calculations and approved content specifications are intended to be bounding in nature to certify cask systems for a variety of fuel characteristics with simplified SNF loading requirements. Therefore, in general, loaded cask systems possess excess and uncredited criticality margins (i.e., the difference between the licensing basis and the as-loaded calculations). This uncredited margin could be quantified by employing more detailed cask-specific evaluations that credit the actual as-loaded cask inventory, and taking into account full (actinide and fission product) burnup credit. This uncredited criticality margin could be potentially used to offset (1) uncertainties in the safety basis that needs to account for the effects of system aging during extended dry storage prior to transportation, and (2) increases in SNF system reactivity over a repository performance period (e.g., 10,000 years or more) as the system undergoes degradation and internal geometry changes. This paper summarizes an assessment of cask-specific, as-loaded criticality margins for SNF stored at eight reactor sites (215 loaded casks were analyzed) under fully flooded conditions to assess the margins available during transportation after extended storage. It is observed that the calculated keff margin varies from 0.05 to almost 0.3 Δkeff for the eight selected reactor sites, demonstrating that significant uncredited safety margins are present. In addition, this paper evaluates the sufficiency of this excess margin in applications involving direct disposal of currently loaded SNF casks.

  16. FUEL ELEMENTS FOR NUCLEAR REACTORS

    DOEpatents

    Blainey, A.; Lloyd, H.

    1961-07-11

    A method of sheathing a tubular fuel element for a nuclear reactor is described. A low melting metal core member is centered in a die, a layer of a powdered sheathing substance is placed on the bottom of the die, the tubular fuel element is inserted in the die, the space between the tubular fuel element and the die walls and core member is filled with the same powdered sheathing substance, a layer of the same substance is placed over the fissile material, and the charge within the die is subjected to pressure in the direction of the axis of the fuel element at the sintering temperature of the protective substance.

  17. Advanced ceramic cladding for water reactor fuel

    SciTech Connect

    Feinroth, H.

    2000-07-01

    Under the US Department of Energy's Nuclear Energy Research Initiatives (NERI) program, continuous fiber ceramic composites (CFCCs) are being developed as cladding for water reactor fuel elements. The purpose is to substantially increase the passive safety of water reactors. A development effort was initiated in 1991 to fabricate CFCC-clad tubes using commercially available fibers and a sol-gel process developed by McDermott Technologies. Two small-diameter CFCC tubes were fabricated using pure alumina and alumina-zirconia fibers in an alumina matrix. Densities of {approximately}60% of theoretical were achieved. Higher densities are required to guarantee fission gas containment. This NERI work has just begun, and only preliminary results are presented herein. Should the work prove successful, further development is required to evaluate CFCC cladding and performance, including in-pile tests containing fuel and exploring a marriage of CFCC cladding materials with suitable advanced fuel and core designs. The possibility of much higher temperature core designs, possibly cooled with supercritical water, and achievement of plant efficiencies {ge}50% would be examined.

  18. NEUTRONIC REACTOR FUEL ELEMENT

    DOEpatents

    Gurinsky, D.H.; Powell, R.W.; Fox, M.

    1959-11-24

    A nuclear fuel element comprising a plurality of nuclear fuel bearing strips is presented. The strips are folded along their longitudinal axes to an angle of about 60 deg and are secured at each end by ferrule to form an elongated assembly suitable for occupying a cylindrical coolant channel.

  19. Evaluation of Metal-Fueled Surface Reactor Concepts

    SciTech Connect

    Poston, David I.; Marcille, Thomas F.; Kapernick, Richard J.; Hiatt, Matthew T.; Amiri, Benjamin W.

    2007-01-30

    Surface fission power systems for use on the Moon and Mars may provide the first use of near-term reactor technology in space. Most near-term surface reactor concepts specify reactor temperatures <1000 K to allow the use of established material and power conversion technology and minimize the impact of the in-situ environment. Metal alloy fuels (e.g. U-10Zr and U-10Mo) have not traditionally been considered for space reactors because of high-temperature requirements, but they might be an attractive option for these lower temperature surface power missions. In addition to temperature limitations, metal fuels are also known to swell significantly at rather low fuel burnups ({approx}1 a/o), but near-term surface missions can mitigate this concern as well, because power and lifetime requirements generally keep fuel burnups <1 a/o. If temperature and swelling issues are not a concern, then a surface reactor concept may be able to benefit from the high uranium density and relative ease of manufacture of metal fuels. This paper investigates two reactor concepts that utilize metal fuels. It is found that these concepts compare very well to concepts that utilize other fuels (UN, UO2, UZrH) on a mass basis, while also providing the potential to simplify material safeguards issues.

  20. Alternate-fuel reactor studies

    SciTech Connect

    Evans, K. Jr.; Ehst, D.A.; Gohar, Y.; Jung, J.; Mattas, R.F.; Turner, L.R.

    1983-02-01

    A number of studies related to improvements and/or greater understanding of alternate-fueled reactors is presented. These studies cover the areas of non-Maxwellian distributions, materials and lifetime analysis, a /sup 3/He-breeding blanket, tritium-rich startup effects, high field magnet support, and reactor operation spanning the range from full D-T operation to operation with no tritium breeding.

  1. Criticality of spent reactor fuel

    SciTech Connect

    Harris, D.R.

    1987-01-01

    The storage capacity of spent reactor fuel pools can be greatly increased by consolidation. In this process, the fuel rods are removed from reactor fuel assemblies and are stored in close-packed arrays in a canister or skeleton. An earlier study examined criticality consideration for consolidation of Westinghouse fuel, assumed to be fresh, in canisters at the Millstone-2 spent-fuel pool and in the General Electric IF-300 shipping cask. The conclusions were that the fuel rods in the canister are so deficient in water that they are adequately subcritical, both in normal and in off-normal conditions. One potential accident, the water spill event, remained unresolved in the earlier study. A methodology is developed here for spent-fuel criticality and is applied to the water spill event. The methodology utilizes LEOPARD to compute few-group cross sections for the diffusion code PDQ7, which then is used to compute reactivity. These codes give results for fresh fuel that are in good agreement with KENO IV-NITAWL Monte Carlo results, which themselves are in good agreement with continuous energy Monte Carlo calculations. These methodologies are in reasonable agreement with critical measurements for undepleted fuel.

  2. Estimated radiactive and shock loading of fusion reactor armor

    SciTech Connect

    Swift, D C

    2008-11-25

    Inertial confinement fusion (ICF) is of interest as a source of neutrons for proliferation-resistant and high burn-up fission reactor designs. ICF is a transient process, each implosion leading to energy release over a short period, with a continuous series of ICF operations needed to drive the fission reactor. ICF yields energy in the form of MeV-range neutrons and ions, and thermal x-rays. These radiations, particularly the thermal x-rays, can deposit a pulse of energy in the wall of the ICF chamber, inducing loading by isochoric heating (i.e. at constant volume before the material can expand) or by ablation of material from the surface. The explosion of the hot ICF system, and the compression of any fill material in the chamber, may also result in direct mechanical loading by a blast wave (decaying shock) reaching the chamber wall. The chamber wall must be able to survive the repetitive loading events for long enough for the reactor to operate economically. It is thus necessary to understand the loading induced by ICF systems in possible chamber wall designs, and to predict the response and life time of the wall. Estimates are given for the loading induced in the wall armor of the fusion chamber caused by ablative thermal radiation from the fusion plasma and by the hydrodynamic shock. Taking a version of the LIFE design as an example, the ablation pressure was estimated to be {approx}0.6 GPa with an approximately exponential decay with time constant {approx}0.6 ns. Radiation hydrodynamics simulations suggested that ablation of the W armor should be negligible.

