Using thorium to reduce the maximum fuel temperatures during depressurized loss of coolant accidents in a once-through-then-out (OTTO) PBMR DPP-400 core

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 13
  • SDG 7
  • Abstract:

    This article presents the results for the PBMR-DPP-400, but for a once-through-then-out (OTTO) refueling scheme. An optimization attempt of the axial and radial power profiles is reported. The main aim was to reduce the maximum depressurized loss of forced coolant (DLOFC) temperature by adding thorium to the fuel and making the fuel layout radially asymmetric by placing lower enriched fuel in the inner and higher enriched fuel in the outer fuel flow regions. These mea- sures (1) flattened the peaks in the axial power profiles and thus suppressed the hotspots in the axial DLOFC temperature profiles and (2) ‘pushed’ the power radially outwards, so as to reduce the distance that the decay heat must be evacuated towards the outside of the fuel core. This resulted in a huge reduction in the maximum DLOFC temperature for the OTTO cycle from 2273 to 1811 ° C, which is still above the 1600 ° C limit but represents a remarkable result. Maximum DLOFC temperature below the 1600 ° C limit was obtained by reducing the power output. The results obtained and the proposed strategies for further improvement are applicable to the Chinese HTR- PM and could produce even better results in Prismatic Block Reactors such as the Japanese HTTR