Radiation Damage Assessment in the Reactor Pressure Vessel of the Integral Inherently Safe Light Water Reactor (I2S-LWR)
Georgia Institute of Technology, Nuclear and Radiological Engineering, 770 State St., Atlanta GA 30332-0745, USA
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Published online: 3 February 2016
One of the major limiting factors to nuclear reactors lifetime is the radiation-induced material damage in the Reactor Pressure Vessel (RPV). While older reactors were designed assuming a 40-year operating lifetime, new reactor designs are expected to have lifetimes up to 100 years. For safe operation, the integrity of the RPV must be ensured against significant material property changes. In this work, typical neutron damage indicators are calculated in the RPV of the I2S-LWR (Integral Inherently Safe LWR) Power Plant, including DPA (displacements per atom) and fast neutron fluence (>1 MeV and >0.1MeV). I2S-LWR is a PWR of integral design, which means that its wider downcomer provides additional shielding to the vessel. However, its higher core power density and longer lifetime may offset this advantage. In order to accurately represent the neutron environment for RPV damage assessment, a detailed model based on the preliminary design specifications of the I2S-LWR was developed to be used in the MAVRIC (Monaco with Automated Variance Reduction using Importance Calculations) sequence of the Scale6.1 code package. MAVRIC uses the CADIS (Consistent Adjoint-Driven Importance Sampling) methodology to bias a fixed-source MC (Monte Carlo) simulation. To establish the upper limit of a bounding envelope, a flat-source distribution was used. For the low limit, a center-peaked source was generated using the KENO-VI criticality sequence assuming uniform fresh fuel core. Results based on the preliminary I2S-LWR model show that DPA rates and fast fluence rates are conservatively 75% lower than in typical PWRs being operated currently in the US.
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