Design and fuel management of PWR cores to optimize the once-through fuel cycle
Author(s)Fujita, Edward Kei; Driscoll, Michael J.; Lanning, David D.
The once-through fuel cycle has been analyzed to see if there are substantial prospects for improved uranium ore utilization in current light water reactors, with a specific focus on pressurized water reactors. The types of changes which have been examined are: (1) re-optimization of fuel pin diameter and lattice pitch, (2) Axial power shaping by enrichment gradation in fresh fuel, (3) Use of 6-batch cores with semi-annual refueling, (4) Use of 6-batch cores with annual refueling, hence greater extended (.doubled) burnup, (5) Use of radial reflector assemblies, (6) Use of internally heterogeneous cores (simple seed/blanket configurations), (7) Use of power/temperature coastdown at the end of life to extend burnup, (8) Use of metal or diluted oxide fuel, (9) Use of thorium, and (10) Use of isotopically separated low a cladding material. a State-of-the-art LWR computational methods, LEOPARD/PDQ-7/FLARE-G, were used to investigate these modifications. The most effective way found to improve uranium ore utilization is to increase the discharge burnup. Ore savings on the order of 20% can be realized if greatly extended burnup (- double that of current practice) is combined with an increase in the number of batches in the core from 3 to 6. The major conclusion of this study is that cumulative reductions in ore usage of on the order of 30% are fore- seeable relative to a current PWR operating on the once-through fuel cycle, which is comparable to that expected for the same cores operated in the recycle mode.
Originally presented as the first author's thesis, (Sc.D.) in the M.I.T. Dept. of Nuclear Engineering, 1978.
MIT Energy Laboratory
Nuclear fuel elements., Pressurized water reactors., Nuclear reactors |x Mathematical models.
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