Optimized Core Design for a Small Modular Reactor with Unique Control and Channeling Features

Primary Inventor: Thomas Marcille
Contributing Inventor(s): Joseph Rajkumar
Date: March 21, 2017
Status: Provisional
Jurisdiction: USA
Equipment Type: SMR
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Abstract: A majority of nuclear reactors operating in the world today use light or ordinary water to remove heat from the fuel. Generally speaking, these water-cooled reactors use heat generated by a nuclear chain reaction to heat or boil water, combined with a Rankine steam cycle, to produce electricity. There are two general types of Light Water Reactors (LWRs) – Boiling Water Reactors (BWRs) and Pressurized Water Reactors (PWRs). BWRs operate at a pressure near 1000 psi and use nuclear heat to boil water directly in the reactor vessel, whereas PWRs operate at a much higher pressure of about 2250 psi, to prevent boiling in the reactor vessel. In PWRs, reactor water heat is transferred to a secondary steam generator circuit, where steam produced from boiling is subsequently used to produce electricity.

The reactor cores of currently operating PWRs differ significantly from the reactor cores of BWRs. For comparison, Table 1 includes typical PWR and BWR core parameters. Figure 1 provides a core layout comparison of typical PWR and BWR reactors.