  3. I-NERI ANNUAL TECHNICAL PROGRESS REPORT: 2006-002-K, Separation of Fission Products from Molten LiCl-KCl Salt Used for Electrorefining of Metal Fuels

    SciTech Connect

    S. Frank

    2009-09-01

    An attractive alternative to the once-through disposal of electrorefiner salt is to selectively remove the active fission products from the salt and recycle the salt back to the electrorefiner (ER). This would allow salt reuse for some number of cycles before ultimate disposal of the salt in a ceramic waste form. Reuse of ER salt would, thus, greatly reduce the volume of ceramic waste produced during the pyroprocessing of spent nuclear fuel. This final portion of the joint I-NERI research project is to demonstrate the separation of fission products from molten ER salt by two methods previously selected during phase two (FY-08) of this project. The two methods selected were salt/zeolite contacting and rare-earth fission product precipitation by oxygen bubbling. The ER salt used in these tests came from the Mark-IV electrorefiner used to anodically dissolved driver fuel from the EBR-II reactor on the INL site. The tests were performed using the Hot Fuel Dissolution Apparatus (HFDA) located in the main cell of the Hot Fuels Examination Facility (HFEF) at the Materials and Fuels complex on the INL site. Results from these tests were evaluated during a joint meeting of KAERI and INL investigators to provide recommendations as to the future direction of fission product removal from electrorefiner salt that accumulate during spent fuel treatment. Additionally, work continued on kinetic measurements of surrogate quaternary salt systems to provide fundamental kinetics on the ion exchange system and to expand the equilibrium model system developed during the first two phases of this project. The specific objectives of the FY09 I-NERI research activities at the INL include the following: • Perform demonstration tests of the selected KAERI precipitation and INL salt/zeolite contacting processes for fission product removal using radioactive, fission product loaded ER salt • Continue kinetic studies of the quaternary Cs/Sr-LiCl-KCl system to determine the rate of ion

  4. Investigation of applications for high-power, self-critical fissioning uranium plasma reactors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rodgers, R. J.; Latham, T. S.; Krascella, N. L.

    1976-01-01

    Analytical studies were conducted to investigate potentially attractive applications for gaseous nuclear cavity reactors fueled by uranium hexafluoride and its decomposition products at temperatures of 2000 to 6000 K and total pressures of a few hundred atmospheres. Approximate operating conditions and performance levels for a class of nuclear reactors in which fission energy removal is accomplished principally by radiant heat transfer from the high temperature gaseous nuclear fuel to surrounding absorbing media were determined. The results show the radiant energy deposited in the absorbing media may be efficiently utilized in energy conversion system applications which include (1) a primary energy source for high thrust, high specific impulse space propulsion, (2) an energy source for highly efficient generation of electricity, and (3) a source of high intensity photon flux for heating working fluid gases for hydrogen production or MHD power extraction.

  5. Fission gas release restrictor for breached fuel rod

    DOEpatents

    Kadambi, N. Prasad; Tilbrook, Roger W.; Spencer, Daniel R.; Schwallie, Ambrose L.

    1986-01-01

    In the event of a breach in the cladding of a rod in an operating liquid metal fast breeder reactor, the rapid release of high-pressure gas from the fission gas plenum may result in a gas blanketing of the breached rod and rods adjacent thereto which impairs the heat transfer to the liquid metal coolant. In order to control the release rate of fission gas in the event of a breached rod, the substantial portion of the conventional fission gas plenum is formed as a gas bottle means which includes a gas pervious means in a small portion thereof. During normal reactor operation, as the fission gas pressure gradually increases, the gas pressure interiorly of and exteriorly of the gas bottle means equalizes. In the event of a breach in the cladding, the gas pervious means in the gas bottle means constitutes a sufficient restriction to the rapid flow of gas therethrough that under maximum design pressure differential conditions, the fission gas flow through the breach will not significantly reduce the heat transfer from the affected rod and adjacent rods to the liquid metal heat transfer fluid flowing therebetween.

  6. Photofission observations in reactor environments using selected fission-product yields

    SciTech Connect

    Gold, R.; Ruddy, F.H.; Roberts, J.H.

    1982-01-22

    A new method for the observation of photofission in reactor environments is advanced. It is based on the in-situ observation of fission product yield. In fact, at a given in-situ reactor location, the fission product yield is simply a weighted linear combination of the photofission product yield, Y/sub gamma/, and the neutron induced fission product yield, Y/sub n. The weight factors arising in this linear combination are the photofission fraction and neutron induced fission fraction, respectively. This method can be readily implemented with established techniques for measuring in-situ reactor fission product yield. For example, one can use the method based on simultaneous irradiation of radiometric (RM) and solid state track recorder (SSTR) fission monitors. The sensitivity and accuracy and current knowledge of fission product yields. Unique advantages of this method for reactor applications are emphasized.

  7. Fission induced swelling of U-Mo/Al dispersion fuel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Yeon Soo; Jeong, G. Y.; Park, J. M.; Robinson, A. B.

    2015-10-01

    Fission-induced swelling of U-Mo/Al dispersion fuel meat was measured using microscopy images obtained from post-irradiation examination. The data of reduced-size plate-type test samples and rod-type test samples were employed for this work. A model to predict the meat swelling of U-Mo/Al dispersion fuel was developed. This model is composed of several submodels including a model for interaction layer (IL) growth between U-Mo and Al matrix, a model for IL thickness to IL volume conversion, a correlation for the fission-induced swelling of U-Mo alloy particles, a correlation for the fission-induced swelling of IL, and models of U-Mo and Al consumption by IL growth. The model was validated using full-size plate data that were not included in the model development.

  8. Feasibility and Safety Assessment for Advanced Reactor Concepts Using Vented Fuel

    SciTech Connect

    Klein, Andrew; Matthews, Topher; Lenhof, Renae; Deason, Wesley; Harter, Jackson

    2015-01-16

    Recent interest in fast reactor technology has led to renewed analysis of past reactor concepts such as Gas Fast Reactors and Sodium Fast Reactors. In an effort to make these reactors more economic, the fuel is required to stay in the reactor for extended periods of time; the longer the fuel stays within the core, the more fertile material is converted into usable fissile material. However, as burnup of the fuel-rod increases, so does the internal pressure buildup due to gaseous fission products. In order to reach the 30 year lifetime requirements of some reactor designs, the fuel pins must have a vented-type design to allow the buildup of fission products to escape. The present work aims to progress the understanding of the feasibility and safety issues related to gas reactors that incorporate vented fuel. The work was separated into three different work-scopes: 1. Quantitatively determine fission gas release from uranium carbide in a representative helium cooled fast reactor; 2. Model the fission gas behavior, transport, and collection in a Fission Product Vent System; and, 3. Perform a safety analysis of the Fission Product Vent System. Each task relied on results from the previous task, culminating in a limited scope Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA) of the Fission Product Vent System. Within each task, many key parameters lack the fidelity needed for comprehensive or accurate analysis. In the process of completing each task, the data or methods that were lacking were identified and compiled in a Gap Analysis included at the end of the report.

  9. Fission gas release from oxide fuels at high burnups (AWBA development program)

    SciTech Connect

    Dollins, C.C.

    1981-02-01

    The steady state gas release, swelling and densification model previously developed for oxide fuels has been modified to accommodate the slow transients in temperature, temperature gradient, fission rate and pressure that are encountered in normal reactor operation. The gas release predictions made by the model were then compared to gas release data on LMFBR-EBRII fuels obtained by Dutt and Baker and reported by Meyer, Beyer, and Voglewede. Good agreement between the model and the data was found. A comparison between the model and three other sets of gas release data is also shown, again with good agreement.

  10. Measurement of fission gas release from irradiated U–Mo monolithic fuel samples

    SciTech Connect

    Burkes, Douglas E.; Casella, Amanda J.; Casella, Andrew M.; Luscher, Walter G.; Rice, Francine J.; Pool, Karl N.

