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NucE431W S2014

FINAL REPORT
Gator Lake PWR - Cycle 15 Core Reload Design
For the period of
January 2014 through May, 2014

Submitted to
Dr. Kostadin Ivanov
Dr. Maria Avramova
Adam Miller

As a part of
NucE431W, Section 2, Group 11
by
Asset Makhambetov
Bakhtiyar Shokobayev
Ricky Vivanco


The Pennsylvania State University
Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering
University Park, PA 16802
May 5, 2014
2


Table of Contents
Table of Contents .......................................................................................................................................... 2
LIST OF TABLES .............................................................................................................................................. 4
NOMENCLATURE ........................................................................................................................................... 5
SYMBOLS ................................................................................................................................................... 5
ACRONYMS ............................................................................................................................................... 5
ABSTRACT ...................................................................................................................................................... 6
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY .................................................................................................................................. 7
ACKNOWLEDGMENT ..................................................................................................................................... 8
Chapter 1 ....................................................................................................................................................... 9
Introduction .................................................................................................................................................. 9
1.1 Background ......................................................................................................................................... 9
1.2 Advanced Nodal Code (ANC) .............................................................................................................. 9
Chapter 2 ..................................................................................................................................................... 10
Loading Pattern Generation ........................................................................................................................ 10
2.1 Cycle Length Criterion ....................................................................................................................... 12
2.2 Unrodded Peaking Factor (FdH) Criterion......................................................................................... 14
2.3 Moderator Temperature Coefficient (MTC) ..................................................................................... 15
2.4 Fuel Inventory Criterion .................................................................................................................... 17
2.5 Loading Pattern Summary................................................................................................................. 17
Chapter 3 ..................................................................................................................................................... 19
Safety Calculations ...................................................................................................................................... 19
3.1 Rodded FdH ....................................................................................................................................... 19
3.2 Rod Ejection ...................................................................................................................................... 23
3.3 Moderator Temperature Coefficient (MTC) ..................................................................................... 25
3.4 Shutdown Margin (SDM) .................................................................................................................. 25
Chapter 4 ..................................................................................................................................................... 28
Operational Calculations ............................................................................................................................. 28
4.1 Control Rod Bank Worth ................................................................................................................... 28
4.2 Xenon Reactivity ............................................................................................................................... 28
4.3 Differential Boron Worth .................................................................................................................. 33
3

4.4 Isothermal Temperature Coefficient ................................................................................................ 34
4.5 HZP Critical Boron ............................................................................................................................. 35
Chapter 5 ..................................................................................................................................................... 36
Thermal hydraulics analysis ........................................................................................................................ 36
5.1 Safety Margins Evaluation with CDSC ............................................................................................... 36
5.2 Steady State Analysis Steps ............................................................................................................... 39
5.3 Steady State Analysis Results ............................................................................................................ 40
5.4 Steady State Analysis Summary ........................................................................................................ 47
Chapter 6 ..................................................................................................................................................... 48
Conclusion ................................................................................................................................................... 48
6.1 Terminal Objective ............................................................................................................................ 48
6.2 Enabling Objective ............................................................................................................................ 48
REFERENCES ................................................................................................................................................ 49






4

LIST OF TABLES

Table 1: E-SUM data of Final Core Loading Pattern .................................................................................... 12
Table 2: Moderator Temperature vs Burnup .............................................................................................. 16
Table 3: Sample Values for Manual MTC Calculation ................................................................................. 17
Table 4: Summary of Core Parameters and Requirements ........................................................................ 18
Table 5: Uncertainties Applied for Rod Ejection Accident Analysis ............................................................ 24
Table 6: Rod Ejection Accident Analysis Summary ..................................................................................... 24
Table 7: Partial E-SUM Output of SDM Calculation at BOC ........................................................................ 26
Table 8: Summary of SDM Analysis ............................................................................................................. 27
Table 9: Rod Worth Summary ..................................................................................................................... 28
Table 10: Gator Lake Specifications ............................................................................................................ 37
Table 11: Nominal and Overpower with Uncertainties Calculations .......................................................... 40


5

NOMENCLATURE

SYMBOLS

- Density
T-Temperature

- Moderator Temperature Coefficient

- Doppler (Fuel) Temperature Coefficient

Mass of Fuel
- Burnup

- Nominal (Rated) Power



ACRONYMS

ANC- Advanced Nodal Code
HFP- Hot Full Power
HZP- Hot Zero Power
BOC- Beginning of cycle
MOC-Middle of cycle
EOC- End of cycle
ARO- All rods out
RIL- Rod insertion limit
ITC- Isothermal temperature coefficient
MTC- Moderator temperature coefficient
DBW- Differential boron worth



6

ABSTRACT
The purpose of this project was to become familiar with the code and methods used to
generate core lading patterns and perform reload design synthesis. We were able to do this by
generating a reload core loading pattern for cycle 15 of Gator Lake Unit 1 using Advanced Nodal
Code (ANC). We generated a loading pattern and performed safety and operational calculations
for the satisfactory core loading pattern. We also performed thermal-hydraulic calculations using
CDSC code.
There were four criteria we had to concern ourselves with when designing a loading
pattern: axial peaking factor (FDH), moderator temperature coefficient (MTC), cycle length and
number of feed fuel assemblies. The loading pattern our group generated met all of the
requirements for these criteria. After finalizing the loading pattern, we performed safety,
operational and thermal-hydraulic calculations. For the safety calculations, ANC ran code to
generate rodded Fdh, rod ejection accident calculations and shutdown margin calculations. For
operational calculations, ANC calculated control rod worth at hot zero power at the beginning of
cycle (HZP, BOC), xenon effects throughout the length of the cycle, differential boron worth,
isothermal temperature coefficient (ITC) at BOC, HZP and all rods out (ARO), and critical boron
concentration at BOC, HZP, ARO. With the exception of rodded Fdh, all limits for these
calculations were met. It is important to note that these calculations were not required to meet the
limits, rather they were only required to be performed and reported. If more time was allotted,
the rodded Fdh limit could have possibly been met.














