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Journal Articles

Feasibility study on burnable poison credit concept to HTGR fuel fabrication from core specification perspective

Fukaya, Yuji; Ueta, Shohei; Goto, Minoru; Ohashi, Hirofumi

Annals of Nuclear Energy, 151, p.107937_1 - 107937_9, 2021/02

Feasibility study on Burnable Poison (BP) credit concept to High Temperature Gas-cooled Reactor (HTGR) fuel fabrication has been performed. By mixing BP into fuel material in the first place of fuel fabrication, criticality safety is ensured in the all fuel fabrication process even with high enrichment fuel such as 14 wt% used in commercial HTGR. However, the poison effect also prevents the criticality even in the HTGR core, and it may shorten cycle length and achievable burn-up of the core. Therefore, the effect is evaluated by whole core burn-up calculation. As a BP, boron, gadolinium, erbium, and hafnium are investigated. As a result, it is found that boron and gadolinium suit this concept and the 14 wt% fuel can be fabricated in the plant fabricating 9.9 wt% High Temperature engineering Test Reactor (HTTR) fuel. With the boron and gadolinium, the commercial HTGR fuel can be fabricated with the safety measure as same as Light Water Reactor (LWR) fuel facility to treat the fuel with the enrichment up to 5 wt%. Especially, gadolinium is significantly suitable to this concept due to the dependency to spectrum, and more enhanced safety measure is feasible as well.

Journal Articles

Influences of the ZrC coating process and heat treatment on ZrC-coated kernels used as fuel in Pu-burner high temperature gas-cooled reactor in Japan

Aihara, Jun; Ueta, Shohei; Honda, Masaki*; Mizuta, Naoki; Goto, Minoru; Tachibana, Yukio; Okamoto, Koji*

Journal of Nuclear Science and Technology, 58(1), p.107 - 116, 2021/01

 Times Cited Count:0 Percentile:100(Nuclear Science & Technology)

The concept of a Pu-burner high temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR) has been proposed for purpose of more safely reducing amount of recovered Pu. This concept employs coated fuel particles (CFPs) with ZrC coated PuO$$_{2}$$-YSZ kernel and with tristructural (TRISO) coating for very high Pu burn-up and high nuclear proliferation resistance. In this report, we investigate the microstructure of the region that includes the surface of an as-fabricated CeO$$_{2}$$-YSZ kernel simulating PuO$$_{2}$$-YSZ kernel. We found both Zr-rich grains and Ce-rich grains to be densely distributed in that region including surface of CeO$$_{2}$$-YSZ kernel. On the other hand, it has been reported that there was a porous region near surface of the CeO$$_{2}$$-YSZ kernel of Batch I. This finding confirms that Ce-rich grains near surface of CeO$$_{2}$$-YSZ kernels coated with ZrC layers have been corroded during the deposition of the ZrC layer, whereas the Zr-rich grains were hardly affected.

Journal Articles

Recent R&D of HTGR and requirement for nuclear data

Fukaya, Yuji; Goto, Minoru; Nakagawa, Shigeaki

JAEA-Conf 2020-001, p.27 - 32, 2020/12

Recently, HTGR attracts a particular attention due to the outstanding safety features especially after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, and the R&D is significantly promoted. In this presentation, we introduce the R&D plan of HTGR and the activities related to reactor physics and nuclear data including an experiment by using KUCA. Furthermore, requirement for nuclear data from the HTGR design is discussed.

Journal Articles

Research and development activities of JAEA for HTGR system realization

Mineo, Hideaki; Nishihara, Tetsuo; Ohashi, Hirofumi; Goto, Minoru; Sato, Hiroyuki; Takegami, Hiroaki

Nippon Genshiryoku Gakkai-Shi, 62(9), p.504 - 508, 2020/09

High-Temperature Gas-cooled Reactor (HTGR) is one of thermal neutron reactor-type that employs helium gas coolant and graphite moderator. It has excellent inherent safety and can supply high-temperature heat which can be used not only for electric power generation but also for a wide range of application such as hydrogen production. Therefore, HTGR is expected to be an effective technology for reducing greenhouse gases in Japan as well as overseas. In this paper, we will introduce the forefront of technological development that JAEA is working toward the realization of an HTGR system consisting of a high temperature gas reactor and heat utilization facilities such as gas-turbine power generation and hydrogen production.