    2015-06-01

    The uranium–molybdenum (U-Mo) alloy in a monolithic form has been proposed as one fuel design capable of converting some of the world’s highest power research reactors from the use of high enriched uranium (HEU) to low enriched uranium (LEU). One aspect of the fuel development and qualification process is to demonstrate appropriate understanding of the extent of fission product release from the fuel under anticipated service environments. An apparatus capable of heating post-irradiated small-scale samples cut from larger fuel segments according to specified thermal profiles under a controlled atmosphere has been installed into a hot cell. Results show that optimized experimental parameters to investigate fission product release from small samples have been established. Initial measurements conducted on aluminum alloy clad uranium–molybdenum monolithic fuel samples reveal three clear fission gas release events over the temperature range of 30-1000 °C. The mechanisms responsible for these events are discussed, and the results have been compared with available information in the literature.

  11. Measurement of Fission Gas Release from Irradiated U-Mo Monolithic Fuel Samples

    SciTech Connect

    Burkes, Douglas; Casella, Amanda J.; Casella, Andrew M.; Luscher, Walter G.; Rice, Francine; Pool, Karl N.

    2015-06-01

    The uranium-molybdenum (U-Mo) alloy in a monolithic form has been proposed as one fuel design capable of converting some of the world’s highest power research reactors from the use of high enriched uranium (HEU) to low enriched uranium (LEU). One aspect of the fuel development and qualification process is to demonstrate appropriate understanding of the extent of fission product release from the fuel under anticipated service environments. An apparatus capable of annealing post-irradiated small-scale samples cut from larger fuel segments according to specified thermal profiles under a controlled atmosphere has been installed into a hot cell. Results show that optimized experimental parameters to investigate fission product release from small samples have been established. Initial measurements conducted on aluminum alloy clad uranium-molybdenum monolithic fuel samples reveal three clear fission gas release events over the temperature range of 30-1050 C. The mechanisms responsible for these events are discussed, and the results have been compared with available information in literature.

  12. Measurement of fission gas release from irradiated U-Mo monolithic fuel samples

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burkes, Douglas E.; Casella, Amanda J.; Casella, Andrew M.; Luscher, Walter G.; Rice, Francine J.; Pool, Karl N.

    2015-06-01

    The uranium-molybdenum (U-Mo) alloy in a monolithic form has been proposed as one fuel design capable of converting some of the world's highest power research reactors from the use of high enriched uranium (HEU) to low enriched uranium (LEU). One aspect of the fuel development and qualification process is to demonstrate appropriate understanding of the extent of fission product release from the fuel under anticipated service environments. An apparatus capable of heating post-irradiated small-scale samples cut from larger fuel segments according to specified thermal profiles under a controlled atmosphere has been installed into a hot cell. Results show that optimized experimental parameters to investigate fission product release from small samples have been established. Initial measurements conducted on aluminum alloy clad uranium-molybdenum monolithic fuel samples reveal three clear fission gas release events over the temperature range of 30-1000 °C. The mechanisms responsible for these events are discussed, and the results have been compared with available information in the literature.

  13. Increasing Fuel Utilization of Breed and Burn Reactors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Di Sanzo, Christian Diego

    Breed and Burn reactors (B&B), also referred to Traveling Wave Reactors, are fast spectrum reactors that can be fed indefinitely with depleted uranium only, once criticality is achieved without the need for fuel reprocessing. Radiation damage to the fuel cladding limits the fuel utilization of B&B reactors to ˜ 18-20% FIMA (Fissions of Initial Metal Atoms) -- the minimum burnup required for sustaining the B&B mode of operation. The fuel discharged from this type of cores contain ˜ 10% fissile plutonium. Such a high plutonium content poses environmental and proliferation concerns, but makes it possible to utilize the fuel for further energy production. The objectives of the research reported in this dissertation are to analyze the fuel cycle of B&B reactors and study new strategies to extend the fuel utilization beyond ˜ 18-20% FIMA. First, the B&B reactor physics is examined while recycling the fuel every 20% FIMA via a limited separation processing, using either the melt refining or AIROX dry processes. It was found that the maximum attainable burnup varies from 54% to 58% FIMA -- depending on the recycling process and on the fraction of neutrons lost via leakage and reactivity control. In Chapter 3 the discharge fuel characteristics of B&B reactors operating at 20% FIMA and 55% FIMA is analyzed and compared. It is found that the 20% FIMA reactor discharges a fuel with about ˜ 80% fissile plutonium over total plutonium content. Subsequently a new strategy of minimal reconditioning, called double cladding is proposed to extend the fuel utilization in specifically designed second-tier reactors. It is found that with this strategy it is possible to increase fuel utilization to 30% in a sodium fast reactor and up to 40% when a subcritical B&B core is driven by an accelerator-driven spallation neutron source. Lastly, a fuel cycle using Pressurized Water Reactors (PWR) to reduce the plutonium content of discharged B&B reactors is analyzed. It was found that it is

  14. Nuclear data requirements for fission reactor neutronics calculations.

    SciTech Connect

    Finck, P.

    1998-06-29

    The paper discusses current European nuclear data measurement and evaluation requirements for fission reactor technology applications and problems involved in meeting the requirements. Reference is made to the NEA High Priority Nuclear Data Request List and to the production of the new JEFF-3 library of evaluated nuclear data. There are requirements for both differential (or basic) nuclear data measurements and for different types of integral measurement critical facility measurements and isotopic sample irradiation measurements. Cross-section adjustment procedures are being used to take into account the simpler types of integral measurement, and to define accuracy needs for evaluated nuclear data.

  15. On-site gamma-ray spectroscopic measurements of fission gas release in irradiated nuclear fuel.

    PubMed

    Matsson, I; Grapengiesser, B; Andersson, B

    2007-01-01

    An experimental, non-destructive in-pool, method for measuring fission gas release (FGR) in irradiated nuclear fuel has been developed. Using the method, a significant number of experiments have been performed in-pool at several nuclear power plants of the BWR type. The method utilises the 514 keV gamma-radiation from the gaseous fission product (85)Kr captured in the fuel rod plenum volume. A submergible measuring device (LOKET) consisting of an HPGe-detector and a collimator system was utilised allowing for single rod measurements on virtually all types of BWR fuel. A FGR database covering a wide range of burn-ups (up to average rod burn-up well above 60 MWd/kgU), irradiation history, fuel rod position in cross section and fuel designs has been compiled and used for computer code benchmarking, fuel performance analysis and feedback to reactor operators. Measurements clearly indicate the low FGR in more modern fuel designs in comparison to older fuel types. PMID:16949295

  16. Analyzing Losses: Transuranics into Waste and Fission Products into Recycled Fuel

    SciTech Connect

    Steven J. Piet; Nick R. Soelberg; Samuel E. Bays; Robert E. Cherry; Layne F. Pincock; Eric L. Shaber; Melissa C. Teague; Gregory M. Teske; Kurt G. Vedros; Candido Pereira; Denia Djokic

