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Research Papers: Nuclear Power

Reactivity Accident in a High Temperature Gas-Cooled Reactor Due to Inadvertent Withdrawal of Control Rod

[+] Author and Article Information
Zheng Yanhua

Institute of Nuclear and New Energy Technology, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, Chinazhengyh@tsinghua.edu.cn

Shi Lei

Institute of Nuclear and New Energy Technology, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, Chinashlinet@tsinghua.edu.cn

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 133(5), 052902 (Dec 09, 2010) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4002353 History: Received June 30, 2010; Revised July 02, 2010; Published December 09, 2010; Online December 09, 2010

Reactivity accident due to inadvertent withdrawal of the control rod is one kind of the design basis accident for high temperature gas-cooled reactors, which should be analyzed carefully in order to validate the reactor inherent safety properties. Based on the preliminary design of the Chinese pebble-bed modular high temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTR-PM) with single module power of 250 MW, several cases of reactivity accident has been studied by the help of the software TINTE in the paper (e.g., the first scram signal works or not, the absorber balls (secondary shutdown units) drop or not) and the ATWS situation is also taken into account. The dynamic processes of the important parameters including reactor power, fuel temperature, and xenon concentration are studied and compared in detail between these different cases. The calculating results show that the decay heat during the reactivity accidents can be removed from the reactor core solely by means of physical processes in a passive way so that the temperature limits of the fuel element and other components are still obeyed, which can effectively keep the integrality of the fuel particles to avoid massive fission products release. This will be helpful to the further detail design of the HTR-PM demonstrating power plant project.

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Figures

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Figure 1

Cross-section of the HTR-PM reactor: (1) reactor core, (2) side reflector and carbon thermal shield, (3) core barrel, (4) reactor pressure vessel, (5) steam generator, (6) steam generator vessel, (7) coaxial gas duct, (8) water-cooling panel, (9) blower, (10) fuel discharging tube, (11) control rod driving system, and (12) small absorber sphere unit

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Figure 2

TINTE model of the HTR-PM reactor: (1) core, (2) water panel, (3–5) control rod channel, (6 and 12) bottom reflector, (7, 13, 18, 24, 34, 36, and 42) side reflector, (8) top reflector, (9) coolant channel, (10 and 11) core inlet cavity, (14, 45, and 46) carbon brick, (15, 21, 28, 29, 30, and 54) air gap, (16, 47, and 48) reactor pressure vessel, (17 and 49) thermal insulation, (19, 20, 25, and 37) helium gap, (22) core top cavity, (23) cold helium plenum, (26) hot helium plenum, (27) core bottom cavity, (31) RPV bottom cavity, (32, 50, and 51) concrete, (35, 41, 44, 52, and 53) metallic internals, (38) air boundary, (39) throttle, (40) leakage flow, (43) flow passage, and (55) metallic plate

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Figure 3

Reactor power for control rod withdrawal of case 1

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Figure 4

Maximum fuel temperature for control rod withdrawal of case 1: (a) short-term and (b) long-term

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Figure 5

Fuel temperatures for control rod withdrawal of case 1 (first scram signal)

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Figure 6

Reactor power for control rod withdrawal of case 2

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Figure 7

Reactor power for control rod withdrawal of case 3

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Figure 8

Maximum fuel temperature for control rod withdrawal of case 3: (a) short-term (SAS work after 1 h), (b) long-term (SAS work after 1 h), and (c) long-term (SAS failure)

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Figure 9

Long-term reactor power for case 3 of SAS failure

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Figure 10

Short-term X135e concentrations for control rod withdrawal transient

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Figure 11

Long-term X135e concentrations for control rod withdrawal transient

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