Research Papers

European Project “Supercritical Water Reactor–Fuel Qualification Test”: Overview, Results, Lessons Learned, and Future Outlook

[+] Author and Article Information
Mariana Ruzickova

Centrum Vyzkumu Rez, s.r.o.,
Hlavni 130, 25068 Rez,
Czech Republic
e-mail: Mariana.Ruzickova@cvrez.cz

Ales Vojacek

Centrum Vyzkumu Rez, s.r.o.,
Hlavni 130, 25068 Rez,
Czech Republic
e-mail: Ales.Vojacek@ujv.cz

Thomas Schulenberg

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology,
Hermann-vom Helmholtz-Platz 1, 76344 Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen,
e-mail: schulenberg@kit.edu

Dirk C. Visser

Nuclear Research and Consultancy Group,
Westerduinweg 3, 1755 ZG Petten,
The Netherlands
e-mail: visser@nrg.eu

Radek Novotny

EC Joint Research Centre Petten, Institute for Energy and Transport,
Westerduinweg 3, 1755 LE Petten,
The Netherlands
e-mail: Radek.NOVOTNY@ec.europa.eu

Attila Kiss

Budapesti Muszaki es Gazdasagtudomanyi Egyetem,
Muegyetem rkp. 9, R bld. 317/7a, 1111 Budapest,
e-mail: kissa@reak.bme.hu

Csaba Maraczy

MTA EK Centre for Energy Research,
Konkoly Thege Miklos Ut 29-33, 1525 Budapest,
e-mail: csaba.maraczy@energia.mta.hu

Aki Toivonen

VTT Research Centre of Finland,
Kemistintie 3, 02044 VTT Espoo,
e-mail: Aki.Toivonen@vtt.fi

Manuscript received April 2, 2015; final manuscript received July 3, 2015; published online December 9, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Igor Pioro.

ASME J of Nuclear Rad Sci 2(1), 011002 (Dec 09, 2015) (10 pages) Paper No: NERS-15-1044; doi: 10.1115/1.4031034 History: Received April 02, 2015; Accepted July 09, 2015

The supercritical water reactor (SCWR) is one of the six reactor concepts being investigated under the framework of the Generation IV International Forum (GIF). One of the major challenges in the development of a SCWR is to develop materials for the fuel and core structures that will be sufficiently corrosion resistant to withstand supercritical water conditions and to gain thermal-hydraulic experimental data that could be used for further improvement of heat transfer predictions in the supercritical region by numerical codes. Previously, core, reactor, and plant design concepts of the European high-performance light water reactor (HPLWR) have been worked out in great detail. As the next step, it has been proposed to carry out a fuel qualification test (FQT) of a small-scale fuel assembly in a research reactor under typical prototype conditions. Design and licensing of an experimental facility for the FQT, including the small-scale fuel assembly, the required coolant loop with supercritical water, and safety and auxiliary systems, was the scope of the recently concluded project “Supercritical Water Reactor–Fuel Qualification Test” (SCWR-FQT) described here. This project was a collaborative project cofunded by the European Commission, which took advantage of a Chinese–European collaboration, in which China offered an electrically heated out-of-pile loop for testing of fuel bundles. The design of the facility, especially of the test section with the fuel assembly, and the most important results of steady-state and safety analyses are presented. Material test results of the stainless steels considered for the fuel cladding are briefly summarized. Finally, important outcomes and lessons learned in the “Education and Training” and “Management” work packages are presented.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME
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Fig. 1

Design details of the test section inside the pressure tube (left) and the cross section of the test section with the fuel assembly (right)

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Fig. 2

Steady-state temperature distribution inside the pressure tube [11]

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Fig. 3

Design details of the recuperator and the U-tube cooler inside the pressure tube

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Fig. 4

Overall model of the FQT facility

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Fig. 5

Model of the fuel handling system

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Fig. 6

Predicted temperature distribution for the wire-wrapped four-rod fuel assembly

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Fig. 7

Flow distribution in the flow-direction-changing chamber for the conceptual design (left) and updated design (right) of the fuel assembly

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Fig. 8

Time-averaged velocity distribution for the conceptual (left) and updated (right) foot piece designs on horizontal cross section directly downstream of the foot piece (0.025 m above the bottom closure)

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Fig. 9

MCNP model of the FQT test section (left) and LVR-15 core (right) with numbered core arrangement: control rods (1–8), automatic rod (9), and safety rods (10–12)

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Fig. 10

Schematic illustration of the FQT loop

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Fig. 11

Weight gain of specimens after exposure in supercritical water at 550°C in low oxygen (150 ppb) (top) and in high oxygen (2000 ppm) (bottom)

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Fig. 12

Stress-elongation curves of the indicated materials exposed in supercritical water at 550°C, 25 MPa, 2000 ppb O2 (top), and in supercritical water at 550°C (SS 316Ti at 450°C), 25 MPa, 100 ppb O2 and air (bottom)

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Fig. 13

SWAMUP thermal-hydraulic test facility at SJTU



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