    2010-11-01

    All mass streams from separations and fuel fabrication are products that must meet criteria. Those headed for disposal must meet waste acceptance criteria (WAC) for the eventual disposal sites corresponding to their waste classification. Those headed for reuse must meet fuel or target impurity limits. A “loss” is any material that ends up where it is undesired. The various types of losses are linked in the sense that as the loss of transuranic (TRU) material into waste is reduced, often the loss or carryover of waste into TRU or uranium is increased. We have analyzed four separation options and two fuel fabrication options in a generic fuel cycle. The separation options are aqueous uranium extraction plus (UREX+1), electrochemical, Atomics International reduction oxidation separation (AIROX), and melt refining. UREX+1 and electrochemical are traditional, full separation techniques. AIROX and melt refining are taken as examples of limited separations, also known as minimum fuel treatment. The fuels are oxide and metal. To define a generic fuel cycle, a fuel recycling loop is fed from used light water reactor (LWR) uranium oxide fuel (UOX) at 51 MWth-day/kg-iHM burnup. The recycling loop uses a fast reactor with TRU conversion ratio (CR) of 0.50. Excess recovered uranium is put into storage. Only waste, not used fuel, is disposed – unless the impurities accumulate to a level so that it is impossible to make new fuel for the fast reactor. Impurities accumulate as dictated by separation removal and fission product generation. Our model approximates adjustment to fast reactor fuel stream blending of TRU and U products from incoming LWR UOX and recycling FR fuel to compensate for impurity accumulation by adjusting TRU:U ratios. Our mass flow model ignores postulated fuel impurity limits; we compare the calculated impurity values with those limits to identify elements of concern. AIROX and melt refining cannot be used to separate used LWR UOX-51 because they cannot

  17. Three-dimensional neutronics optimization of helium-cooled blanket for multi-functional experimental fusion-fission hybrid reactor (FDS-MFX)

    SciTech Connect

    Jiang, J.; Yuan, B.; Jin, M.; Wang, M.; Long, P.; Hu, L.

    2012-07-01

    Three-dimensional neutronics optimization calculations were performed to analyse the parameters of Tritium Breeding Ratio (TBR) and maximum average Power Density (PDmax) in a helium-cooled multi-functional experimental fusion-fission hybrid reactor named FDS (Fusion-Driven hybrid System)-MFX (Multi-Functional experimental) blanket. Three-stage tests will be carried out successively, in which the tritium breeding blanket, uranium-fueled blanket and spent-fuel-fueled blanket will be utilized respectively. In this contribution, the most significant and main goal of the FDS-MFX blanket is to achieve the PDmax of about 100 MW/m3 with self-sustaining tritium (TBR {>=} 1.05) based on the second-stage test with uranium-fueled blanket to check and validate the demonstrator reactor blanket relevant technologies based on the viable fusion and fission technologies. Four different enriched uranium materials were taken into account to evaluate PDmax in subcritical blanket: (i) natural uranium, (ii) 3.2% enriched uranium, (iii) 19.75% enriched uranium, and (iv) 64.4% enriched uranium carbide. These calculations and analyses were performed using a home-developed code VisualBUS and Hybrid Evaluated Nuclear Data Library (HENDL). The results showed that the performance of the blanket loaded with 64.4% enriched uranium was the most attractive and it could be promising to effectively obtain tritium self-sufficiency (TBR-1.05) and a high maximum average power density ({approx}100 MW/m{sup 3}) when the blanket was loaded with the mass of {sup 235}U about 1 ton. (authors)

  18. Venting of fission products and shielding in thermionic nuclear reactor systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Salmi, E. W.

    1972-01-01

    Most thermionic reactors are designed to allow the fission gases to escape out of the emitter. A scheme to allow the fission gases to escape is proposed. Because of the low activity of the fission products, this method should pose no radiation hazards.

  19. Nuclear reactor composite fuel assembly

    DOEpatents

    Burgess, Donn M.; Marr, Duane R.; Cappiello, Michael W.; Omberg, Ronald P.

    1980-01-01

    A core and composite fuel assembly for a liquid-cooled breeder nuclear reactor including a plurality of elongated coextending driver and breeder fuel elements arranged to form a generally polygonal bundle within a thin-walled duct. The breeder elements are larger in cross section than the driver elements, and each breeder element is laterally bounded by a number of the driver elements. Each driver element further includes structure for spacing the driver elements from adjacent fuel elements and, where adjacent, the thin-walled duct. A core made up of the fuel elements can advantageously include fissile fuel of only one enrichment, while varying the effective enrichment of any given assembly or core region, merely by varying the relative number and size of the driver and breeder elements.

  20. Fission product scrubbing system for a nuclear reactor

    SciTech Connect

    Leach, D.S.

    1986-09-09

    A fission product scrubbing system is described for a nuclear reactor including a containment building defining a containment space for accommodating reactor components, comprising (a) means defining a water tank in the containment building; (b) a dividing wall extending into the water tank for separating the water tank into a first and a second compartment; (c) means defining a collection plenum normally hermetically sealed from the containment space and the environment externally of the containment building; (d) means defining a communication passage in the dividing wall underneath the water level in the first and second compartments for maintaining communication between the water stored in the first and second compartments; (e) a standpipe extending from the containment space into the second compartment; (f) a vent pipe extending from the collection plenum into the environment externally of the containment building; and (g) a rupture disc mounted in the vent pipe for normally blocking communication between the collection plenum and the environment.

  1. A proposed standard on medical isotope production in fission reactors

    SciTech Connect

    Schenter, R. E.; Brown, G. J.; Holden, C. S.

    2006-07-01

    Authors Robert E. Sehenter, Garry Brown and Charles S. Holden argue that a Standard for 'Medical Isotope Production' is needed. Medical isotopes are becoming major components of application for the diagnosis and treatment of all the major diseases including all forms of cancer, heart disease, arthritis, Alzheimer's, among others. Current nuclear data to perform calculations is incomplete, dated or imprecise or otherwise flawed for many isotopes that could have significant applications in medicine. Improved data files will assist computational analyses to design means and methods for improved isotope production techniques in the fission reactor systems. Initial focus of the Standard is expected to be on neutron cross section and branching data for both fast and thermal reactor systems. Evaluated and reviewed tables giving thermal capture cross sections and resonance integrals for the major target and product medical isotopes would be the expected 'first start' for the 'Standard Working Group'. (authors)

  2. A fission fragment reactor concept for nuclear space propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suo-Anttila, A. J.; Parma, E. J.; Wright, S. A.; Vernon, M. E.; Pickard, P. S.

    1991-10-01

    Sandia National Laboratory (SNL) has proposed a new nuclear thermal propulsion concept that uses fission fragments to directly heat the propellant up to 1000 K or higher above the material temperatures. The concept offers significant advantages over traditional solid core nuclear rocket concepts because of higher propellant exit temperatures while at the same time providing for more reliable operation due to lower structure temperatures and lower power densities. The concept can be operated in either steady state or pulsed modes. The engine consists of tubular modules, each with its own pressure boundary and rocket nozzle. The steady state mode requires a large engine with a reflector for criticality, provides high thrust and high ISP. The pulse mode utilizes a driver reactor for criticality and can be considerably smaller with lower but scaleable thrust. The pulse mode does require an external heat radiator for reactor cooling, which limits its duty cycle.

  3. FUEL ELEMENT FOR NEUTRONIC REACTORS

    DOEpatents

    Evans, T.C.; Beasley, E.G.

    1961-01-17

    A fuel element for neutronic reactors, particularly the gas-cooled type of reactor, is described. The element comprises a fuel-bearing plate rolled to form a cylinder having a spiral passageway passing from its periphery to its center. In operation a coolant is admitted to the passageway at the periphery of the element, is passed through the spiral passageway, and emerges into a central channel defined by the inner turn of the rolled plate. The advantage of the element is that the fully heated coolant (i.e., coolant emerging into the central channel) is separated and thus insulated from the periphery of the element, which may be in contact with a low-temperature moderator, by the intermediate turns of the spiral fuel element.