7

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
The purpose of this project was to become familiar with the code and methods used to
generate core lading patterns and perform reload design synthesis. We were able to do this by
generating a reload core loading pattern for cycle 15 of Gator Lake Unit 1 using Advanced Nodal
Code (ANC). We generated a loading pattern and performed safety and operational calculations
for the satisfactory core loading pattern. We also performed thermal-hydraulic calculations using
CDSC code.
There were four requirements we had to meet when designing a loading pattern. First, our
reload pattern had to have a maximum axial peaking factor (FdH) of 1.432 over the course of the
cycle. Second, the moderator temperature coefficient (change in reactivity per change in
moderator temperature, MTC) had to be negative over the course of the cycle as well. Both of
these requirements were needed to ensure safety during plant operations. Third, the cycle length
of the loading pattern had to be greater than 519.3 effective full power days (EFPD). Lastly, the
amount of feed fuel assemblies we used in the core could not exceed 76. The cycle length and
amount of feed assemblies were both requirements to make sure the loading pattern is financially
advantageous.
The loading pattern our group generated met all of these requirements. The cores
maximum peaking factor reached 1.428 at the 10000 MWd/MTU burnup step. The MTC was
negative the entire cycle with the least negative value being -0.88 pcm/degree F. The cycle
length was 520.537 EFPD and we used exactly 76 feed assemblies in the loading pattern.
After finalizing the loading pattern, we performed safety, operational and thermal-
hydraulic calculations. For the safety calculations, ANC ran code to generate rodded Fdh, rod
ejection accident calculations and shutdown margin calculations. For operational calculations,
ANC calculated control rod worth at hot zero power at the beginning of cycle (HZP, BOC),
xenon effects throughout the length of the cycle, differential boron worth, isothermal temperature
coefficient (ITC) at BOC, HZP and all rods out (ARO), and critical boron concentration at BOC,
HZP, ARO. With the exception of rodded Fdh, all limits for these calculations were met. It is
important to note that these calculations were not required to meet the limits, rather they were
only required to be performed and reported. If more time was allotted, the rodded Fdh limit could
have possibly been met.


8

ACKNOWLEDGMENT

We would like to acknowledge Dr. Kostadin Ivanov, Dr. Maria Avramova and Adam MIller for
all of their help over the course of the semester. With their guidance, we were able to
successfully complete this project and all of its components.



9

Chapter 1
Introduction
1.1 Background
The purpose of this project was to become familiar with the code and methods used to generate
core lading patterns and perform reload design synthesis. We were able to do this by generating a
reload core loading pattern for cycle 15 of Gator Lake Unit 1 using Advanced Nodal Code
(ANC). We generated a loading pattern and performed safety and operational calculations for the
satisfactory core loading pattern. We also performed thermal-hydraulic calculations using CDSC
code.
There was four criteria with limits that the core loading pattern had to meet. There were
additional safety, operational and thermal-hydraulic limits given to us, however, the core loading
was not required to meet these limits as part of our project. We were simply required to perform
the calculations and report them.
Gator Lake Unit 1 is described at a Westinghouse 4-loop PWR. The thermal output is
approximately 3853 MWt and the core average temperature varies from 567.0 to 595.7 degrees
fahrenheit. The amount of uranium within the core is about 102.616 MTU and the feed fuel
assemblies came in 3 different weight percents: 4.8 w/o, 4.4 w/o and 4.2 w/o. Within the feed
assemblies, we were allowed to use zirconium diboride (ZrB
2
) burnable absorbers.

1.2 Advanced Nodal Code (ANC)
In order to generate a core loading pattern, we had to use Advanced Nodal Code (ANC) to
design the configuration of the fuel assemblies. We also used ANC for our safety and operational
calculations. ANC is a multi-dimensional code that uses two-group nodal expansion method to
model the flux between the nodes of given parameters. ANC uses group coefficients, cross
sections and pin power data generated from PHOENIX-P and ALPHA code. From these
databanks, ANC is able to calculate core reactivity, assembly and rod wise powers and burnups,
reactivity coefficients, core depletion and reactivity worth of control rods and fission products.






10

Chapter 2
Loading Pattern Generation

In order to generate a satisfactory core loading, we first focused on obtaining a core
loading with a manageable FdH without burnable absorbers. We lowered the Fdh further using
burnable absorbers after we were generally satisfied with the loading pattern. The following
figures shows our progress as we reached our final loading pattern and the final loading pattern
we used for our safety, operational and thermal-hydraulic calculations.


