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Characteristic behaviour of pebble bed high temperature gas–cooled reactors during water ingress events
Khoza, Samukelisiwe Nozipho Purity
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The effect of water ingress in two pebble bed high temperature gas-cooled reactors i.e. the PBMR-200 MWthermal and the PBMR-400 MWthermal were simulated and compared using the VSOP 99/05 suite of codes. To investigate the effect of this event on reactivity, power profiles and thermal neutron flux profiles, the addition of partial steam vapour pressures in stages up to 400 bar into the primary circuit for the PBMR-400 and up to 300 bar for the PBMR- 200 was simulated for both reactors. During the simulation, three scenarios were simulated, i.e. water ingress into the core only, water ingress into the reflectors only and water ingress into both the core and reflectors. The induced reactivity change effects were compared for these reactors. An in-depth analysis was also carried out to study the mechanisms that drive the reactivity changes for each reactor caused by water ingress into the fuel core only, the riser tubes in the reflectors only and ingress into both the fuel core and the riser tubes in the reflectors. The knowledge gained of these mechanisms and effects was used in order to propose design changes aimed at mitigating the reactivity increases, caused by realistic water ingress scenarios. Past results from simulations of water ingress into Pebble Bed Reactors were used to validate and verify the present simulation approach and results. The reactivity increase results for both reactors were in agreement with the German HTR-Modul calculations.
- Engineering