  4. Fuel Cycle Performance of Thermal Spectrum Small Modular Reactors

    SciTech Connect

    Worrall, Andrew; Todosow, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Small modular reactors may offer potential benefits, such as enhanced operational flexibility. However, it is vital to understand the holistic impact of small modular reactors on the nuclear fuel cycle and fuel cycle performance. The focus of this paper is on the fuel cycle impacts of light water small modular reactors in a once-through fuel cycle with low-enriched uranium fuel. A key objective of this paper is to describe preliminary reactor core physics and fuel cycle analyses conducted in support of the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Nuclear Energy Fuel Cycle Options Campaign. Challenges with small modular reactors include: increased neutron leakage, fewer assemblies in the core (and therefore fewer degrees of freedom in the core design), complex enrichment and burnable absorber loadings, full power operation with inserted control rods, the potential for frequent load-following operation, and shortened core height. Each of these will impact the achievable discharge burn-up in the reactor and the fuel cycle performance. This paper summarizes the results of an expert elicitation focused on developing a list of the factors relevant to small modular reactor fuel, core, and operation that will impact fuel cycle performance. Preliminary scoping analyses were performed using a regulatory-grade reactor core simulator. The hypothetical light water small modular reactor considered in these preliminary scoping studies is a cartridge type one-batch core with 4.9% enrichment. Some core parameters, such as the size of the reactor and general assembly layout, are similar to an example small modular reactor concept from industry. The high-level issues identified and preliminary scoping calculations in this paper are intended to inform on potential fuel cycle impacts of one-batch thermal spectrum SMRs. In particular, this paper highlights the impact of increased neutron leakage and reduced number of batches on the achievable burn-up of the reactor. Fuel cycle performance

  5. Performance of low smeared density sodium-cooled fast reactor metal fuel

    SciTech Connect

    Porter, D. L.; H. J. M. Chichester; Medvedev, P. G.; Hayes, S. L.; Teague, M. C.

    2015-06-17

    An experiment was performed in the Experimental Breeder Rector-II (EBR-II) in the 1990s to show that metallic fast reactor fuel could be used in reactors with a single, once-through core. To prove the long duration, high burnup, high neutron exposure capability an experiment where the fuel pin was designed with a very large fission gas plenum and very low fuel smeared density (SD). The experiment, X496, operated to only 8.3 at. % burnup because the EBR-II reactor was scheduled for shut-down at that time. Many of the examinations of the fuel pins only funded recently with the resurgence of reactor designs using very high-burnup fuel. The results showed that, despite the low smeared density of 59% the fuel swelled radially to contact the cladding, fission gas release appeared to be slightly higher than demonstrated in conventional 75%SD fuel tests and axial growth was about the same as 75% SD fuel. There were axial positions in some of the fuel pins which showed evidence of fuel restructuring and an absence of fission products with low metaling points and gaseous precursors (Cs and Rb). Lastly, a model to investigate whether these areas may have overheated due to a loss of bond sodium indicates that it is a possible explanation for the fuel restructuring and something to be considered for fuel performance modeling of low SD fuel.

  6. Performance of low smeared density sodium-cooled fast reactor metal fuel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Porter, D. L.; Chichester, H. J. M.; Medvedev, P. G.; Hayes, S. L.; Teague, M. C.

    2015-10-01

    An experiment was performed in the Experimental Breeder Rector-II (EBR-II) in the 1990s to show that metallic fast reactor fuel could be used in reactors with a single, once-through core. To prove the long duration, high burnup, high neutron exposure capability an experiment where the fuel pin was designed with a very large fission gas plenum and very low fuel smeared density (SD). The experiment, X496, operated to only 8.3 at.% burnup because the EBR-II reactor was scheduled for shut-down at that time. Many of the examinations of the fuel pins only funded recently with the resurgence of reactor designs using very high-burnup fuel. The results showed that, despite the low smeared density of 59% the fuel swelled radially to contact the cladding, fission gas release appeared to be slightly higher than demonstrated in conventional 75%SD fuel tests and axial growth was about the same as 75% SD fuel. There were axial positions in some of the fuel pins which showed evidence of fuel restructuring and an absence of fission products with low melting points and gaseous precursors (Cs and Rb). A model to investigate whether these areas may have overheated due to a loss of bond sodium indicates that it is a possible explanation for the fuel restructuring and something to be considered for fuel performance modeling of low SD fuel.

  7. Performance of Low Smeared Density Sodium-cooled Fast Reactor Metal Fuel

    SciTech Connect

    Porter, D. L.; H. J. M. Chichester; Medvedev, P. G.; Hayes, S. L.; Teague, M. C.

    2015-10-01

    An experiment was performed in the Experimental Breeder Rector-II (EBR-II) in the 1990s to show that metallic fast reactor fuel could be used in reactors with a single, once-through core. To prove the long duration, high burnup, high neutron exposure capability an experiment where the fuel pin was designed with a very large fission gas plenum and very low fuel smeared density (SD). The experiment, X496, operated to only 8.3 at. % burnup because the EBR-II reactor was scheduled for shut-down at that time. Many of the examinations of the fuel pins only funded recently with the resurgence of reactor designs using very high-burnup fuel. The results showed that, despite the low smeared density of 59% the fuel swelled radially to contact the cladding, fission gas release appeared to be slightly higher than demonstrated in conventional 75%SD fuel tests and axial growth was about the same as 75% SD fuel. There were axial positions in some of the fuel pins which showed evidence of fuel restructuring and an absence of fission products with low metaling points and gaseous precursors (Cs and Rb). A model to investigate whether these areas may have overheated due to a loss of bond sodium indicates that it is a possible explanation for the fuel restructuring and something to be considered for fuel performance modeling of low SD fuel.

  8. On the combination of delayed neutron and delayed gamma techniques for fission rate measurement in nuclear fuel

    SciTech Connect

    Perret, G.; Jordan, K. A.

    2011-07-01

    Novel techniques to measure newly induced fissions in spent fuel after re-irradiation at low power have been developed and tested at the Proteus zero-power research reactor. The two techniques are based on the detection of high energy gamma-rays emitted by short-lived fission products and delayed neutrons. The two techniques relate the measured signals to the total fission rate, the isotopic composition of the fuel, and nuclear data. They can be combined to derive better estimates on each of these parameters. This has potential for improvement in many areas. Spent fuel characterisation and safeguard applications can benefit from these techniques for non-destructive assay of plutonium content. Another application of choice is the reduction of uncertainties on nuclear data. As a first application of the combination of the delayed neutron and gamma measurement techniques, this paper shows how to reduce the uncertainties on the relative abundances of the longest delayed neutron group for thermal fissions in {sup 235}U, {sup 239}Pu and fast fissions in {sup 238}U. The proposed experiments are easily achievable in zero-power research reactors using fresh UO{sub 2} and MOX fuel and do not require fast extraction systems. The relative uncertainties (1{sigma}) on the relative abundances are expected to be reduced from 13% to 4%, 16% to 5%, and 38% to 12% for {sup 235}U, {sup 238}U and {sup 239}Pu, respectively. (authors)

  9. Design of the Advanced Gas Reactor Fuel Experiments for Irradiation in the Advanced Test Reactor

    SciTech Connect

    S. Blaine Grover

    2005-10-01

    The United States Department of Energy’s Advanced Gas Reactor (AGR) Fuel Development and Qualification Program will be irradiating eight particle fuel tests in the Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) located at the newly formed Idaho National Laboratory (INL) to support development of the next generation Very High Temperature Reactor (VHTR) in the United States. The ATR has a long history of irradiation testing in support of reactor development and the INL has been designated as the new United States Department of Energy’s lead laboratory for nuclear energy development. These AGR fuel experiments will be irradiated over the next ten years to demonstrate and qualify new particle fuel for use in high temperature gas reactors. The experiments will be irradiated in an inert sweep gas atmosphere with on-line temperature monitoring and control combined with on-line fission product monitoring of the sweep gas. The final design phase has just been completed on the first experiment (AGR-1) in this series and the support systems and fission product monitoring system that will monitor and control the experiment during irradiation. This paper discusses the development of the experimental hardware and support system designs and the status of the experiment.