Figure 1: Maximum Fdh per trial

11



Figure 2: Final Core Loading Pattern ( symmetry)

As seen in Figure 2. our final loading pattern has the most burned fuel at the periphery of
the core followed by the most reactive feed fuel assemblies. Towards the middle, there is a
somewhat checkerboard pattern with once burned fuel assemblies and the 4.4 w/o and 4.2 w/o
feed assemblies. These characteristics are both that of a low-leakage core.


12

2.1 Cycle Length Criterion
The cycle length of the core loading was required to be greater than or equal to 519.3
EFPD. The end of the cycle is signified when the critical boron concentration reaches 10 ppm at
any burnup step. The following table is taken from our ANC output:

Table 1: E-SUM data of Final Core Loading Pattern


13


Figure 3: Boron Letdown Curve

The sharp drop in boron concentration is attributed to the buildup of xenon right
after reactor startup. The slight increase after the drop is due to the burnable absorbers in
the feed fuel assemblies being burned. This adds positive reactivity so more boron
(negative reactivity) is needed in the moderator to compensate.
According to our data, the end of cycle occurs at the 19545 MWd/MTU burnup
step. To figure out the equivalent EFPDs we used the following equation and constants
from Tab 3: Plant Descriptions of the Course Design Training Course for Cycle 15:
M
U
given
= 102,616 MTU
Rated Thermal Power (RTP) = 3853 MWt
Obtained: BU = 19,545 MWD/MTU
EFPD Conversion:

The targeted length for Cycle 15 is 519.3 EFPD and the obtained length is 520.5
EFPD. The loading seems to be effective and met the targeted limit. Since the obtained
length implies that reactor would be able to operate on more than the limit. The reactor
full power operation cycle length would would actually be longer by 1.24 days. Based on
this extra time, the core output and the price of electricity as reported by the US. Energy
Information Administration for February 2014 ($0.1188/kWh), the amount of extra
revenue can be calculated simply by cancelling units:
14


Assuming 34% plant efficiency, the longer cycle length would generate an extra
$5,005,072.89 in revenue.

2.2 Unrodded Peaking Factor (FdH) Criterion
The Peaking Factor (FdH) is defined as the ratio of the maximum integrated rod
power to average integrated rod power. As shown by the figure below, the dashed line
represents the limit FdH = 1.432 of the loading pattern. The peak FdH
max
of the loading
pattern is 1.428, which is less than the limit and the FdH is acceptable throughout the
cycle, as required.

Figure 4: Maximum Peaking Factor vs Burnup

The following figure 5 shows the location of the most limiting peaking factor at
its respective burnup step. As shown, the peak Fdh occurs within a feed assembly. The
feed assemblies are most reactive after the burnable absorbers are gone, so this burnup
map is expected. The bottom number is the FdH and the top number is the average
nominal power.

15


Figure 5: Map of Peaking Factor and Average Nominal Power



2.3 Moderator Temperature Coefficient (MTC)

The moderator temperature coefficient is defined at the change in unit reactivity per
change in unit temperature. The requirement for our core was that the MTC had to be
negative throughout the cycle of the core. The following table is the ANC generated
values for MTC at their respective burnup. Included is also a figure of the data for
simpler interpretation.









16

Table 2: Moderator Temperature vs Burnup



Figure 6: Moderator Temperature Coefficient vs Burnup


The most limiting MTC occurs at 1000 MWd/MTU burnup step and is -0.88 pcm/degF.
The core has a negative MTC throughout the cycle so this requirement was fulfilled.
17

For manual calculation of MTC at HZP, we used the formula provided in Safety
Checks for Loading Pattern Development under Tab 2 of Core Design Training Course:

Where k
+5
and k
-5
are eigenvalues at T
mod+5
and T
mod-5
respectively, and (T
mod+5
-
T
mod-5
) = 10 F. ANC generated the eigenvalues at 562 and 572 degrees fahrenheit.

Table 3: Sample Values for Manual MTC Calculation


MTC will change with burn up due to the fact that boron concentration is
decreasing with time, which makes the water less dense, which brings MTC lower.
However, there is insignificant increase in MTC during a cycle, since IFBA are being
burnt in the fuel, so additional boron is needed to control reactivity, which brings MTC
slightly higher. For our loading pattern, it occurs at 1000 MWD/MTU.

2.4 Fuel Inventory Criterion
We were required to use 76 feed fuel assemblies or less in our core loading pattern
with a specific distribution of weight percent enrichments. Originally, we had the
following distribution of feed fuel assemblies:
36 feed assemblies @ 4.8 w/o
16 feed assemblies @ 4.4 w/o
24 feed assemblies @ 4.2 w/o
In our final core loading, we actually used less of the 4.4 w/o feed assemblies and
more 4.2 w/o feed assemblies but still stayed with 76 feed fuel assemblies total. This is
economically advantageous since we are using less U-235.
2.5 Loading Pattern Summary
The final core loading pattern was able to fulfill all of the core requirements and we were
able to continue with the safety, operational and thermal-hydraulic calculations. The
following table is a summary of our core parameters:

18

Table 4: Summary of Core Parameters and Requirements


For our loading pattern, we changed four 4.4 w/o feed assemblies to 4.2 w/o feed
assemblies. This change in the distribution was allowed. Thus, at the final loading pattern
we have:
36 feed assemblies @ 4.8 w/o
12 feed assemblies @ 4.4 w/o
28 feed assemblies @ 4.2 w/o


