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A Fuel Channel Design for CANDU-SCWR

[+] Author Affiliations
C. K. Chow

Atomic Energy of Canada, Ltd., Mississauga, ON, Canada

S. J. Bushby

Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada

H. F. Khartabil

Atomic Energy of Canada, Ltd., Chalk River, ON, Canada

Paper No. ICONE14-89679, pp. 677-685; 9 pages
  • 14th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering
  • Volume 3: Structural Integrity; Nuclear Engineering Advances; Next Generation Systems; Near Term Deployment and Promotion of Nuclear Energy
  • Miami, Florida, USA, July 17–20, 2006
  • Conference Sponsors: Nuclear Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4244-4 | eISBN: 0-7918-3783-1
  • Copyright © 2006 by Atomic Energy of Canada, Ltd.


The CANDU® -Supercritical Water Reactor (CANDU-SCWR) is one of the six reactor concepts being considered by the Generation-IV International Forum (GIF) for international collaborative R&D. With SCW coolant, the thermodynamic efficiency is increased to over 40%. The CANDU-SCWR is moderated using heavy water, and it has fuel bundles residing inside horizontal pressure tubes, similar to the current CANDU design. The coolant, however, is light water at 25 MPa, with an inlet temperature of 350°C and an outlet temperature of 625°C. Because of the high temperature and high pressure of the coolant, the standard CANDU pressure tube design cannot be used. This paper presents one of the insulated pressure tube designs being considered for the CANDU-SCWR fuel channels. Unlike current CANDU reactors, the proposed CANDU-SCWR fuel channel does not use calandria tubes to separate the pressure tubes from the moderator. Each pressure tube is in direct contact with the moderator, which operates at an average temperature of about 80°C. The pressure tube is thermally insulated from the hot coolant by a porous ceramic insulator. A perforated metal liner protects the insulator from being damaged by the fuel bundles and erosion by the coolant. The coolant pressure is transmitted through the perforated metal liner and insulator and applied directly to the relatively cold pressure tube. The material selection for each fuel channel component depends on its function. The fuel sheaths and the perforated liner must have high corrosion resistance in SCW, although their resident times are significantly different. The insulator must have high thermal resistance and corrosion resistance in SCW, plus sufficient strength to bear the weight of the fuel bundles without significant thickness reduction during its design life. The pressure tube is the pressure boundary material, so it must have high strength to contain the coolant. One common requirement for all in-core fuel channel components is that they should be as neutron transparent as possible. The irradiation deformation of all these components must also be considered in their design. This paper presents the design of this fuel channel, reviews existing data for materials, indicates where more data are required, and summarizes our plans to obtain these data.

Copyright © 2006 by Atomic Energy of Canada, Ltd.



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