Nuclear Science and Techniques

《核技术》(英文版) ISSN 1001-8042 CN 31-1559/TL     2019 Impact factor 1.556

Nuclear Science and Techniques ›› 2016, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (4): 99 doi: 10.1007/s41365-016-0096-4

• NUCLEAR ENERGY SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Neutron excess method for performance assessment of thoriumbased fuel in a breed-and-burn reactor with various coolants

Kun Yang 1,2,3, Wei Qin 1,2,3, Jin-Gen Chen 1,2, Xiang-Zhou Cai1,2   

  1. 1 Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 201800, China
    2 CAS Center for Excellence in TMSR Energy System, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 201800, China
    3 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Contact: Jin-Gen Chen E-mail:chenjg@sinap.ac.cn
  • Supported by:

    This work was supported by the Chinese TMSR Strategic Pioneer Science and Technology Project (No. XDA02010000).

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Kun Yang, Wei Qin, Jin-Gen Chen,Xiang-Zhou Cai. Neutron excess method for performance assessment of thoriumbased fuel in a breed-and-burn reactor with various coolants.Nuclear Science and Techniques, 2016, 27(4): 99     doi: 10.1007/s41365-016-0096-4

Abstract:

Fertile fuel, such as thorium or depleted uranium, can be bred into fissile fuel and burnt in a breed-and-burn (B&B) reactor. Modeling a full core with fertile fuel can assess the performance of a B&B reactor with exact quantitative estimates, but costs too much computation time. For simplicity, performing the recently developed neutron balance method with a zero-dimensional (0-D) model can also provide a reasonable result. Based on the 0-D model, the feasibility of the B&B mode for thorium fuel in a fast reactor cooled by sodium was investigated by considering the (n, 2n) and (n, 3n) reaction rates of fuel and coolant in this work, and compared with that of depleted uranium fuel. Afterward, the performance of the same thorium-based fuel core, but cooled by helium, lead-bismuth, and FLiBe, respectively, is discussed. It is found that the (n, 2n) and (n, 3n) reactions should not be neglected for the neutron balance calculation for thorium-based fuel to sustain the B&B mode of operation.

Key words: Neutron excess,  Thorium breed-and-burn,  Monte Carlo method