19

Chapter 3
Safety Calculations
3.1 Rodded FdH
FdH is defined as the normalized enthalpy rise in a given subchannel as the water
flows from the bottom of the core to the top of the core. However, since ANC is a nodal
code based on the fuel assemblies and not the subchannels, ANC uses the integrated rod
power for its determination of FdH.
The reason that FdH is checked throughout the whole cycle, it represents a
localized power in the core. That means that while reactor is operating at an average
power, the local power can be much greater. If the localized power becomes too high,
then the fuel cannot be properly cooled, potentially leading to fuel melt.
For this project, unrodded and rodded FdH values were confirmed for the whole
burnup cycle. For unrodded FdH confirmation all control rod banks were at all the way
out positions, as discussed in section 2.b of this report. Rodded FdH limit confirmation is
completed using 3D ANC and performed for each burnup step. At each step, the databank
file at the appropriate burnup step is read and the lead control is inserted to its limit. The
axial offset (A/O) is also shifted to the top of the core to create worst-possible power
shape, since presence of control rods and increase in A/O shifts power distribution
around, which could lead to increase in FdH value. Confirmation were performed at
100% power level only. The FdH limit that has to be checked against is 1.432.
20


Figure 7: Control Rods RIL as a Function of Power

This figure above shows how each control rod bank should be inserted as a
function of power, and the data is used for rodded FdH, rod ejection, and shutdown
margin (SDM) calculations.

21


Figure 8: Unrodded and Rodded FdH Throughout the Cycle

As could be seen on the above graph unrodded FdH values are below the limit
throughout the whole cycle. However, rodded FdH values are slightly higher than the
limit, which again occur due to power distribution shift created for worst-possible
scenario. The highest unrodded FdH value was 1.428 at 266.33 EFPD, and the highest
rodded FdH value was 1.462 at 213.06 EFPD.
22


Figure 9: C-FDH Output Summary for Unrodded FdH Confirmation

The highest FdH value at the most limiting ARO confirmation occurs at position (3,5) in
the symmetry core and equals to 1.428.

23


Figure 10: C-FDH Output Summary for Rodded FdH Confirmation

The highest FdH value at the most limiting rodded FdH confirmation occurs at positions
(1,5) and (5,1) in the symmetry core and both equals to 1.462.

3.2 Rod Ejection
The rod ejection accident is a mechanical failure of a control rod pressure housing
resulting in the ejection of a control rod from the core. This accident has a low
probability of occurrence, but its consequences can have rather big impact on the reactor.
When a control rod is ejected from the core, it brings a positive reactivity, which
increases reactor power. This leads to fuel and cladding temperature increase, which
consequently could lead to departure from nucleate boiling (DNB) and damage of the
fuel.
For this accident two factors should be checked:
Worth of the ejected rod (%)
Total peaking factor (F
Q
)


24

The confirmation is completed for four different cases:
BOC-HFP
BOC-HZP
EOC-HFP
EOC-HZP
The calculation is completed in 3D ANC. The calculation is done as following:
The base case is established based on databank from unrodded core condition.
All control rods are inserted to their rod insertion limits, which is given as a function of
power.
The control rods are ejected individually from the core.
Adiabatic assumption is used (feedback is frozen).
Then ANC calculates each step conditions and presents summary output.
When the ANC delivers the output file for each case, worth of the ejected rod
have to be calculated based on eigenvalues. Then, uncertainties have to be applied for
each case and the obtained values checked against limits.

Table 5: Uncertainties Applied for Rod Ejection Accident Analysis


Table 6: Rod Ejection Accident Analysis Summary


On the above table the most limiting control rods were taken into consideration,
and one could see that our reactor passes all rod ejection accident criteria with a
significant margin. It is worth noting that at HZP both limiting factors are higher than at
HFP, since control rods at 0% power are inserted more deeply into the core.
25

3.3 Moderator Temperature Coefficient (MTC)
As described in section 2.C of this report, MTC has to be checked throughout the
whole cycle, and the value should stay below 0. For this core, MTC were checked both at
HFP and HZP conditions. As could be seen from graph below, both conditions satisfy the
needs.

Figure 11: MTC at HFP and HZP Throughout the Cycle

MTC at HFP much lower, due to presence of total power defect. In other words,
at HFP less boron is needed to keep reactor critical, which lowers the density of water
and worsens the neutron moderation. The most limiting case is at 1000 MWD/MTU
(26.63 EFPD) burnup step at HZP and equals to -0.88 pcm/degF.
3.4 Shutdown Margin (SDM)
Shutdown margin (SDM) is the amount of reactivity by which the core would be
subcritical (%) at hot shutdown condition following a reactor trip, assuming the
highest worth control rod remains fully withdrawn, and no changes in xenon (Xe) or
boron concentration.
SDM has to be checked to ensure that reactor is capable to safely shutdown under
any circumstances, and the minimum required SDM value is established based on other
analysis. When the reactor is being shutdown, whatever portion of the rods are out of the
core are inserted to reduce reactivity. When the power is decreasing with control rods
insertion, reactor operators fight against total power defect (TPD), which is the amount
the core will increase in reactivity due to the trip to HZP.
The available negative reactivity comes from the control rods. The control rod
worth is calculated by taking the worth of all the rods being inserted at hot zero power
(HZP), except for the worst stuck rod, and then subtracting off 10% to ensure a
conservative estimate. Also, local or statically boiling in the moderator can also cause
small voids to form. When the reactor trips, the voids collapse and have positive
reactivity effect on the core. Additionally, flux redistribution due to the reactor trip
during the accident can have positive reactivity effect on the core.
26

