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Burn-up characteristics and criticality effect of impurities in the graphite structure of a commercial-scale prismatic HTGR

Fukaya, Yuji; Goto, Minoru; Nishihara, Tetsuo

Burn-up characteristics and criticality of impurity contained into graphite structure for commercial scale prismatic High Temperature Gas-cooled Reactor (HTGR) have been investigated. For HTGR, of which the core is filled graphite structure, the impurity contained into the graphite has unignorable poison effect for criticality. Then, GTHTR300, commercial scale HTGR, employed high grade graphite material named IG-110 to take into account the criticality effect for the reflector blocks next to fuel blocks. The fuel blocks, which should also employ IG-110, employ lower grade graphite material named IG-11 from the economic perspective. In this study, the necessity of high grade graphite material for commercial scale HTGR is reconsidered by evaluating the burn-up characteristics and criticality of the impurity. The poison effect of the impurity, which is used to be expressed by a boron equivalent, reduces exponentially like burn-up of $$^{10}$$B, and saturate at a level of 1 % of the initial value of boron equivalent. On the other hand, the criticality effect of the boron equivalent of 0.03 ppm, which corresponds to a level of 1 % of IG-11 shows ignorable values lower than 0.01 %$$Delta$$k/kk' for both of fuel blocks and reflector blocks. The impurity can be represented by natural boron without problem. Therefore, the poison effect of the impurity is evaluated with whole core burn-up calculations. As a result, it is concluded that the impurity is not problematic from the viewpoint of criticality for commercial scale HTGR because it is burned clearly until End of Cycle (EOC) even with the low grade graphite material of IG-11. According to this result, more economic electricity generation with HTGR is expected by abolishing the utilization of IG-110.

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Category:Nuclear Science & Technology

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