New Burnable Absorber for Long-Cycle Low Boron Operation of PWRs
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- New Burnable Absorber for Long-Cycle Low Boron Operation of PWRs
- Choe, Jiwon; Shin, Ho Cheol; Lee, Deokjung
- Issue Date
- PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD
- ANNALS OF NUCLEAR ENERGY, v.88, pp.272 - 279
- This paper presents a new high performance burnable absorber (BA) design for advanced Pressurized Water Reactors (PWRs) aiming for a long-cycle operation with a low soluble boron concentration. The new BA consists of a UO2-157Gd2O3 rod covered with a thin layer of Zr167Er2. A key feature of this new BA is that enriched isotopes, 157Gd and 167Er, are used as absorber materials. Since the high absorption cross section of 157Gd can reduce the mass fraction of Gd2O3 in UO2-Gd2O3, the thermal margin of fuel rods will increase with higher heat conductivity. Also, the 157Gd transmutes into 158Gd by neutron absorption and therefore the residual penalty at the end of cycle (EOC) will decrease. Since 167Er has a resonance near the thermal neutron energy region, the moderator temperature coefficient (MTC) will become more negative and the control rod worth will increase. These advantages of the new BA are demonstrated with three verification cases: a 17×17 Westinghouse (WH) type fuel assembly, a 16×16 Combustion Engineering (CE) type fuel assembly, and an OPR-1000 equilibrium core.
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