Overall shutdown margin is calculated as following:

SDM = (N-1) Rod Worth - Total Power Defect - Voids

When the safety analysis is performed using ANC, six step process is used to
recreate the accident:
1. Base case at burnup of interest (BOC or EOC).
2. Rods at their RIL.
3. Over-power, skew power to top of the core (worst possible condition for trip).
4. Trip to HZP.
5. All rods are fully inserted.
6. Worst stuck rod is out.

For each of the steps ANC calculates an eigenvalue, and based on the eigenvalue
changes, one could calculate the reactivity worth of a transient. Table 7 below shows
partial output data from SDM calculation.

Table 7: Partial E-SUM Output of SDM Calculation at BOC


The RIA, Doppler defect, variable moderator temperature effects, and flux
redistribution effect are all implicit to the calculation, since A/O is skewed to the top of
the core and core power is raised by 5% (step 3), and control rods are inserted to their
RIL (step 2). Using this table as a sample, one could calculate the SDM as follows:
TPD = ln(K
4
/K
3
)*1.00E+05 pcm

(N-1) Rod Worth =ln(K
4
/K
6
)*1.00E+05 pcm
This value should be reduced by 10% for conservatism as follows:

Reduced (N-1) Rod Worth = 0.90*(N-1) Rod Worth pcm

Voids = 50 pcm
27


Voids effect are not included to ANC, since it assumes one-phase flow. However,
small positive effect is still present in the core, due to bubbles collapse when the reactor
trips.

If we use above steps to calculate SDM at BOC using data from Table 3.3, then:


The same approach is used to calculate SDM at EOC.

Table 8: Summary of SDM Analysis

As could be seen, this core loading passes SDM analysis with big margin. It is
worth noting that at EOC SDM is lower, it is due to the fact that MTC is more negative at
EOC compared to BOC. Since MTC is part of TPD, decrease in MTC increases TPD,
because temperature change in moderator during the trip is negative as well.


28

Chapter 4
Operational Calculations
4.1 Control Rod Bank Worth
During the reactor operations two types of control rods needed: slow that maintain
criticality as fuel depletes, and fast that shut the reactor down quickly. This analysis is
focused on the control rods that are credited for shutting down the reactor in accident
analysis.
The rod worth is the reactivity change due to the insertion of a control rod bank
into the core from full out to full in condition. Plant operators measure rod worth at initial
core startup to confirm that the core design model adequately reflects the as-loaded core.
If the measured and predicted rod worth compare well, the plant operator has confidence
that the shutdown margin calculations are also accurate.
The method of calculation the control rod worth in this analysis is the dilution
method. In this method, the reactor operator inserts one bank into the core at a time,
while diluting the boron concentration to maintain criticality until that banks is fully
inserted. For this analysis, the reactor is at HZP, with no xenon. Critical boron
concentration data should be obtained for the conditions:
1. All rods out
2. D bank is fully inserted
3. D+C banks are fully inserted
4. D+C+B banks are fully inserted
5. D+C+B+A banks are fully inserted.

Table 9 below summarizes the calculation that was performed for control rod
worths.
Table 9: Rod Worth Summary

4.2 Xenon Reactivity
Xenon has very large absorption cross-section, which makes it an excellent poison
material. Xenon has to be taken into account during any transient, since it introduces
large negative reactivity to the core. For instance, if a reactor is tripped and shutdown for
couple of hours, it is plausible that it may not get back to 100% power, since the excess
reactivity of the core would not be enough to overcome negative reactivity of xenon,
which was building up and reaching its peak negative reactivity.
29


Figure 12:
135
Xe buildup Chain

Let consider two cases. The first case is startup to certain power level. At this
point
135
Xe has two mechanisms to be gained and two ways to be lost. As shown in below
differential equation, it could be produced directly from fission or from decay of
135
I,
which is predominant.
135
Xe could be lost by absorbing a neutron or decaying to
135
Cs.
135
Xe concentration will reach equilibrium at certain time.

The second case is post-trip Xe behavior. At this point
135
Xe does not absorb
neutrons from fission reactions. Thus, concentration of it increases even further, since
decay time of
135
I is longer than of
135
Xe. After the peak of its concentration and decay of
almost all of
135
I, its concentration will go to zero.
For this analysis, xenon reactivity behavior is checked at the conditions:
BOC - 50% and 100% power for startup
MOC - 50% and 100% power for startup
EOC - 50% and 100% power for startup
BOC - 50% and 100% power after trip
MOC - 50% and 100% power after trip
EOC - 50% and 100% power after trip
Calculation of Xe worth after startup begins with the core at HZP condition with
no Xe. The core model is taken to HFP, and the Xe worth is tracked as function of time.
Calculation of Xe worth after shutdown begins with a core at full power equilibrium
condition. After 9 hours, the xenon concentration in the core peaks, then decay away
completely.