  10. (COMEDIE program review and fission product transport in MHTGR reactor)

    SciTech Connect

    Stansfield, O.M.

    1990-03-15

    The subcontract between Martin Marietta Energy Systems, Inc., and the CEA provides for the refurbishment of the high pressure COMEDIE test loop in the SILOE reactor and a series of experiments to characterize fission product lift-off from MHTGR heat exchanger surfaces under several depressurization accident scenarios. The data will contribute to the validation of models and codes used to predict fission product transport in the MHTGR. In the meeting at CEA headquarters in Paris the program schedule and preparation for the DCAA and Quality Assurance audits were discussed. Long-range interest in expanded participation in the gas-cooled reactor technology Umbrella Agreement was also expressed by the CEA. At the CENG, in Grenoble, technical details on the loop design, fabrication components, development of test procedures, and preparation for the DOE quality assurance (QA) audit in May were discussed. After significant delays in CY 1989 it appears that good progress is being made in CY 1990 and the first major test will be initiated by December. An extensive list of agreements and commitments was generated to facilitate the coordination and planning of future work. 2 figs., 2 tabs.

  11. Neutronics, reactor systems and fuels for transmutation

    SciTech Connect

    Warin, D.; Zaetta, A.; Varaine, F.; Grouiller, J. P.; Pillon, S.

    2006-07-01

    The purpose of transmutation is to reduce the mass and the radiotoxicity inventories of Minor Actinides and Long-Lived Fission Products of nuclear waste. In France, the law voted in 1991 for waste management has requested in particular the study of solutions and processes on the subject of transmutation. This review gives conclusions, at the end of the 15 year research period defined by the law, on the scientific and technical feasibility of transmutation based on neutronic aspects, reactor systems and possible fuels, from the CEA point of view. Important results are now available concerning the possibility of significantly reducing the quantity and the radiotoxicity of long-lived waste in association with a sustainable development of nuclear energy. As France has confirmed its long-term approach to nuclear energy, the most effective implementation of (recycling-)transmutation of Minor Actinides other than Plutonium and Uranium depends on the fast neutron GEN IV systems which are designed to recycle and manage their own actinides. The perspective to deploy a first series of such systems around 2040 supports the idea that progress is being made: the nuclear long-term waste would only be made up of Fission Products, whose radio toxicity considerably drops within a few hundred years. Future work will deal with pre industrial demonstrations of transmutation. (authors)

  12. Application of U10Mo Fuel for Space Fission Power Applications - White Paper

    SciTech Connect

    James Werner

    2014-07-01

    A novel reactor design has been proposed for space applications to provide hundreds of watts to one or two kilowatts of electrical power. The reactor concept proposed uses the alloy U10Mo (uranium with 10 weight percent molybdenum) as the fuel. This fuel was selected for its high uranium density, high thermal conductivity, and excellent neutronic characteristics for this application. The core is surrounded by a BeO reflector. Heat is carried from the reactor by liquid metal heat pipes. A shadow shield of LiH tungsten is also utilized to reduce the neutron and gamma radiation dose to the rest of the spacecraft. This design represents a best effort at minimizing the complexity of the fission system and reducing the mass of the system. The compact nature of the block UMo core and BeO radial reflector allows the reactor diameter to be as small as practical while still meeting the neutronic and thermal power demands. This directly results in a reduced shield mass since the reactor diameter dictates the footprint of the radiation shield. The use of heat pipes offers a straightforward primary heat transport approach using proven liquid-metal heat pipe technology. Further, the elimination of a liquid core coolant system heat transport components, both at the reactor side and radiator side, contributes to reducing the total part-count and lowering system mass. The proposed reactor is using a fuel that is being developed by DOE, but there are significant differences in the fuels enrichment, operating conditions and the physical shape of the fuel itself. This paper attempts to highlight some of the basic consideration and needs that would be expected to be met in developing this fuel and qualifying it for use.

  13. DESTRUCTIVE EXAMINATION OF 3-CYCLE LWR (LIGHT WATER REACTOR) FUEL RODS FROM TURKEY POINT UNIT 3 FOR THE CLIMAX - SPENT FUEL TEST

    SciTech Connect

    ATKIN SD

    1981-06-01

    The destructive examination results of five light water reactor rods from the Turkey Point Unit 3 reactor are presented. The examinations included fission gas collection and analyses, burnup and hydrogen analyses, and a metallographic evaluation of the fuel, cladding, oxide, and hydrides. The rods exhibited a low fission gas release with all other results appearing representative for pressurized water reator fuel rods with similar burnups (28 GWd/MTU) and operating histories.

  14. Measurement of fission gas release from irradiated Usbnd Mo dispersion fuel samples

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burkes, Douglas E.; Casella, Amanda J.; Casella, Andrew M.

    2016-09-01

    The uranium-molybdenum (Usbnd Mo) alloy dispersed in an Alsbnd Si matrix has been proposed as one fuel design capable of converting some of the world's highest power research reactors from the use of high enriched uranium (HEU) to low enriched uranium (LEU). One aspect of the fuel development and qualification process is to demonstrate appropriate understanding of the extent of fission product release from the fuel under anticipated service environments. In this paper, two irradiated samples containing 53.9 vol% U-7wt% Mo fuel particles dispersed in an Al-2wt% Si matrix were subjected to specified thermal profiles under a controlled atmosphere using a thermogravimetric/differential thermal analyzer coupled with a mass spectrometer inside a hot cell. Measurements revealed three distinct fission gas release events for the samples from 400 to 700 °C, as well as a number of minor fission gas releases below and above this temperature range. The mechanisms responsible for these events are discussed, and the results have been compared with available information in the literature with exceptional agreement.

  15. Separation and Recovery of Uranium Metal from Spent Light Water Reactor Fuel via Electrolytic Reduction and Electrorefining

    SciTech Connect

    S. D. Herrmann; S. X. Li

    2010-09-01

    A series of bench-scale experiments was performed in a hot cell at Idaho National Laboratory to demonstrate the separation and recovery of uranium metal from spent light water reactor (LWR) oxide fuel. The experiments involved crushing spent LWR fuel to particulate and separating it from its cladding. Oxide fuel particulate was then converted to metal in a series of six electrolytic reduction runs that were performed in succession with a single salt loading of molten LiCl – 1 wt% Li2O at 650 °C. Analysis of salt samples following the series of electrolytic reduction runs identified the diffusion of select fission products from the spent fuel to the molten salt electrolyte. The extents of metal oxide conversion in the post-test fuel were also quantified, including a nominal 99.7% conversion of uranium oxide to metal. Uranium metal was then separated from the reduced LWR fuel in a series of six electrorefining runs that were performed in succession with a single salt loading of molten LiCl-KCl-UCl3 at 500 °C. Analysis of salt samples following the series of electrorefining runs identified additional partitioning of fission products into the molten salt electrolyte. Analyses of the separated uranium metal were performed, and its decontamination factors were determined.

  16. Fuel Summary Report: Shippingport Light Water Breeder Reactor - Rev. 2

    SciTech Connect

    Olson, Gail Lynn; Mc Cardell, Richard Keith; Illum, Douglas Brent

    2002-09-01

    The Shippingport Light Water Breeder Reactor (LWBR) was developed by Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory to demonstrate the potential of a water-cooled, thorium oxide fuel cycle breeder reactor. The LWBR core operated from 1977-82 without major incident. The fuel and fuel components suffered minimal damage during operation, and the reactor testing was deemed successful. Extensive destructive and nondestructive postirradiation examinations confirmed that the fuel was in good condition with minimal amounts of cladding deformities and fuel pellet cracks. Fuel was placed in wet storage upon arrival at the Expended Core Facility, then dried and sent to the Idaho Nuclear Technology and Engineering Center for underground dry storage. It is likely that the fuel remains in good condition at its current underground dry storage location at the Idaho Nuclear Technology and Engineering Center. Reports show no indication of damage to the core associated with shipping, loading, or storage.

