Preliminary design study of small long life boiling water reactor (BWR) with tight lattice thorium nitride fuel
Neutronic performance of small long-life boiling water reactors (BWR) with thorium nitride based fuel has been performed. A recent study conducted on BWR in tight lattice environments (with a lower moderator percentage) produces small power reactor which has some specifications, i.e. 10 years operation time, power density of 19.1 watt/cc and maximum excess reactivity of about 4%. This excess reactivity value is smaller than standard reactivity of conventional BWR. The use of hexagonal geometry on the fuel cell of BWR provides a substantial effect on the criticality of the reactor to obtain a longer operating time. Supported by a tight concept lattice where the volume fraction of the fuel is greater than the moderator and fuel, Thorium Nitride give good results for fuel cell design on small long life BWR. The excess reactivity of the reactor can be reduced with the addition of gadolinium as burnable poisons. Therefore the hexagonal tight lattice fuel cell design of small long life BWR that has a criticality more than 20 years of operating time has been obtained.