Optimized Design and Discussion on Middle and Large CANDLE Reactors
CANDLE ( C onstant A xial shape of N eutron flux, nuclide number densities and power shape D uring L ife of E nergy producing reactor) reactors have been intensively researched in the last decades [1–6]. Research shows that this kind of reactor is highly economical, safe and efficiently saves resources, thus extending large scale fission nuclear energy utilization for thousands of years, benefitting the whole of society. For many developing countries with a large population and high energy demands, such as China and India, middle (1000 MWth) and large (2000 MWth) CANDLE fast reactors are obviously more suitable than small reactors . In this paper, the middle and large CANDLE reactors are investigated with U-Pu and combined ThU-UPu fuel cycles, aiming to utilize the abundant thorium resources and optimize the radial power distribution. To achieve these design purposes, the present designs were utilized, simply dividing the core into two fuel regions in the radial direction. The less active fuel, such as thorium or natural uranium, was loaded in the inner core region and the fuel with low-level enrichment, e.g. 2.0% enriched uranium, was loaded in the outer core region. By this simple core configuration and fuel setting, rather than using a complicated method, we can obtain the desired middle and large CANDLE fast cores with reasonable core geometry and thermal hydraulic parameters that perform safely and economically; as is to be expected from CANDLE. To assist in understanding the CANDLE reactor’s attributes, analysis and discussion of the calculation results achieved are provided.
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