  17. Fuel performance models for high-temperature gas-cooled reactor core design

    SciTech Connect

    Stansfield, O.M.; Simon, W.A.; Baxter, A.M.

    1983-09-01

    Mechanistic fuel performance models are used in high-temperature gas-cooled reactor core design and licensing to predict failure and fission product release. Fuel particles manufactured with defective or missing SiC, IPyC, or fuel dispersion in the buffer fail at a level of less than 5 x 10/sup -4/ fraction. These failed particles primarily release metallic fission products because the OPyC remains intact on 90% of the particles and retains gaseous isotopes. The predicted failure of particles using performance models appears to be conservative relative to operating reactor experience.

  18. NUCLEAR REACTOR FUEL ELEMENT ASSEMBLY

    DOEpatents

    Stengel, F.G.

    1963-12-24

    A method of fabricating nuclear reactor fuel element assemblies having a plurality of longitudinally extending flat fuel elements in spaced parallel relation to each other to form channels is presented. One side of a flat side plate is held contiguous to the ends of the elements and a welding means is passed along the other side of the platertransverse to the direction of the longitudinal extension of the elements. The setting and speed of travel of the welding means is set to cause penetration of the side plate with welds at bridge the gap in each channel between adjacent fuel elements with a weld-through bubble of predetermined size. The fabrication of a high strength, dependable fuel element is provided, and the reduction of distortion and high production costs are facilitated by this method. (AEC)

  19. A fuel for sub-critical fast reactor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moiseenko, V. E.; Chernitskiy, S. V.; Ågren, O.; Noack, K.

    2012-06-01

    Along with the problem of the nuclear waste transmutation, the problem of minimization of waste production is of current interest. It is not possible to eliminate production of waste at a nuclear power plant, but, as is shown in this report, it is in principle possible to arrange a fuel composition with no net production of transuranic elements. The idea is to find the transuranic elements composition to which the depleted uranium is continuously supplied during frequent reprocessing, and amount of each other transuranic fuel component remains unchanged in time. For each transuranic component, the balance is achieved by equating burnup and production rates. The production is due to neutron capture by the neighboring lighter isotope and subsequent beta-decay. The burnup includes fission, neutron capture and decays. For the calculations a simplified burnup model which accounts for 9 isotopes of uranium, neptunium, plutonium and americium is used. The calculated fuel composition consists mainly of uranium with minority of plutonium isotopes. Such a fuel, after usage in a sub-critical fast reactor, should be reprocessed. The fission product content increases during burnup, representing a net production of waste, while the transuranic elements and 238U should be recycled into a new fuel. For such a fuel cycle, the net consumption is only for 238U, and the net waste production is just fission products.

  20. A fuel for sub-critical fast reactor

    SciTech Connect

    Moiseenko, V. E.; Chernitskiy, S. V.; Agren, O.; Noack, K.

    2012-06-19

    Along with the problem of the nuclear waste transmutation, the problem of minimization of waste production is of current interest. It is not possible to eliminate production of waste at a nuclear power plant, but, as is shown in this report, it is in principle possible to arrange a fuel composition with no net production of transuranic elements. The idea is to find the transuranic elements composition to which the depleted uranium is continuously supplied during frequent reprocessing, and amount of each other transuranic fuel component remains unchanged in time. For each transuranic component, the balance is achieved by equating burnup and production rates. The production is due to neutron capture by the neighboring lighter isotope and subsequent beta-decay. The burnup includes fission, neutron capture and decays. For the calculations a simplified burnup model which accounts for 9 isotopes of uranium, neptunium, plutonium and americium is used. The calculated fuel composition consists mainly of uranium with minority of plutonium isotopes. Such a fuel, after usage in a sub-critical fast reactor, should be reprocessed. The fission product content increases during burnup, representing a net production of waste, while the transuranic elements and {sup 238}U should be recycled into a new fuel. For such a fuel cycle, the net consumption is only for 238U, and the net waste production is just fission products.

  1. Spark Plasma Sintering of Fuel Cermets for Nuclear Reactor Applications

    SciTech Connect

    Yang Zhong; Robert C. O'Brien; Steven D. Howe; Nathan D. Jerred; Kristopher Schwinn; Laura Sudderth; Joshua Hundley

    2011-11-01

    The feasibility of the fabrication of tungsten based nuclear fuel cermets via Spark Plasma Sintering (SPS) is investigated in this work. CeO2 is used to simulate fuel loadings of UO2 or Mixed-Oxide (MOX) fuels within tungsten-based cermets due to the similar properties of these materials. This study shows that after a short time sintering, greater than 90 % density can be achieved, which is suitable to possess good strength as well as the ability to contain fission products. The mechanical properties and the densities of the samples are also investigated as functions of the applied pressures during the sintering.

  2. Investigation of the Feasibility of Utilizing Gamma Emission Computed Tomography in Evaluating Fission Product Migration in Irradiated TRISO Fuel Experiments

    SciTech Connect

    Jason M. Harp; Paul A. Demkowicz

    2014-10-01

    In the High Temperature Gas-Cooled Reactor (HTGR) the TRISO particle fuel serves as the primary fission product containment. However the large number of TRISO particles present in proposed HTGRs dictates that there will be a small fraction (~10-4 to 10-5) of as manufactured and in-pile particle failures that will lead to some fission product release. The matrix material surrounding the TRISO particles in fuel compacts and the structural graphite holding the TRISO particles in place can also serve as sinks for containing any released fission products. However data on the migration of solid fission products through these materials is lacking. One of the primary goals of the AGR-3/4 experiment is to study fission product migration from failed TRISO particles in prototypic HTGR components such as structural graphite and compact matrix material. In this work, the potential for a Gamma Emission Computed Tomography (GECT) technique to non-destructively examine the fission product distribution in AGR-3/4 components and other irradiation experiments is explored. Specifically, the feasibility of using the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) Hot Fuels Examination Facility (HFEF) Precision Gamma Scanner (PGS) system for this GECT application is considered. To test the feasibility, the response of the PGS system to idealized fission product distributions has been simulated using Monte Carlo radiation transport simulations. Previous work that applied similar techniques during the AGR-1 experiment will also be discussed as well as planned uses for the GECT technique during the post irradiation examination of the AGR-2 experiment. The GECT technique has also been applied to other irradiated nuclear fuel systems that were currently available in the HFEF hot cell including oxide fuel pins, metallic fuel pins, and monolithic plate fuel.

  3. Validation of the neutron and gamma fields in the JSI TRIGA reactor using in-core fission and ionization chambers.

    PubMed

    Žerovnik, Gašper; Kaiba, Tanja; Radulović, Vladimir; Jazbec, Anže; Rupnik, Sebastjan; Barbot, Loïc; Fourmentel, Damien; Snoj, Luka

    2015-02-01

    CEA developed fission chambers and ionization chambers were utilized at the JSI TRIGA reactor to measure neutron and gamma fields. The measured axial fission rate distributions in the reactor core are generally in good agreement with the calculated values using the Monte Carlo model of the reactor thus verifying both the computational model and the fission chambers. In future, multiple absolutely calibrated fission chambers could be used for more accurate online reactor thermal power monitoring. PMID:25479432

