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The mission of the Decommissioning and Environmental Sciences (DES) Division is to promote the development and use of those skills and technologies associated with the use of nuclear energy and the optimal management and stewardship of the environment, sustainable development, decommissioning, remediation, reutilization, and long-term surveillance and maintenance of nuclear-related installations, and sites. The target audience for this effort is the membership of the Division, the Society, and the public at large.
Conference on Nuclear Training and Education: A Biennial International Forum (CONTE 2023)
February 6–9, 2023
Amelia Island, FL|Omni Amelia Island Resort
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Show support for a Lego nuclear power plant
A creative fan of Lego—and nuclear power—has designed a nuclear power plant out of the famous building blocks and has submitted the idea to the Lego Group for possible production—but first, the idea needs the support of the public.
S. Wang, T. Beuthe, X. Huang, A. Nava Dominguez, B. P. Bromley, A. V. Colton
Nuclear Technology | Volume 207 | Number 4 | April 2021 | Pages 494-520
Technical Paper | doi.org/10.1080/00295450.2020.1784669
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
The use of advanced uranium-based and thorium-based fuel bundles in pressure tube heavy water reactors (PT-HWRs) has the potential to improve the utilization of uranium resources while also providing improvements in performance and safety characteristics of PT-HWRs. Earlier lattice physics and reactor core physics studies have demonstrated the feasibility of using such advanced fuels; however, thermal-hydraulic (T-H) studies are required to confirm that these advanced fuels will have adequate T-H safety margins. Preliminary system T-H transient simulations have been carried out for a 700-MW(electric)–class PT-HWR in a postulated loss-of-coolant accident (LOCA) using the CATHENA code. One purpose of this work was to demonstrate that such simulations of a PT-HWR filled entirely with advanced fuels could be set up and executed successfully in a CATHENA transient simulation model. The other purpose was to evaluate the peak sheath and peak fuel centerline temperatures during a LOCA to perform an analysis that compares the relative performance of each of the proposed advanced fuels. System T-H simulations with CATHENA were performed to model a postulated LOCA event with a 20% inlet header break in a typical 700-MW(electric)–class PT-HWR using two types of advanced uranium-based and thorium-based fuel bundles in modified 37-element and 35-element geometries. Calculations were also performed for a PT-HWR using conventional natural uranium fuel in 37-element fuel bundles for comparison. In the event of a LOCA, there is a drop in the primary circuit pressure. It is assumed that there is a 2-s delay between the signal of the low primary pressure and the tripping of the reactor. When the reactor trips, the shutdown rods are inserted. The reactor trip is followed by the activation of the emergency core cooling system, which occurs 30 s after the LOCA starts, with a trip signal on the boiler crash cooling. Simulation results for the LOCA demonstrated that the peak fuel centerline temperatures (ranging from 1822°C to 2183°C) were several hundred degrees below the expected melting point of UO2 (~2865°C). Simulations also demonstrated that the peak sheath temperatures for the advanced fuel concepts ranged from 1177°C to 1204°C, which are lower than that with conventional NU fuel in 37-element fuel bundles. Thus, the system T-H analysis of the relative results provides confidence in the proposed advanced uranium-based and thorium-based fuel concepts for potential use in PT-HWRs.