lecture15 - Nuclear Reactors I Conventional fuels Fuel...

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ENGRI 1290 1 Nuclear Reactors I Conventional fuels Fuel assembly Reactor design
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ENGRI 1290 2 Lecture’s objectives • Learning the different types of fuel used in commercial reactors • Discovering the nuclear fuel assembly • Exploring the design of nuclear reactors
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ENGRI 1290 3 Controlled Fission •T h e f u e l – The fuel has a small amount of fissile material to avoid “critical mass” (mass at which an uncontrolled chain reaction happens) • A chain reaction – The initial start up is done by a strong neutron emitting source ( 241 Am, 252 Cf) •A m o d e r a t o r – Avoid run away chain reaction by slowing down neutrons. – Typically carbon inside the fuel and cooling fluid (water,He) •A n a b s o r b e r – Limiting or stopping nuclear fission reactions. – It is inside the control rods. To obtain controlled fission, the nuclear reaction requires:
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ENGRI 1290 4 Nuclear fuel The uranium ore contains 99.28% of 238 U and 0.72% of 235 U. 235 U is the only fissile material found in nature which is fissile using slow (i.e. thermal) neutrons. It means that only 0.72% of the mass of fuel can undergo nuclear fission. This is barely economical. So the nuclear fuel is enriched by adding more 235 U to 238 U. 235 U fission has an energy density of 83TJ/kg Enriched uranium has an energy density of 2.9TJ/kg
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5 Nuclear reactor fuel •O x i d e f u e l s – UOX: uranium oxide – MOX: uranium oxide and plutonium (transmuting plutonium) • Ceramic fuels – Uranium carbide –U r a n i um n i t r i d e •M
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lecture15 - Nuclear Reactors I Conventional fuels Fuel...

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