30


Figure 13: BOC Xenon Reactivity as Function of Time after Startups to 50% and 100%


Figure 14: MOC Xenon Reactivity as Function of Time after Startups to 50% and 100%

31


Figure 15: EOC Xenon Reactivity as Function of Time After Startups to 50% and 100%


Figure 16: BOC Xenon Reactivity as Function of Time After Trip from 50% and 100%

32


Figure 17: MOC Xenon Reactivity as Function of Time After Trip from 50% and 100%


Figure 18: EOC Xenon Reactivity as Function of Time After Trip from 50% and 100%

Xenon worth throughout the cycle is affected by:
1. Boron concentration - boron and Xe compete for the same thermal neutrons - increased boron
concentration will reduce Xe worth
2. Control rod presence in the core - control rods compete for the same thermal neutrons - their
presence will reduce Xe worth
3. Neutron spectrum - the higher the ration of fast to thermal flux, the lower Xe worth.
33

4.3 Differential Boron Worth
Soluble boron is essential component for the operation of PWR plant. The
designers and operators should know the worth of boron present in water to safely
operate the reactor.
For this analysis, differential boron worth (DBW) for the entire cycle will be
calculated. DBW is the change in reactivity due to a unit change in boron concentration.
This coefficient is calculated both for HFP and HZP conditions.
The DBW is calculated by 3D ANC. A base case is read from the depletion model
and set to the condition of interest. The boron concentration is then varied a small amount
in both direction; and the worth is determined from the reactivity difference between two
eigenvalues.


Figure 19: DBW Summary at HFP for the Entire Cycle

Figure 20: DBW Summary at HZP for the Entire Cycle
34


As could be seen for both conditions the DBW is more negative towards EOC,
since there is less boron concentration in the core at EOC than at BOC. Any change in
boron concentration at EOC is much larger than of BOC. Therefore, the core reactivity
change of a given boron concentration increase is more significant at EOC than it is at
BOC. In other words, it could be explained as self-shielding effect: when under large
concentration, boron is shielded, and when under small concentration, boron is more
exposed.
4.4 Isothermal Temperature Coefficient
The isothermal temperature coefficient (ITC) is the change in reactivity of the
core with a change in core (moderator and fuel) temperature. Since it is impossible to
change actual core moderator temperature without changing fuel temperature, MTC
cannot be measured directly as. For this reason, ITC is measured in order to confirm
prediction at BOC, HZP. Meanwhile, ITC includes the temperature change in the entire
core including both fuel and moderator.
The measured MTC may be obtained from ITC. At HZP, the fuel and moderator
are at the same temperature: ITC=MTC+DTC, where DTC is the fuel temperature
(Doppler) coefficient that is been calculated by nuclear designer at the same time and
conditions that ITC was measured. In addition, ITC is calculated in the same way as the
MTC. However, spectrum factors (SPFTs) are used to capture the flux spectrum effects
on the cross-sections, in addition to the temperature / density corrections.
For this analysis, ANC calculates ITC in three steps:
1. Calculation of the critical boron concentration at BOC, HZP, all rods out
2. Calculation of an eigenvalue using the boron from the first case at the moderator temperature
5 degrees above the HZP temperature
3. Calculation of an eigenvalue at the same boron at the moderator temperature 5 degrees below
the HZP temperature.
Note: SPFTs are to be calculated in the +5 degree case and maintained in the -5
degree case. The ITC is calculated throughout the whole cycle.
35


Figure 21: ITC Summary for the Entire Cycle
ITC and MTC behaves relatively at the same fashion. Their value follows boron
letdown curve, since boron concentration changes directly affect density of moderator,
which affects MTC and ITC. Xenon worth increases with burnup, since fission product
inventory increases with time as well.

4.5 HZP Critical Boron

The critical boron concentration is measure at the plant at HZP, all rods out, no
xenon condition during initial criticality conditions at BOC. Good agreement between
this measure value and the value predicted by the design code provides confidence in the
accuracy of the design model of the reactor, and the safety analysis calculations
performed with it. NRC general design criteria specify that core reactivity must be
predicted within 1000 pcm.
As calculated by ANC, critical boron concentration at BOC, HZP, ARO is 2112
ppm or 12.078 G/KG. Since power defect has negative reactivity effect to the core, more
boron is needed at HZP to overcome excess reactivity and keep the reactor critical. Thus,
this calculation is more conservative than calculation at HFP.

36

Chapter 5

Thermal hydraulics analysis
In the thermal hydraulics safety analysis main safety evaluations were performed by using a
SCDC code: Steady State. The thermal hydraulics calculations are based on the most limiting
power distributions that the nuclear designer develops, in order to bind all possible power
distributions during the operation.
5.1 Safety Margins Evaluation with CDSC
CDSC is a three-dimensional code that allows to determine the following parameters: mass flow,
quality, void fraction, fluid temperature, and pressure for each subchannel. Therefore, the code
assumes homogeneous equilibrium two-phase flow which is more suited for PWRs: no slip,
same temperature for each phase. Additionally, the CDSC models the entire or fraction of the
core on an assembly basis, the hottest subchannel and the hot assembly as well as assembly-to-
assembly and subchannel-to-subchannel cross flows. Based on calculations of fluid conditions
used in a DNBR or Critical Heat Flux, CDSC determines whether the fuel rod exceeds the
maximum allowable heat flux.
For example, the CDSC solves void fraction according to

( )


The CDSCs input deck includes geometry of the problem (rod/guide tube dimensions; pitch,
heated length, spacers dimensions and locations), boundary conditions (inlet flow rate; system
pressure; 3D power distribution) and coefficient required for the constitutive relationships
(mixing coefficient, friction coefficient)
The CDSCs output deck contains 3D enthalpy and flow distribution; evaluations of thermal
safety limits. In this part of the design project Safety Margins Evaluation the subchannel
calculations for the hottest fuel assembly (FA) in the loading pattern of Gator Lake Unit 1 Cycle
15: Westinghouse 4-loop PWR were performed.