Journal Articles

Guidance for developing fuel design limit of high temperature gas-cooled reactor

Sato, Hiroyuki; Aoki, Takeshi; Ohashi, Hirofumi

Proceedings of 2020 International Conference on Nuclear Engineering (ICONE 2020) (Internet), 10 Pages, 2020/08

The present study aims to propose a guidance that facilitates to determine fuel design limits of commercial HTGR on the basis of licensing experience through the HTTR construction. The guidance consists of a set of FOMs and a process to determine their evaluation criteria. The FOMs are firstly identified to satisfy safety requirements and a basic concept of safety guides established in a special committee under the AESJ with the support of the Research Association of High Temperature Gas Cooled Reactor Plant. The development process for the evaluation criteria takes into account not only the top-level regulatory criteria but also design dependent constraints including the performance of fission product containment in physical barriers other than fuel, fuel qualification criteria, design specifications of an instrumentation and control system. As a result, a comprehensive and transparent procedure for designers of prismatic-type commercial HTGR has been developed.

Journal Articles

Methodology development for transient flow distribution analysis in high temperature gas-cooled reactor

Aoki, Takeshi; Sato, Hiroyuki; Ohashi, Hirofumi

Proceedings of 2020 International Conference on Nuclear Engineering (ICONE 2020) (Internet), 6 Pages, 2020/08

The flow distribution analysis, which is a part of thermal hydraulic design of the prismatic-type of the high temperature gas cooled reactor (HTGR) considering unintended flows between graphite blocks, has been performed for steady and conservative conditions. On the other hand, the transient analysis for satisfactorily realistic conditions will be helpful for the design improvement of prismatic-type HTGR. The present study aims to develop the transient flow distribution analysis code and confirm its applicability for the transient flow distribution analysis for prismatic-type HTGRs during anticipated operational occurrences and accidents utilizing experiences on high temperature engineering test reactor (HTTR) design. The calculation model and code were developed and validated for analysis of the unintended flows in the core and the molecular diffusion dominant in beginning air ingress behavior in an air ingress accident.

Journal Articles

Development of a flow network calculation code (FNCC) for high temperature gas-cooled reactors (HTGRs)

Aoki, Takeshi; Isaka, Kazuyoshi; Sato, Hiroyuki; Ohashi, Hirofumi

Proceedings of 2020 International Conference on Nuclear Engineering (ICONE 2020) (Internet), 7 Pages, 2020/08

The flow distribution analysis performed in the HTGR design has to take into account the interaction thermal and radiation deformations of the graphite structure, and the gaps between the graphite structures forming unintended flow. In the present study, a user-friendly flow network calculation code (FNCC) has been developed on the basis of experiences of High Temperature engineering Test Reactor (HTTR) design for HTGR design with enhanced compatibility with other HTGR design codes and with considering graphite block deformation in iteration process without manual control. The validation of FNCC was performed for the one-column flow distribution test. The analytical results using FNCC showed good agreement with the experimental results. It is concluded that FNCC was validate for the analysis of distributions of flowrate and pressure for the flow network model including the unintended flow paths in prismatic-type HTGRs.

Journal Articles

Uncertainty analysis of toxic gas leakage accident in cogeneration high temperature gas-cooled reactor

Sato, Hiroyuki; Ohashi, Hirofumi

Mechanical Engineering Journal (Internet), 7(3), p.19-00332_1 - 19-00332_11, 2020/06

An uncertainty analysis method for control room habitability under toxic gas leakage accidents in cogeneration HTGR is proposed to support risk-informed design of the plant. The method is applied to representative toxic gas leakage accidents in a IS process hydrogen production plant coupled to the HTTR gas turbine test plant. Epistemic and aleatory uncertainties for each variable parameter are identified and are propagated using Latin hypercube sampling. The analyses show that the suggested method can successfully characterize and quantify uncertainties in the toxic gas concentration in control room. The results lead us to the conclusion that toxic gas dispersion behavior analysis should combine two evaluation methods: dense gas dispersion model and computational fluid dynamics simulation.