  4. A fission-fusion hybrid reactor in steady-state L-mode tokamak configuration with natural uranium

    SciTech Connect

    Reed, Mark; Parker, Ronald R.; Forget, Benoit

    2012-06-19

    This work develops a conceptual design for a fusion-fission hybrid reactor operating in steady-state L-mode tokamak configuration with a subcritical natural or depleted uranium pebble bed blanket. A liquid lithium-lead alloy breeds enough tritium to replenish that consumed by the D-T fusion reaction. The fission blanket augments the fusion power such that the fusion core itself need not have a high power gain, thus allowing for fully non-inductive (steady-state) low confinement mode (L-mode) operation at relatively small physical dimensions. A neutron transport Monte Carlo code models the natural uranium fission blanket. Maximizing the fission power gain while breeding sufficient tritium allows for the selection of an optimal set of blanket parameters, which yields a maximum prudent fission power gain of approximately 7. A 0-D tokamak model suffices to analyze approximate tokamak operating conditions. This fission blanket would allow the fusion component of a hybrid reactor with the same dimensions as ITER to operate in steady-state L-mode very comfortably with a fusion power gain of 6.7 and a thermal fusion power of 2.1 GW. Taking this further can determine the approximate minimum scale for a steady-state L-mode tokamak hybrid reactor, which is a major radius of 5.2 m and an aspect ratio of 2.8. This minimum scale device operates barely within the steady-state L-mode realm with a thermal fusion power of 1.7 GW. Basic thermal hydraulic analysis demonstrates that pressurized helium could cool the pebble bed fission blanket with a flow rate below 10 m/s. The Brayton cycle thermal efficiency is 41%. This reactor, dubbed the Steady-state L-mode non-Enriched Uranium Tokamak Hybrid (SLEUTH), with its very fast neutron spectrum, could be superior to pure fission reactors in terms of breeding fissile fuel and transmuting deleterious fission products. It would likely function best as a prolific plutonium breeder, and the plutonium it produces could actually be more

  5. A fission-fusion hybrid reactor in steady-state L-mode tokamak configuration with natural uranium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reed, Mark; Parker, Ronald R.; Forget, Benoit

    2012-06-01

    This work develops a conceptual design for a fusion-fission hybrid reactor operating in steady-state L-mode tokamak configuration with a subcritical natural or depleted uranium pebble bed blanket. A liquid lithium-lead alloy breeds enough tritium to replenish that consumed by the D-T fusion reaction. The fission blanket augments the fusion power such that the fusion core itself need not have a high power gain, thus allowing for fully non-inductive (steady-state) low confinement mode (L-mode) operation at relatively small physical dimensions. A neutron transport Monte Carlo code models the natural uranium fission blanket. Maximizing the fission power gain while breeding sufficient tritium allows for the selection of an optimal set of blanket parameters, which yields a maximum prudent fission power gain of approximately 7. A 0-D tokamak model suffices to analyze approximate tokamak operating conditions. This fission blanket would allow the fusion component of a hybrid reactor with the same dimensions as ITER to operate in steady-state L-mode very comfortably with a fusion power gain of 6.7 and a thermal fusion power of 2.1 GW. Taking this further can determine the approximate minimum scale for a steady-state L-mode tokamak hybrid reactor, which is a major radius of 5.2 m and an aspect ratio of 2.8. This minimum scale device operates barely within the steady-state L-mode realm with a thermal fusion power of 1.7 GW. Basic thermal hydraulic analysis demonstrates that pressurized helium could cool the pebble bed fission blanket with a flow rate below 10 m/s. The Brayton cycle thermal efficiency is 41%. This reactor, dubbed the Steady-state L-mode non-Enriched Uranium Tokamak Hybrid (SLEUTH), with its very fast neutron spectrum, could be superior to pure fission reactors in terms of breeding fissile fuel and transmuting deleterious fission products. It would likely function best as a prolific plutonium breeder, and the plutonium it produces could actually be more

  6. Metallic Fast Reactor Fuel Fabrication for Global Nuclear Energy Partnership

    SciTech Connect

    Douglas E. Burkes; Randall S. Fielding; Douglas L. Porter

    2009-07-01

    Fast reactors are once again being considered for nuclear power generation, in addition to transmutation of long-lived fission products resident in spent nuclear fuels. This re-consideration follows with intense developmental programs for both fuel and reactor design. One of the two leading candidates for next generation fast reactor fuel is metal alloys, resulting primarily from the successes achieved in the 1960s to early 1990s with both the experimental breeding reactor-II and the fast flux test facility. The goal of the current program is to develop and qualify a nuclear fuel system that performs all of the functions of a conventional, fast-spectrum nuclear fuel while destroying recycled actinides, thereby closing the nuclear fuel cycle. In order to meet this goal, the program must develop efficient and safe fuel fabrication processes designed for remote operation. This paper provides an overview of advanced casting processes investigated in the past, and the development of a gaseous diffusion calculation that demonstrates how straightforward process parameter modification can mitigate the loss of volatile minor actinides in the metal alloy melt.

  7. Thermophysical properties of reactor fuels

    SciTech Connect

    Leibowitz, L.

    1981-01-01

    A review is presented of the literature on the enthalpy of uranium, thorium, and plutonium oxide and an approach is described for calculating the vapor pressure and gaseous composition of reactor fuel. In these calculations, thermodynamic functions of gas phase molecular species (obtained from matrix-isolation spectroscopy) are employed in conjunction with condensed phase therodynamics. A summary is presented of the status of this work.

  8. Advances in Development of the Fission Product Extraction Process for the Separation of Cesium and Strontium from Spent Nuclear Fuel

    SciTech Connect

    JAck D. Law

    2007-09-01

    The Fission Product Extraction (FPEX) Process is being developed as part of the United States Department of Energy Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative for the simultaneous separation of cesium (Cs) and strontium (Sr) from spent light water reactor (LWR) fuel. Separation of the Cs and Sr will reduce the short-term heat load in a geological repository, and when combined with the separation of americium (Am) and curium (Cm), could increase the capacity of the geological repository by a factor of approximately 100. The FPEX process is based on two highly specific extractants: 4,4',(5')-Di-(t-butyldicyclo-hexano)-18-crown-6 (DtBuCH18C6) and Calix[4]arene-bis-(tert-octylbenzo-crown-6) (BOBCalixC6). The DtBuCH18C6 extractant is selective for strontium and the BOBCalixC6 extractant is selective for cesium. Results of flowsheet testing of the FPEX process with a simulated feed solution in 3.3-cm centrifugal contactors are detailed. Removal efficiencies, distribution coefficient data, coextraction of metals, and process hydrodynamic performance are discussed along with recommendations for future flowsheet testing with actual spent nuclear fuel.

  9. Release of fission tritium through Zircaloy-4 fuel cladding tubes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andrieu, C.; Ravel, S.; Ducros, G.; Lemaignan, C.

    2005-12-01

    In order to analyse a potential fission tritium migration from the fuel to the coolant trough the cladding, two experiments of effusion and permeation types, have been performed on 3H release from Zry4 claddings. During the tests at 350 °C, the 3H released activities were measured at regular intervals. In both cases, very fast release rates have been obtained in the first few days, followed by more steady release rates. A correlation has been obtained between the 3H releases measured and the oxide formation kinetics after the initial burst. A mechanism of 3H transport is proposed based on the behaviour of the precipitates during the oxidation of Zry4. Applied to the conditions of PWR fuels, the measurements performed and the mechanisms considered lead to an insignificant contribution of fission tritium permeation to the total inventory of the tritium in the primary coolant.

  10. Recoil release of fission products from nuclear fuel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wise, C.

    1985-10-01

    An analytical approximation is developed for calculating recoil release from nuclear fuel into gas filled interspaces. This expression is evaluated for a number of interspace geometries and shown to be generally accurate to within about 10% by comparison with numerical calculations. The results are applied to situations of physical interest and it is demonstrated that recoil can be important when modelling fission product release from low temperature CAGR pin failures. Furthermore, recoil can contribute significantly in experiments on low temperature fission product release, particularly where oxidation enhancement of this release is measured by exposing the fuel to CO 2. The calculations presented here are one way of allowing for this, other methods are suggested.