37


Table 10: Gator Lake Specifications
Fuel Assembly Layout
Parameter Value Units SI Units
FA dimension 1717 -
Number of fuel rods 264 -
Number of guide tubes 24 -
Number of instrumentation
tubes
1 -
Fuel rod pitch 0.496 in 0.012598 m
Fuel rod outside diameter 0.374 in 0.0095 m
Fuel pellet outside diameter 0.3225 in 0.008192 m
Cladding thickness 0.0225 in 0.000572 m
Guide tube outside diameter 0.482 in 0.012243 m
Instrumentation tube
outside diameter
0.482 in
0.012243 m
Fuel active (heated) length 168 in 4.2672 m
Full length 177.6 in 4.51104 m
Core Layout
Number of FA in the core 193 -
FA pitch 8.466 in 0.215036 m
Gap between FAs 0.05 in 0.00127 m
Rated Conditions
Nominal core power 3800 MWt
System pressure and core
pressure drop
2250

psia

Inlet enthalpy 560.9 BTU/lbm
Inlet mass flux

2.7064 mlbm/hr-
ft2
Heat generated in the fuel 0.974 fraction

38


Figure 22: 1/8th symmetry of the Gator Lake Unit 1: CDSC Nodalization for the Hot FA
The CDSC code allows to modulate the entire reactor based on 1/8
th
symmetry and to perform all
following safety analysis based on this.
The large tubes at the Figure 22 represents guide tubes at the core, while smaller tubes are feed
assemblies. As it also is seen from the figure of the 1/8
th
symmetry there were four repeatedly
different subchannels areas. This fact let us to calculate only four subchannels areas:


39


The last two area subchannels are calculated based on gap sizes between the rods and the
subtraction of areas of the feed rods out of the total
5.2 Steady State Analysis Steps
The objective was to perform realistic and conservative calculations to determine the maximum
cladding temperature at 100% power and to find the maximum allowable power (no critical heat
flux, CHF).
The realistic method implies using the set of data, correlations and methods designed to represent
the phenomena, using the best available techniques in which for the thermo-hydraulics Large
Break LOCA analysis the best-estimate methodologies supplemented with uncertainty analysis.
The analysis was performed according to the following steps:
Step 1: The hottest spot was find in the core.
The calculations are performed at nominal conditions: 100% power, 100% flow rate, the rated
inlet temperature and 100% system pressure. Also, the core radial and power distribution as
predicted in ANC were used.
The initial calculation determines the hottest subchannel in the core.
The step 1 is considered to be our base case.
Step 2: Estimation of overpower condition for the loading pattern.
The core average heat flux was increased until the CHF conditions are approached such as rapid
increase of cladding temperature of the hottest rod/subchannel.
Step 3: Account for the uncertainties.
The analysis was performed in a conservative case in order to:
Bound all core loading patterns (power distribution)
Account for manufacturing uncertainties
Account for uncertainties in initial boundary conditions.
Bound all core loading patterns (power distribution)
Account for fuel manufacturing uncertainties (enrichment, density, pellet deformation)
Also, to account for uncertainties in plant conditions/states and uncertainties in initial boundary
conditions, the pressure was reduced by 50psia, the coolant inlet temperature was increased by 4
(~7
o
C) and the inlet mass flux was reduced by 5%.
Additionally, to account for uncertainties in manufacturing tolerances by applying a pitch
reduction of 0.006 in to the hot subchannel. Thus, the subchannel flow area for the hottest
subchannel was recalculated, the gap between the rods was reduced and the spacer grid loss
coefficient of this subchannel was increased by 10%.
40

After running the steady state case of the nominal power in the CDSC code, it was obtained that
the hottest subchannel is the subchannel 1. After implying the modifications mentioned in the
Step 3, the new subchannel areas were calculated and were implemented in the input of the
overpower with uncertainties case. Alongside with the subchannel 1, the nearest subchannel to
the hottest one, subchannel had been recalculated also. The modified subchannel areas were
calculated:



5.3 Steady State Analysis Results
The following hottest temperatures, rod numbers and subchannels are given in the table 11.
Table 11: Nominal and Overpower with Uncertainties Calculations
Nominal Overpower with uncertainties
Maximum clad temperature [
o
C]
Cladding outer temperature
349.15

347.83
The rod number:

1 1
The subchannel number:

1 3
Based on the obtained results from the output, the plots are below:
1. The mass flux

Figure 23: The mass flux for the hottest subchannels at 100% power case and overpower case
with uncertainties
3450.00
3500.00
3550.00
3600.00
3650.00
3700.00
3750.00
3800.00
3850.00
3900.00
3950.00
0 1 2 3 4 5
M
a
s
s

F
l
u
x

[
(
k
g
/
s
/
m
2
]

Distance [m]
100% Power, ch.1 Overpower+uncer., ch.3
41

As it is seen from the Figure 23 above, the max flux at 3891.5 kg/s/m
2
in two starts decreasing in
a zigzag-shaped path along the distance. The reason of this behavior lies under the fact that
spacer grids have effect on mass flux. The rapid jump down of the path at 2.347m for Overpower
with uncertainties case and the comparably delayed jump down of the nominal 100% Power case
path at 2.667m occurred due to an offset of departure from nucleate boiling.


