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Research Papers

Monte Carlo Simulation of Inclined Reactivity Control Rod and Boron Poisoning for the Canadian-SCWR Supercell

[+] Author and Article Information
Haykel Raouafi

Department of Engineering Physics,
Nuclear Engineering Institute, École Polytechnique de Montréal,
C.P. 6079, succ. Centre-ville, Montréal, QC H3C 3A7, Canada
e-mail: haykel.raouafi@polymtl.ca

Guy Marleau

Department of Engineering Physics,
Nuclear Engineering Institute, École Polytechnique de Montréal,
C.P. 6079, succ. Centre-ville, Montréal, QC H3C 3A7, Canada
e-mail: guy.marleau@polymtl.ca

Manuscript received March 27, 2015; final manuscript received June 17, 2015; published online February 29, 2016. Assoc. Editor: Thomas Schulenberg.

ASME J of Nuclear Rad Sci 2(2), 021015 (Feb 29, 2016) (7 pages) Paper No: NERS-15-1032; doi: 10.1115/1.4030895 History: Received March 27, 2015; Accepted June 22, 2015

The Canadian-SCWR is a heavy-water moderated supercritical light-water-cooled pressure tube reactor. It is fueled with CANada deuterium uranium (CANDU)-type bundles (62 elements) containing a mixture of thorium and plutonium oxides. Because the pressure tubes are vertical, the upper region of the core is occupied by the inlet and outlet headers render it nearly impossible to insert vertical control rods in the core from the top. Insertion of solid control devices from the bottom of the core is possible, but this option was initially rejected because it was judged impractical. The option that is proposed here is to use inclined control rods that are inserted from the side of the reactor and benefit from the gravitational pull exerted on them. The objective of this paper is to evaluate the neutronic performance of the proposed inclined control rods. To achieve this goal, we first develop a three-dimensional (3D) supercell model to simulate an inclined rod located between four vertical fuel cells. Simulations are performed with the SERPENT Monte Carlo code at five axial positions in the reactor to evaluate the effect of coolant temperature and density, which varies substantially with core height, on the reactivity worth of the control rods. The effect of modifying the inclination and spatial position of the control rod inside the supercell is then analyzed. Finally, we evaluate how boron poisoning of the moderator affects their effectiveness.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Cross-sectional view of the 62-elements Canadian-SCWR fuel cell cluster

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Fig. 2

3D Canadian-SCWR supercell (left) and the bottom x−y plane two-dimensional projection (right)

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Fig. 3

3D geometry of control rod (right) and its solid guide tube (left)

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Fig. 4

Boundary conditions: (a) periodic boundary conditions and (b) reflective boundary conditions

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Fig. 5

Effect of inclination of control rod on multiplication factor (keff): (a) keff variations with inclination angle, (b) keff variations with control rod volume (0–45 deg inclination), and (c) keff variations with control rod volume (90–45 deg inclination)

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Fig. 6

Effect of axial position of control rod on multiplication factor keff: (a) as a function of displacement along the y-axis, (b) as a function of displacement along the z-axis, and (c) as a function of rod volume inside the supercell

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Fig. 7

Effect of boron poisoning on multiplication factor keff: (a) keff with control rod inserted and (b) keff with control rod withdrawn

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