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The division provides a forum for focused technical dialogue on thermal hydraulic technology in the nuclear industry. Specifically, this will include heat transfer and fluid mechanics involved in the utilization of nuclear energy. It is intended to attract the highest quality of theoretical and experimental work to ANS, including research on basic phenomena and application to nuclear system design.
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June 12–16, 2022
Anaheim, CA|Anaheim Hilton
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What are the key cost drivers for microreactors?
Microreactors upend the traditional economics of nuclear power plants by shifting the paradigm from economies of scale (large reactors) to economies of multiple (mass production). While shrinking power output per unit may increase costs per kilowatt compared to large plants, offsetting gains can be expected from simplified and standardized designs, factory fabrication, inherent safety, lower radionuclide inventories, fast installation, and low financing costs. For instance, the lower power density in a microreactor core leads to a greatly reduced decay heat source, simplifying emergency cooling needs. These design aspects can lead to innovations including substantial simplifications to safety and control needs, minimized human operational requirements, a very compact balance of plant, the ability to fabricate almost every component in a factory, shortened construction time, and less daunting financing.
Timothy Ironman, James Tulenko, Ghatu Subhash
Nuclear Technology | Volume 200 | Number 2 | November 2017 | Pages 144-158
Technical Paper | dx.doi.org/10.1080/00295450.2017.1360714
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
The viability of spark plasma sintering (SPS) for fabrication of industrial-grade nuclear fuel pellets is explored by utilizing die designs for single- and multiple-pellet manufacturing. Traditional UO2 pellets were also manufactured by systematically varying processing temperature and pressure as needed for single- and multiple-pellet fabrication. The pellets were then qualified against commercial fuel specifications for density, shape, microstructure, and surface flaws. Pellets produced one at a time met all commercial specifications except for grain size. Pellets produced in batches of two, four, and eight pellets showed suboptimal density indicating that further changes to sintering conditions are warranted. Additionally, commonly used graphite tooling for pellet fabrication was shown to be ineffective in producing large numbers of fuel pellets, as the die and punches were shown to undergo severe wear in each run thus decreasing the reliability of the tooling for production of pellets as per the specification. Finally, additional discussion is provided for identifying the avenues for scale-up of SPS to meet the current commercial demand of 400 million pellets/year. These studies are viewed as first step toward assessing the ability of SPS technology to meet the quality specifications and quantity demands of nuclear fuel pellets.