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Analytical Evaluation of Core Bowing Reactivity in the 4S Reactor

[+] Author Affiliations
Satoshi Nishimura, Hirokazu Ohta, Nobuyuki Ueda

Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry, Komae, Tokyo, Japan

Paper No. ICONE17-75223, pp. 403-411; 9 pages
  • 17th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering
  • Volume 2: Structural Integrity; Safety and Security; Advanced Applications of Nuclear Technology; Balance of Plant for Nuclear Applications
  • Brussels, Belgium, July 12–16, 2009
  • Conference Sponsors: Nuclear Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4352-9 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3852-5
  • Copyright © 2009 by ASME


The 4S (super-safe, small and simple) reactor is a sodium-cooled small fast reactor. The core reactivity is controlled by moving the reflectors installed around the core, and the reactor has a fixed absorber at the core center to accomplish a long core lifetime. To evaluate core bowing behavior and the resulting reactivity feedback in the 4S reactor, an analytical evaluation was conducted under various core power to flow ratios (P/F). The core bowing reactivity under the BOC (beginning of core life) condition becomes increasingly negative with increasing P/F up to 2.0, then becomes less negative with increasing P/F from 2.0 to 3.0, and finally becomes positive at P/F = 3.0. The bowing reactivity under the EOC (end of core life) condition becomes increasingly negative with increasing P/F up to 1.5, then becomes less negative then positive with increasing P/F from 1.5 to 3.0; the core bowing reactivity is positive when P/F ≥ 2.0. These results are mainly caused by the following two mechanisms originating from the structural characteristics of the 4S reactor: - a decrease in neutron absorption by the fixed absorber due to the radial displacement of the inner core subassemblies (under the BOC condition); - a decrease in neutron streaming caused by the small gaps between the outer core subassemblies and the reflectors due to core radial expansion (under the EOC condition).

Copyright © 2009 by ASME



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