Concept of metal fuel sodium cooled RFBB
- The feasibility of the Rotational Fuel-shuffling Breed-and-Burn fast reactor [term 1] with Metal fuel and Sodium coolant (RFBB-MS) was shown.
- It is feasible to design the nuclear reactor which is possible to utilize uranium resource effectivity with less amount of spent fuel without reprocessing facility using natural uranium as the fuel based on the well-developed fast reactor technology.
The feasibility of Rotational Fuel-shuffling Breed-and-Burn fast reactor with Metal fuel and Sodium coolant (RFBB-MS) was studied based on the design of metal fuel sodium cooled fast reactor which has been developed. In the reactor, fuel assemblies with natural uranium are loaded at the edge of the core, moved stepwise to the neighboring position, approaching to the center, moving to the outward again, and discharged. The criticality, power distribution, and burnup performance were analyzed by neutron transport and burnup calculation. The results showed the equilibrium burning condition, in which the power distribution is almost unchanged, was feasible by the proper interval of the fuel-shuffling. It was shown also the high burnup of discharged fuel was also feasible. The study was performed as an international joint research by Tokyo Institute of Technology, Vietnam Atomic Energy Institute, and National University of Mongolia.
The fast reactor development has been associated with the development of repressing facility of spent fuel for the effective utilization of uranium resources. The Breed-and-Burn fast reactor concept is to achieve high utilization of uranium resources by the transmutation of natural or depleted uranium in the core without reprocessing facility and produce energy by the fissile produced by the transmutation. CANDLE burning reactor [term 2] is one of the concepts of the Breed-and-Burn fast reactors in the previous studies. The transmutation and burning region are moving toward axial direction of the core in the concept. One of the issues to be solved in the concept is that it is needed to feed fresh fuel at the top and remove spent fuel from the bottom of the core. This feature results in the very different structural design from the conventional reactors. In the Rotational Fuel-shuffling Breed-and-Burn fast reactor (RFBB), the direction of movement of burning wave is radial direction. The wave dose not move by the movement of the fuel assemblies to the opposite direction of the wave with the same speed. The fresh fuel is loaded at the edge of the core, moved stepwise to the neighbor position, approaching to the center, moving outward, and discharged. By the shuffling, the equilibrium burning condition is possible with keeping the power distribution almost unchanged. The concept can be applied with the established fast reactor concept without a lot of modification of the design. It has flexibility of changing burning characteristics by the change of shuffling pattern and the intervals. It was shown the concept was feasible in the fast reactor with metal fuel and lead-bismuth eutectic coolant in the previous study. The purpose of study was to show the feasibility of the concept in metal fuel sodium cooled fast reactor, which is well developed technology.
Fig. 1 Concept of Rotational Fuel-shuffling Breed-and-Burn fast reactor (RFBB)
The analyses were performed based on the design of S-PRISM, which is under development in US, using neutron transport Monte Carlo code SERPENT and ENDF/B-VII nuclear data library. The burnup characteristics was analyzed obtaining neutron flux distribution, power density profile, and nuclide density distributions. Fig. 2 shows the shuffling pattern in the analysis. The analyses were performed as an international joint research by Tokyo Institute of Technology, Vietnam Atomic Energy Institute, and National University of Mongolia.
Fig. 2 Fuel-shuffling pattern ( 1/6 of the core is shown)
Van Khanh Hoang, Odmaa Sambuu, Jun Nishiyama, Toru Obara, “Feasibility of Sodium-Cooled Breed-and-Burn Reactor
with Rotational Fuel Shuffling”, Nuclear Science and Engineering, published on line, July (2021).
The analysis results showed the equilibrium burning condition was feasible by setting the shuffling intervals properly and high burnup could be achieved. One of the issues to be solved is the DPA [term 3] of the fuel cladding exceeds the maximum value which has been tested. To apply for the melt-refining process [term 4] can be the solution of the issue..
- [Term 1] Breed-and-Burn fast reactor：
- The fast reactor which produces fissile material and causes fission chain reaction in the core using natural uranium or depleted uranium, whose content of fissile is smaller than that of natural uranium, as the fuel.
- [Term 2] CANDLE burning reactor：
- One of the Breed-and-Burn reactor, in which the transmutation and burning region in the core are moving in the axial direction of the core. The transmutation is caused by the neutrons from the burning region.
- [Term 3] DPA：
- The index of damage of fuel cladding by neutron irradiation
- [Term 4] Melt-refining process：
- The process to re-fabricate metal fuel which is irradiated in fast reactor by melting the fuel.
- Journal :
- Nuclear Science and Engineering, published on line, July (2021).
- Feasibility of Sodium-Cooled Breed-and-Burn Reactor with Rotational Fuel Shuffling
- Author :
- Van Khanh Hoanga,*, Odmaa Sambuub, Jun Nishiyamac, Toru Obarac, a Vietnam Atomic Energy Institute, b National University of Mongolia, c Tokyo Institute of Technology