EPJ Web Conf.
Volume 247, 2021PHYSOR2020 – International Conference on Physics of Reactors: Transition to a Scalable Nuclear Future
|Number of page(s)||8|
|Section||Research Reactors and Facilities|
|Published online||22 February 2021|
CONCEPTUAL FUEL ELEMENT DESIGN CANDIDATES FOR CONVERSION OF HIGH FLUX ISOTOPE REACTOR WITH LOW-ENRICHED URANIUM SILICIDE DISPERSION FUEL*
1 Oak Ridge National Laboratory NScD Research Reactors Division
2 NSED Reactor and Nuclear Systems Division 1 Bethel Valley Road, Oak Ridge, TN, 37831 U.S.A.
* This manuscript has been authored by UT-Battelle, LLC under Contract No. DE-AC05-00OR22725 with the U.S. Department of Energy. The United States Government retains and the publisher, by accepting the article for publication, acknowledges that the United States Government retains a non-exclusive, paid-up, irrevocable, world-wide license to publish or reproduce the published form of this manuscript, or allow others to do so, for United States Government purposes. The Department of Energy will provide public access to these results of federally sponsored research in accordance with the DOE Public Access Plan (http://energy.gov/downloads/doe-public-access-plan).
Published online: 22 February 2021
Engineering design studies are underway to assess the feasibility of converting the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) to operate with low-enriched uranium silicide dispersion (LEU3Si2-Al) fuel. These studies are supported by the U.S. Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration’s Office of Material Management and Minimization. A systematic approach employing neutronic and thermal-hydraulic analyses has been performed with the ORNL Shift and HFIR Steady State Heat Transfer Code tools, respectively, to predict reactor performance and thermal safety margins for proposed LEU3Si2-Al fuel designs. The design process was initiated by generating an optimized design with fabrication features identified from previous studies that result in excellent performance and safety metrics. The approach continued by substituting a single fabrication feature anticipated to be difficult to manufacture with another feature expected to perform an analogous function to that of the removed feature. Four conceptual fuel element design candidates, with various fabrication features, for conversion of HFIR with 4.8 gU/cm3 LEU3Si2-Al fuel have been generated and shown to meet pre-defined performance and safety metrics. Results to date indicate that HFIR could convert with the subject fuel system and meet performance and safety requirements if, among other considerations, fabrication of the specific design features are demonstrated and qualification of the fuel is complete under HFIR-specific conditions.
Key words: HFIR / LEU / Neutronics / Silicide / Thermal-Hydraulics
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2021
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