Journal Articles

Self-shielding effect of double heterogeneity for plutonium burner HTGR design

Fukaya, Yuji; Goto, Minoru; Ohashi, Hirofumi

Annals of Nuclear Energy, 138, p.107182_1 - 107182_9, 2020/04

 Times Cited Count:0 Percentile:100(Nuclear Science & Technology)

The investigation on self-shielding effect of double heterogeneity for plutonium burner High Temperature Gas-cooled Reactor (HTGR) design has been performed. Plutonium burner HTGR designed in the previous study by using the advantage of double heterogeneity to control excess reactivity. In the present study, the mechanism of the self-shielding effect is elucidated by the analysis of burn-up calculation and reactivity decomposition based on exact perturbation theory. As a result, it is revealed that the characteristics of burn-up reactivity are determined by resonance cross section peak at 1 eV of $$^{240}$$Pu due to the surface term of background cross section, this is, the characteristics of neutron leakage from fuel lump and collision to a moderator. Moreover, significant spectrum shift is caused during the burn-up period, and it enhances reactivity worth of $$^{239}$$Pu and $$^{240}$$Pu in EOL.

Journal Articles

Research and development for safety and licensing of HTGR cogeneration system

Sato, Hiroyuki; Aoki, Takeshi; Ohashi, Hirofumi; Yan, X. L.

Nuclear Engineering and Design, 360, p.110493_1 - 110493_8, 2020/04

 Times Cited Count:0 Percentile:100(Nuclear Science & Technology)

JAEA has been conducting research and development with a central focus on the utilization of HTTR, the first HTGR in Japan, towards the realization of industrial use of nuclear heat. On the basis of licensing experience through the HTTR construction, JAEA initiated an activity to establish an international safety standard for licensing of commercial HTGR cogeneration systems fully taking into account safety features of HTGRs. We have developed a roadmap towards licensing of commercial HTGR cogeneration systems. A test plan using the HTTR to support the establishment of safety standards and safety analysis methods are also presented. In addition, we confirmed that a vessel cooling system, a passive air-cooled decay heat removal system, satisfies the safety requirement.

Journal Articles

Reactor physics experiment in a graphite-moderation system for HTGR

Fukaya, Yuji; Goto, Minoru; Nakagawa, Shigeaki; Nakajima, Kunihiro*; Takahashi, Kazuki*; Sakon, Atsushi*; Sano, Tadafumi*; Hashimoto, Kengo*

Proceedings of International Conference on the Physics of Reactors; Transition To A Scalable Nuclear Future (PHYSOR 2020) (USB Flash Drive), 8 Pages, 2020/03

The Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) started the Research and Development (R&D) to improve nuclear prediction techniques for High Temperature Gas-cooled Reactors (HTGRs). The objectives are to introduce a generalized bias factor method to avoid full mock-up experiment for the first commercial HTGR and to introduce reactor noise analysis to High Temperature Engineering Test Reactor (HTTR) experiment to observe subcriticality. To achieve the objectives, the reactor core of graphite-moderation system named B7/4"G2/8"p8EUNU+3/8"p38EU(1) was newly composed in the B-rack of Kyoto University Critical Assembly (KUCA). The core is composed of the fuel assembly, driver fuel assembly, graphite reflector, and polyethylene reflector. The fuel assembly is composed of enriched uranium plate, natural uranium plate and graphite plates to realize the average fuel enrichment of HTTR and it's spectrum. However, driver fuel assembly is necessary to achieve the criticality with the small-sized core. The core plays a role of the reference core of the bias factor method, and the reactor noise was measured to develop the noise analysis scheme. In this study, the overview of the criticality experiments is reported. The reactor configuration with graphite moderation system is rare case in the KUCA experiments, and this experiment is expected to contribute not only for an HTGR development but also for other types of a reactor in the graphite moderation system such as a molten salt reactor development.

