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Analysis of Shutdown System Effectiveness in the Canadian Super Critical Water Reactor Using Coupled Thermalhydrualics and 3D Neutron Kinetics

[+] Author and Article Information
David Hummel

McMaster University, Department of Engineering Physics, 1280 Main Street West, John Hodgins Engineering Building, Room A315, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, L8S 4L7
hummeld@mcmaster.ca

David Novog

McMaster University, Department of Engineering Physics, 1280 Main Street West, John Hodgins Engineering Building, Room A315, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, L8S 4L7
novog@mcmaster.ca

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4042597 History: Received January 25, 2018; Revised December 08, 2018

Abstract

The Canadian supercritical water-cooled reactor concept features a re-entrant fuel channel wherein coolant first travels down a centre flow tube and then up around the fuel elements. Previous work demonstrated that in cases of sudden coolant flow reduction or reversal (such as that which would result from a large pipe break near the core inlet), the coolant density reduction around the fuel has a positive reactivity effect that results in a power excursion. Such a transient is inherently self-terminating since the inevitable density reduction in the centre flow tube has a very large negative reactivity effect. Nevertheless, a brief power pulse would ensue. In this work, the possibility of mitigating the power pulse with a fast-acting shutdown system was explored. The shutdown system model, consisting of bottom-inserted neutron absorbing blades and realistic estimates of insertion rates and trip conditions, was added to a full-core coupled spatial neutron kinetics and thermalhydraulics model. It was demonstrated that such a system can effectively mitigate both the peak magnitude of the power excursion as well as its duration.

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