Conference Proceedings Paper
Physics Aspects of the Pressure Tube Type SCWR Preconceptual Design
International Conference on the Future of Heavy Water Reactors - 2011 October 02-05
Jeremy Pencer (Atomic Energy of Canada Limited)
Bronwyn Hyland (Atomic Energy of Canada Limited)
One of the best options for meeting growing global energy needs is nuclear energy, since it is both emissions free and has the potential to be a sustainable energy source. The key areas for the development of future reactors are safety, sustainability, economics and security. Heavy water moderated reactors are an appealing option because of their improved neutron efficiency, which is advantageous from a sustainability standpoint. In an evolution of the current CANDU® reactors, the pressure tube structure and heavy water moderator are retained in an advanced reactor design, cooled by supercritical light water. The use of supercritical light water as the coolant enables a large increase in thermal efficiency and therefore provides improved economic benefits. The use of thorium-based fuel provides improved safety, and a non-proliferative and sustainable fuel cycle. The optimization of the SCWR (Super Critical Water-cooled Reactor) is determined in part through reactor physics calculations, with respect to fuel utilization and safety (e.g. coolant void reactivity). These and other aspects of SCWR physics will be discussed in this paper.
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