The design of a reduced diameter Pebble Bed Modular Reactor for reactor pressure vessel transport by railcar
Author(s)Everson, Matthew S
Design of a reduced diameter PBMR for RPV transport by railcar
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Nuclear Science and Engineering.
Andrew C. Kadak.
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Many desirable locations for Pebble Bed Modular Reactors are currently out of consideration as construction sites for current designs due to limitations on the mode of transportation for large RPVs. In particular, the PBMR-400 design developed by PBMR Pty of South Africa uses an RPV with an outer diameter of 6.4 meters. Since current SCHNABEL railcars can only haul components up to 4.3 meters wide, the only other possibility for transport is by barge, which limits construction to sites accessible by river, lake or coast. Designing a PBMR with a core able to fit within an RPV able to be transported by railcar would be extremely valuable, especially for potential inland sites only accessible by railway, such as those in the Canadian Oil Sands at which the PBMR would be utilized for oil extraction processes. Therefore, a study was conducted to determine the feasibility of a Pebble Bed Modular Reactor design operating at 250 MWth with a core restricted to fitting inside an RPV with an outer diameter of 4.3 meters. After reviewing the performance of various core configurations satisfying this constraint, an optimized PBMR design operating at this power was found. This new design uses the same fuel management scheme as the PBMR 400, as well as similar inlet and outlet coolant temperatures. This MPBR-250 design includes a pebble bed with an outer diameter of 2.7 meters, an outer reflector 50 cm thick and 12.5% enriched fuel. A mixture of graphite pebbles of 11.7% is also included in the pebble bed to produce an equilibrium core with minimal excess reactivity.(cont.) This thesis shows that the MPBR-250 can perform up to the standards of the PBMR-400 design with respect to power peaking factors, peak temperatures and RPV fast fluences and can also increase fuel burnup to nearly 110 GWd/T. In addition, the MPBR-250 is a much more agile design, able to be deployed at a wider variety of locations because its RPV can be transported by railcar.
Thesis (S.M. and S.B.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Nuclear Science and Engineering, 2009.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (p. 92).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Nuclear Science and Engineering.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Nuclear Science and Engineering.