RFD-1, a 1-D, 4-group code to calculate burnup cycles using mechanical spectral shift
Sherman, Russell Lee
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Increased conversion ratios and burnup can be achieved by mechanically changing the fuel-to-water volume ratio of a reactor over the core lifetime. As the fuel-to-water ratio decreases, the neutron spectrum softens, thereby increasing core reactivity. Proposed mechanical spectral shift reactors utilize this concept. RFD-1, a 1-dimensional, 4-group code was developed to compute fuel burnup cycles for spectral shift reactors. The code calculates burnup for a triangular core lattice having a beginning fuel to water ratio as high as 1.30. Core shutdown occurs at a fuel to water ratio of 0.50. The microscopic cross sections were obtained through use of the VIM code and tabulated for use in RFD-1 as a function of fuel to water ratio and burnup time. The fission product group cross sections were developed using the VIM and TOAFEW codes. The flexibility of RFD-1 allows the user to study a wide variety of possible core configurations. Results of RFD-1 show that increased conversion and burnup, using lower initial enrichments than that of standard Pressurized Water Reactors, result for mechanical spectral shift designs. The next step is to study specific spectral shift designs in greater detail. The RFD-1 code could be improved primarily through refinements in its cross section data tables.
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