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Verification of a Depletion Method in SCALE for the Advanced High-Temperature Reactor

Ryan Kelly, Dan Ilas

Nuclear Technology / Volume 183 / Number 3 / Pages 391-397

September 2013


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This study describes a new approach employing the Dancoff correction method to model the TRISO-based fuel form used by the Advanced High-Temperature Reactor (AHTR) design concept. The Dancoff correction method is used to perform isotope depletion analysis using the TRITON sequence of SCALE and is verified by code-to-code comparisons. The current AHTR fuel design has TRISO particles concentrated along the edges of a slab fuel element. This geometry prevented the use of the DOUBLEHET treatment, previously developed in SCALE to model spherical and cylindrical fuel. The new method permits fuel depletion on complicated geometries that traditionally can be handled only by continuous-energy-based depletion code systems. The method was initially tested on a fuel configuration typical of the Next Generation Nuclear Plant, where DOUBLEHET treatment is possible. A confirmatory study was performed on the AHTR reference core geometry using the VESTA code, which uses the continuous-energy MCNP5 code as a transport solver and ORIGEN2.2 code for depletion calculations. Comparisons of the results indicate good agreement of whole-core characteristics, such as the multiplication factor and the isotopics, including their spatial distribution. Key isotopes analyzed included 235U, 239Pu, 240Pu, and 241Pu. The results from this study indicate that the Dancoff factor method can generate estimates of core characteristics with reasonable precision for scoping studies of configurations where DOUBLEHET treatment cannot be performed.

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