Journal Articles

Development of fabrication and inspection technologies for oxidation-resistant fuel element for high-temperature gas-cooled reactors

Aihara, Jun; Yasuda, Atsushi*; Ueta, Shohei; Ogawa, Hiroaki; Honda, Masaki*; Ohira, Koichi*; Tachibana, Yukio

Nippon Genshiryoku Gakkai Wabun Rombunshi, 18(4), p.237 - 245, 2019/12

Development of fabrication and inspection technologies of oxidation resistant fuel element for improvement of safety of high temperature gas-cooled reactors (HTGRs) in severe oxidation accident was carried out. Simulated coated fuel particles (CFPs), alumina particles, were over-coated with mixed powder of Si, C and small amount of resin to form over-coated particles, and over-coated particles were molded and hot-pressed to sinter simulated oxidation resistant fuel elements with SiC/C mixed matrix. Simulated oxidation resistant fuel elements with matrix whose Si/C mole ratio is 1.00 were fabricated. Failure fraction of CFPs in fuel elements is one of very important inspection subjects of HTGR fuel. It is essential that CFPs are extracted from fuel elements without additional failure. Development of method for extraction of CFPs was carried out. Desolation of SiC by KOH method or pressurized acidolysis method should be applied to extraction of CFPs.

Journal Articles

Microstructures of ZrC coated kernels for fuel of Pu-burner high temperature gas-cooled reactor in Japan

Aihara, Jun; Ueta, Shohei; Honda, Masaki*; Mizuta, Naoki; Goto, Minoru; Tachibana, Yukio; Okamoto, Koji*

Journal of Nuclear Materials, 522, p.32 - 40, 2019/08

In order to realize Pu-burner high temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR), coated fuel particles (CFPs) with PuO$$_{2}$$-yittria stabilized zirconia (YSZ) fuel kernel coated with ZrC is employed for high nuclear proliferation resistance and very high burn-up. Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) have carried out ZrC coatings of particles which simulated PuO$$_{2}$$-YSZ kernels (CeO$$_{2}$$-YSZ particles or commercially available YSZ particles). Ce was used as simulating element of Pu. In this manuscript, microstructures of ZrC coated CeO$$_{2}$$-YSZ or YSZ particles were reported.

Journal Articles

Reactor physics experiment in graphite moderation system for HTGR, 1

Fukaya, Yuji; Nakagawa, Shigeaki; Goto, Minoru; Ishitsuka, Etsuo; Kawakami, Satoru; Uesaka, Takahiro; Morita, Keisuke; Sano, Tadafumi*

KURNS Progress Report 2018, P. 148, 2019/08

The Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) started the Research and Development (R&D) to improve nuclear prediction techniques for High Temperature Gas-cooled Reactors (HTGRs). The objectives are to introduce generalized bias factor method to avoid full mock-up experiment for the first commercial HTGR and to introduce reactor noise analysis to High Temperature Engineering Test Reactor (HTTR) experiment. To achieve the objectives, the reactor core of graphite moderation system named B7/4"G2/8"p8EUNU+3/8"p38EU(1) was newly composed in the B-rack of Kyoto University Critical Assembly (KUCA). The core plays a role of the reference core of the bias factor method, and the reactor noise was measured to develop the noise analysis scheme. In addition, training of operator of HTTR was also performed during the experiments.

Journal Articles

Contribution of membrane technology to hydrogen society; Development of membrane IS process

Inagaki, Yoshiyuki; Sakaba, Nariaki; Tanaka, Nobuyuki; Nomura, Mikihiro*; Sawada, Shinichi*; Yamaki, Tetsuya*

Nippon Kaisui Gakkai-Shi, 73(4), p.194 - 202, 2019/08

The thermochemical IS process is a promising hydrogen production method which can produce hydrogen in a large amount and stably with high efficiency by thermal splitting of water. Research and development on chemical reaction technology with membranes was conducted for the purpose of improving the efficiency of IS process and application of solar heat. The basic technology of ceramic membranes applied to decomposition reactions of hydrogen iodine and sulfuric acid was developed, and it is expected that the conversion rate on decomposition in each reaction can be remarkably improved. The basic technology of a cation exchange membrane applied to Bunsen reaction was developed with radiation-induced grafting technique, it is expected that the amount of iodine can be reduced to about one-fifth compared to the conventional method. These achievements are important technologies for practical use of the IS process.

JAEA Reports

Operation, test, research and development of the High Temperature Engineering Test Reactor (HTTR) (FY2017)

Department of HTTR

JAEA-Review 2019-006, 97 Pages, 2019/07

JAEA-Review-2019-006.pdf:10.18MB

The High Temperature Engineering Test Reactor (HTTR) was constructed to establish and upgrade basic technologies for HTGRs. In the fiscal year 2017 we continued activities for re-operation of the HTTR and have been inspected the application document for the HTTR licensing to prove conformity with the new regulatory requirements for research reactors taken effect since December 2013 had been applied. This report summarizes activities and results of HTTR operation, maintenance, international cooperation and so on which were carried out in the fiscal year 2017.

