Thermal hydraulic limits analysis for the MIT Research Reactor low enrichment uranium core conversion using statistical propagation of parametric uncertainties
Thermal hydraulic limits analysis for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Research Reactor low enrichment uranium core conversion using statistical propagation of parametric uncertainties
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Nuclear Science and Engineering.
Lin-Wen Hu and Benoit Forget.
MetadataShow full item record
The MIT Research Reactor (MITR) is evaluating the conversion from highly enriched uranium (HEU) to low enrichment uranium (LEU) fuel. In addition to the fuel element re-design from 15 to 18 plates per element, a reactor power upgraded from 6 MW to 7 MW is proposed in order to maintain the same reactor performance of the HEU core. Previous approaches in analyzing the impact of engineering uncertainties on thermal hydraulic limits via the use of engineering hot channel factors (EHCFs) were unable to explicitly quantify the uncertainty and confidence level in reactor parameters. The objective of this study is to develop a methodology for MITR thermal hydraulic limits analysis by statistically combining engineering uncertainties in order to eliminate unnecessary conservatism inherent in traditional analyses. This methodology was employed to analyze the Limiting Safety System Settings (LSSS) for the MITR LEU core, based on the criterion of onset of nucleate boiling (ONB). Key parameters, such as coolant channel tolerances and heat transfer coefficients, were considered as normal distributions using Oracle Crystal Ball for the LSSS evaluation. The LSSS power is determined with 99.7% confidence level. The LSSS power calculated using this new methodology is 9.1 MW, based on core outlet coolant temperature of 60 'C, and primary coolant flow rate of 1800 gpm, compared to 8.3 MW obtained from the analytical method using the EHCFs with same operating conditions. The same methodology was also used to calculate the safety limit (SL) to ensure that adequate safety margin exists between LSSS and SL. The criterion used to calculate SL is the onset of flow instability. The calculated SL is 10.6 MW, which is 1.5 MW higher than LSSS, permitting sufficient margin between LSSS and SL.
Thesis (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Nuclear Science and Engineering, 2012.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Nuclear Science and Engineering.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Nuclear Science and Engineering.