Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) with their excellent safety and economic features will be in high demand in the near future. Most SMR designs have longer burn-up cycle length with more fuel enrichment and smaller core size in comparison to the large conventional nuclear reactors. The small size of these reactors causes more neutron leakage (less core radius results in a higher area to volume ratio and more relative leakage). This feature of SMRs causes high values of maximum Power Peaking Factors (PPFs) through the core, so optimizing the safety parameters is of high necessity. Also, long burn-up cycle length needs a high initial excess reactivity, which results into use of some materials and methods to control this high excess reactivity. One of these methods is using a high number of Integral Fuel Burnable Absorber (IFBA) rods.In the present designs of IFBA rods, usually some amounts of fuel with lower enrichment are used at the top and bottom parts of the IFBA rods (known as cutback fuel) to flatten the axial PPFs. The small size of the SMRs (using a lower number of FAs) helps to have much less possible radial loading patterns (in comparison to the large reactors) and provides the possibility to optimize the axial variations in amounts of cutback fuel in IFBA rods simultaneously. Accordingly, the best axial and radial loading pattern according to the objective functions could be achieved. At the present work, the main goal is to optimize radial core loading pattern and axial variations of cutback fuel lengths at the IFBA rods of an SMR simultaneously using a multi-objective neutronic and thermal-hydraulic fitness function. The multi-objective fitness function includes burn-up cycle length, Minimum Departure from Nucleate Boiling (MDNBR), maximum and average radial and axial PPFs during the entire cycle lengths. The Cuckoo Optimization Algorithm (COA) as a new robust metaheuristic algorithm with high convergence speed and global optima achievement has been used. For the thermo-neutronic calculation, DRPACO package consists of the coupling system of DRAGON/ PARCS/COBRA codes have been used. Finally, the results of SMR core axial and radial loading pattern optimization using COA presents a core configuration with improvement in the core safety and economic parameters in comparison to the reference SMR core

Small modular reactor full scope core optimization using Cuckoo Optimization Algorithm

D'Auria F.
Ultimo
Supervision
2020

Abstract

Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) with their excellent safety and economic features will be in high demand in the near future. Most SMR designs have longer burn-up cycle length with more fuel enrichment and smaller core size in comparison to the large conventional nuclear reactors. The small size of these reactors causes more neutron leakage (less core radius results in a higher area to volume ratio and more relative leakage). This feature of SMRs causes high values of maximum Power Peaking Factors (PPFs) through the core, so optimizing the safety parameters is of high necessity. Also, long burn-up cycle length needs a high initial excess reactivity, which results into use of some materials and methods to control this high excess reactivity. One of these methods is using a high number of Integral Fuel Burnable Absorber (IFBA) rods.In the present designs of IFBA rods, usually some amounts of fuel with lower enrichment are used at the top and bottom parts of the IFBA rods (known as cutback fuel) to flatten the axial PPFs. The small size of the SMRs (using a lower number of FAs) helps to have much less possible radial loading patterns (in comparison to the large reactors) and provides the possibility to optimize the axial variations in amounts of cutback fuel in IFBA rods simultaneously. Accordingly, the best axial and radial loading pattern according to the objective functions could be achieved. At the present work, the main goal is to optimize radial core loading pattern and axial variations of cutback fuel lengths at the IFBA rods of an SMR simultaneously using a multi-objective neutronic and thermal-hydraulic fitness function. The multi-objective fitness function includes burn-up cycle length, Minimum Departure from Nucleate Boiling (MDNBR), maximum and average radial and axial PPFs during the entire cycle lengths. The Cuckoo Optimization Algorithm (COA) as a new robust metaheuristic algorithm with high convergence speed and global optima achievement has been used. For the thermo-neutronic calculation, DRPACO package consists of the coupling system of DRAGON/ PARCS/COBRA codes have been used. Finally, the results of SMR core axial and radial loading pattern optimization using COA presents a core configuration with improvement in the core safety and economic parameters in comparison to the reference SMR core
Akbari, R.; Ochbelagh, D. R.; Gharib, A.; Maiorino, J. R.; D'Auria, F.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11568/1064082
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