Journal Articles

Uncertainty analysis of toxic gas leakage accident in cogeneration high temperature gas-cooled reactor

Sato, Hiroyuki; Ohashi, Hirofumi

Proceedings of 27th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering (ICONE-27) (Internet), 8 Pages, 2019/05

To establish a probabilistic approach for assessment of toxic gas leakage accidents in a H$$_{2}$$ plant, the present study focusses on development of an uncertainty analysis method for toxic gas concentration in a control room. The method consists of 6 steps; (1) Identification of uncertainty factors, (2) derivation of variable parameters, (3) identification of uncertainties in variable parameters, (4) identification of important factors considering the sensitivity analysis results and expert opinions, (5) uncertainty propagation analysis, (6) assessment of uncertainty analysis results. The method is then applied to representative toxic gas leakage accidents in a H$$_{2}$$ plant by IS process coupled to the HTTR. The results obtained in the study leads us to the conclusion that the suggested method can successfully characterize and quantify uncertainties in the toxic gas concentration in control room.

Journal Articles

Development of highly efficient hydrogen production process by thermochemical method

Inagaki, Yoshiyuki

Suiso No Seizo, Yuso, Chozo Gijutsu To Zairyo Kaihatsu Jireishu, p.59 - 65, 2019/04

This report describes the outline of the thermochemical hydrogen production process by water splitting related to technologies on production, transport and storage of hydrogen. The report explains the principle of thermochemical process as well as the research and development status on Iodine-Sulfur (IS) process performed in JAEA. As energy for IS process, the outline and the domestic and abroad development status of a high temperature gas-cooled reactor is described.

Journal Articles

Development of fabrication technology for oxidation-resistant fuel elements for high-temperature gas-cooled reactors

Aihara, Jun; Honda, Masaki*; Ueta, Shohei; Ogawa, Hiroaki; Ohira, Koichi*; Tachibana, Yukio

Nippon Genshiryoku Gakkai Wabun Rombunshi, 18(1), p.29 - 36, 2019/03

Japan Atomic Energy Agency carried out development of fabrication technology of oxidation resistant fuel element for improvement of safety of high temperature gas-cooled reactors in serious oxidation accident, based on precursor research in former JAEA. Dummy coated fuel particles (alumina particles) were over-coated with mixed powder of Si, C and small amount of resin to form over-coated particles, and over-coated particles were molded and hot-pressed to sinter dummy oxidation resistant fuel elements with SiC/C mixed matrix. We fabricated dummy oxidation resistant fuel elements with matrix whose Si/C mole ratio (about 0.551) is three times as large as that in precursor research. Si peak was not detected by X-ray diffraction of matrix. Better oxidation resistant was confirmed with oxidation test in 20% O$$_{2}$$ at 1673 K than that of ordinal fuel compact with ordinal graphite/carbon matrix. All dummy coated fuel particles were held in specimen after 10 h oxidation.

Journal Articles

Study of an HTGR and renewable energy hybrid system for grid stability

Sato, Hiroyuki; Yan, X. L.

Nuclear Engineering and Design, 343, p.178 - 186, 2019/03

 Times Cited Count:5 Percentile:13(Nuclear Science & Technology)

A hybrid system combining HTGR and renewable energy is investigated to compensate intermittent renewable energy power generation. A new proposal of using the inventory and bypass control devices already built in the gas turbine, is found to be effective to compensate hourly to daily variation of renewable energy. The reactor thermal power remains at constant full power while the heat output is increased or decreased subject to the need of reactor power generation. On the other hand, the massive heat capacity in the graphite core is shown to be sufficient to compensate renewable energy on a time scale of seconds to minutes and up to about 20% of the rated power output of the nuclear plant. Similarly, no additional control devices are required to perform this control operation. These findings demonstrate the technical and economic potential of the HTGR system to maintain the stability of a grid being incorporated with significant portfolios of renewable energy power generation.

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