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الثلاثاء، 5 أغسطس، 2014

Fuel Utilization Improvements in Light Water Reactors

Author        : Ala Ayodeji Adebbisi
 Degree        : M.Sc. Nuclear
Title: Fuel Utilization Improvements in Light Water Reactors

 Abstract :
The demand for energy is poise to keep increasing as the world population reaches record heights. This demand will be met from a mix of energy resources. Cost, environmental friendliness and mobility are some of the indexes by which power energy sources are often compared. Although the capital cost of building a nuclear power plant is higher than that of other types of power plants, its fuel cost is much lower compared to the others. Different initiatives have been incorporated in light water reactors since the 70s to reduce these costs components and in turn improve the overall competitiveness of NPP. E. Fujila et.al in the 80s studied ten possible strategies of increasing fuel utilization in PWRs and found that there is a potential of a hypothetical cumulative reduction of 30 in ore utilization. The quest however continues for the optimum burn-up that will be safe, adaptable to responsible regulatory requirements, economically attractive, resource and environment friendly and ultimately lower the cost of producing electricity from NPPs.
MCNPX was used to simulate fuel rods of a typical 3411 M\Vt 4-100p PWR operating at 85 full power. The effects of using fuel rods with enrichment to values between 4.5 to 9.5, axial blanket made of natural or depleted uranium were studied on burn-up and cycle length. Increasing the enrichment from 4.5, 6.5 to 8.5 increases the cycle length from 1290, 1630days and 2140days respectively and the burn-up from 32G Wd/MTU, 50 GWd/MTU to 65.25GWd/MTU. A quadratic relationship exists between the percentage enrichment and the maximum burn-up attained in fuel rods with enrichment varying from 4.5 to 9.5. Increasing enrichment is more effective in increasing cycle length from the current average enrichment of 4.5 to 7.5. Increasing enrichment reduces the efficiency of the burnable absorber and extra radial reflectors increases the average flux in the peripheral assemblies.




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