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research-article

Neutronics Analysis of Small Compact Prismatic Nuclear Reactors for The Preliminary Design

[+] Author and Article Information
Xie Yang

Institute of Nuclear and New Energy Technology, Collaborative Innovation Center of Advanced Nuclear Energy Technology, Key Laboratory of Advanced Reactor Engineering and Safety of Ministry of Education, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
yxheneng@163.com

Ding She

Institute of Nuclear and New Energy Technology, Collaborative Innovation Center of Advanced Nuclear Energy Technology, Key Laboratory of Advanced Reactor Engineering and Safety of Ministry of Education, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
sheding@tsinghua.edu.cn

Lei Shi

Institute of Nuclear and New Energy Technology, Collaborative Innovation Center of Advanced Nuclear Energy Technology, Key Laboratory of Advanced Reactor Engineering and Safety of Ministry of Education, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
shlinet@tsinghua.edu.cn

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4038774 History: Received September 25, 2017; Revised November 24, 2017

Abstract

Due to the advantages of small volume, light weight and long-time running, nuclear reactor can provide an idea energy source for submarines, ships and even space crafts. In this paper, two small compact prismatic nuclear reactors with different core block material are presented, which have a thermal power of 5 MW for 10 years of equivalent full power operation. These two reactors use Mo-14%Re alloy or nuclear grade graphite IG110 as core block material, loaded with high enriched uranium nitride fuel and cooled by helium, whose inlet/outlet temperature of the reactor and operational pressure are 850/1300 K and 2 MPa respectively. High temperature helium flowing out of the reactor can be used as the working medium for Closed Brayton Cycle (CBC) power conversion to generate at least 1 MW electricity, due to the high efficiency of CBC. Neutronics analyses of reactors for the preliminary design in this paper are performed using Reactor Monte-Carlo (RMC) code developed by Tsinghua University. Both the two reactors have enough initial excess reactivity to ensure 10 years of full power operation without refueling, which have at least $1 reactivity shutdown margin, and remains at least $1 subcritical in the submersion accident as well as one control drum failed accident. Finally, the optimization design is determined after comparing the 235U mass and the total reactor mass of the above two prismatic reactors.

Copyright (c) 2017 by ASME
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