EPJ Web Conf.
Volume 247, 2021PHYSOR2020 – International Conference on Physics of Reactors: Transition to a Scalable Nuclear Future
|Number of page(s)||12|
|Section||Core Analysis Methods|
|Published online||22 February 2021|
NEUTRONICS ANALYSIS OF VVER-1000 CORE USING AT-FCM FUEL
Tsinghua University Department of Engineering Physics, New LiuQing Building, Haidian District, Beijing P.R. CHINA
Published online: 22 February 2021
Using the Fully Ceramic Microencapsulated (FCM) fuel in light water reactors has multiple advantages, as it is accident tolerant because of; no hydrogen generation due to the cladding interaction with steam at high temperature, better retention of fission fragments and proliferation resistant due to very small production of transuranic elements during the burnup as compared to the standard UO2 fuel. In this study neutronics analysis of AT-FCM fuel consisting of TRISO particles embedded in SiC matrix is performed for replacement in existing VVER-1000 reactors. Standard VVER-1000 fuel assembly is transformed to Accident Tolerant Fully Ceramic Microencapsulated (AT-FCM) fuel assembly based on hydraulic diameter of the VVER-1000 assembly, the number of fuel pins are decreased with increased diameter and enrichment to conserve the initial fissile loading in AT-FCM assembly. Fuel centerline temperature of the AT-FCM assembly is found to be lower than the reference UO2 fuel assembly at the same total power produced because of the much higher thermal conductivity. FCM-TRISO fuel assembly namely Array 15 with 169 pins is proposed and analyzed. Pin cell, assembly level and full core calculations have been performed with SERPENT code using implicit and explicit models. VVER-1000 full core is modelled using the transformed FCM assembly. The embedded TRISO particles in a SiC matrix and the use of FeCrAl cladding turns out to be the perfect case for accident tolerance. High burnup of AT-FCM core in terms of MWd/kgHM for the same number of EFPDs is observed as compared to reference UO2 core due to the small breeding of transuranic elements Pu-239, Pu-240 and Pu-241. Appreciable quantity of the power is produced due to the fission of transuranic elements in reference UO2 assembly so the burnup in MWd/kgHM remains smaller than the AT-FCM fuel. Comparatively more softening of spectrum is found in AT-FCM fuel cells and assemblies towards the middle of the cycle (MOC) and End of the Cycle (EOC), this softening of spectrum tends to increase the rate of U-235 depletion. Very small quantities of plutonium isotopes are produced in AT-FCM as compared to the reference UO2 assembly because of small loading of U-238 at the BOC. The neutronics performance of AT-FCM core with burnable poison consisting of Gd2O3 and Er2O3 turn out to be better than reference UO2 assembly as it exhibits smooth burnup. Fuel Temperature Coefficient (FTC) and Moderator Temperature Coefficient (MTC) of the AT-FCM assembly is negative for most part of the cycle however, towards the end of cycle it becomes less negative due to small quantities of resonance absorbers, softening of thermal flux and increased rate of fission absorption in UO2.
Key words: Fully Ceramic Microencapsulated (FCM) fuel / SERPENT / TRISO particles / VVER-1000
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2021
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