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research-article

Fuel Assembly Concept of the Canadian Supercritical Water-Cooled Reactor

[+] Author and Article Information
Metin Yetisir

Chalk River Nuclear Laboratories Stn 42 Chalk River, ON K0J 1J0 Canada
metin.yetisir@cnl.ca

Holly Hamilton

Chalk River Laboratories 286 Plant Road Chalk River, ON K0J 1J0 Canada
hollyandyvonne@gmail.com

Rui Xu

Chalk River Laboratories 286 Plant Road Chalk River, ON K0J 1J0 Canada
rui.xu@cnl.ca

Michel Gaudet

Chalk River Laboratories 286 Plant Road Chalk River, ON K0J 1J0 Canada
michel.gaudet@cnl.ca

David Rhodes

7 Pine Point Close PO Box 1293 Deep River, ON K0J 1P0 Canada
David@RhodesAssociates.ca

Mitch King

Chalk River Laboratories 286 Plant Road Chalk River, ON K0J 1J0 Canada
mitch.king@cnl.ca

Andrew Kittmer

Chalk River Laboratories 286 Plant Road Chalk River, ON K0J 1J0 Canada
andrew.kittmer@cnl.ca

Ben Benson

Chalk River Laboratories 286 Plant Road Chalk River, ON K0J 1J0 Canada
ben.benson@cnl.ca

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4037818 History: Received April 20, 2017; Revised August 22, 2017

Abstract

The Canadian SCWR is a 2540 MWt channel-type supercritical water-cooled nuclear reactor (SCWR) concept that employs 336 fuel channels in the reactor core. Each fuel channel includes a pressure tube that is submerged in a heavy water moderator and contains a removable fuel assembly. To achieve high (>45%) power conversion efficiency, the Canadian SCWR operates at a supercritical water pressure (25 MPa) and high temperatures (350 ºC at the inlet, 625 ºC at the outlet). These conditions lead to fuel cladding temperatures close to 800 ºC. Because of reduced material strength at this temperature and higher fission gas production of the fuel, collapsible fuel cladding is selected over internally-pressurized cladding. To increase heat transfer and to reduce cladding temperatures, turbulence-inducing wire-wraps are employed on fuel elements. Numerical models have been developed to analyze the thermal-structural behavior of Canadian SCWR fuel at normal and accident conditions. It was found that the maximum fuel cladding temperature for the worst-case accident scenario is below the melting point by a small margin. This paper presents a description of the Canadian SCWR fuel assembly concept, its unique features, the rationale used in the concept development and the results of various numerical analyses demonstrating the performance and characteristics of the Canadian SCWR fuel channel.

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