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Neutron poison distribution in the central reflector to reduce the DLOFC temperature of a Th-LEU fueled OTTO PBMR DPP-400 core
Pokaha, Marius Tchonang
Serfontein, Dawid E.
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In a previous study using a mixture of thorium and 20 a/o% LEU at 16 gram per fuel sphere heavy metal loading and adjusting the effective fuel enrichment to produce the same amount of cumulative energy per fuel sphere as with the 10 a/o% Low Enriched Uranium (LEU), the maximum Depressurized Loss Of Forced Cooling (DLOFC) temperature was reduced from 2273 to 1925 °C and 1811 °C for a symmetric and asymmetric core, respectively using an once-through-then-out (OTTO) fuelling scheme. This article presents an additional strategy for reducing the maximum DLOFC temperature by placing an optimized distribution of neutron poisons in the central reflector. This strategy produced maximum DLOFC temperatures of 1509 and 1448 °C for the symmetric and the asymmetric cores, respectively. These results are impressive as it means that the less complicated OTTO cycle with its lower capital cost achieved the same cumulative energy produced per fuel sphere than the standard six-pass refuelling scheme and that at substantially lower maximum DLOFC temperatures. Both the addition of the neutron poisons to the central reflector and the creation of a radially asymmetric core resulted in lower burn-ups that had to be reversed by increasing the enrichment of the fuel
- Faculty of Engineering