2. The cladding temperature and the coolant temperature; identify the regions of forced
convection, sub-cooled nucleate boiling and saturated boiling on these figures

Figure 24: 100% Power: Temperature at Channel 1

The figure 24 above shows the cladding and coolant temperature at rated conditions 100%
Power case. This graph is a visual representations of temperature changes in a flow regimes
along the distance. The coolant temperature starts from the inlet temperature at 295 and keeps
increasing linearly till it reaches the saturated temperature. The single phase convection regime
occurs at the region when the cladding temperature (in the plot it is represented by the cladding
outer) exponentially increases till it reaches and crosses the saturated temperature line. As the
cladding temperature stays higher than the saturated temperature, bubbles are nucleating and it
creates the subcooled nucleate boiling regime. As the coolant temperature reaches the saturation
temperature level, all three equalized temperatures creates the saturated boiling regime.


290
300
310
320
330
340
350
360
0 1 2 3 4 5
T
e
m
p
e
r
a
t
u
r
e

[
o
C
]

Distance [m]
Coolant Saturated Cladding, outer
Single phase
convection
Subcooled
nucleate
boiling
Saturated
boiling
42

3. The hottest subchannel quality and void fraction

Figure 25: 100% Power, channel 1: Void Fraction and Equilibrium Quality


Figure 26: Over Power + uncertainties, channel 3: Void Fraction and Equilibrium Quality
As it seen from the Figure 25: 100% Power at channel 1, the void fraction occurs after distance
3m, this is where onset of departure of nucleate boiling starts and generation (nucleation) of
bubbles occurs. However, at the Figure 26 over power case with uncertainties the offset of
departure nucleate boiling shifts to the left, the local heat flux increased due to increasing the
cladding temperature, and the DNBR starts earlier at overpower case. The equilibrium quality
shifts from -0.35 ratio value at the 100% power to -0.3 ratio at overpower. The reasons for this
effect could be the weighted gaseous flow is enlarging in size and leads in increasing the quality,
-0.40
-0.30
-0.20
-0.10
0.00
0.10
0.20
0 1 2 3 4 5
Q
u
a
l
i
t
y
,

V
o
i
d

f
r
a
c
t
i
o
n

[
-
]


Distance [m]
void fraction X_equil
-0.40
-0.30
-0.20
-0.10
0.00
0.10
0.20
0.30
0.40
0.50
0 1 2 3 4 5
q
u
a
l
i
t
y

,

V
o
i
d

F
r
c
t
i
o
n

[
-
]

Distance [m]
void fraction X_equil
43

since the quality is the ratio of weighted gaseous flow over the total mixture flow. This is the
representation of the bubbles nucleation and bubbles expansion in sizes.
4. The fuel centerline temperature of the hottest rod


Figure 27: 100% Power Rod 1: Temperature

Figure 28: Over Power + uncertainties Rod 1: Temperature
The set limit temperature for the steady state operation is around 399

(799). For safety
operations and preventing the melting the core, the cladding and coolant temperatures must be
below the limit temperature that is shown as a red line.
250
270
290
310
330
350
370
390
410
0 1 2 3 4 5
T
e
m
p
e
r
a
t
u
r
e

[
o
C
]

Axial Zone [m]
Coolant Cladding Cladding Temperature limit
250
270
290
310
330
350
370
390
410
0 1 2 3 4 5
T
e
m
p
e
r
a
t
u
r
e

[
o
C
]

Axial Zone [m]
Coolant Cladding Cladding Temperature Limit
44

These two plots (Figures 27 and 28) represent the temperature behavior. The cladding
temperature has sharper increase in overpower case than at 100% Power case, this effect also
leads to faster boiling from the inlet coolant to saturated temperature. This effect can be seen
based on the sharp slope of coolant temperature function till it reaches the of the saturated
temperature 343.33

5. The departure from nucleate boiling ratio (DNBR)


Figure 29: 100% power Rod 1: DNBR

Figure 30: Over Power + uncertainties Rod 1: DNBR
The minimum DNBR at 100% Power case is 1.965, while MDNBR is 1.337
0.00
2.00
4.00
6.00
8.00
10.00
12.00
0 1 2 3 4 5
D
N
B
R

[
-
]

Axial Zone [m]
MNDBR: 1.9652E+00
0.00
2.00
4.00
6.00
8.00
10.00
12.00
0 1 2 3 4 5
D
N
B
R

[
-
]

Axial Zone [m]
MDNBR: 1.3374E+00
45

6. Fuel centerline temperature

Figure 31: Combined plot of the fuel center line temperature and hottest rods of two cases.

The fuel centerline temperature must be below the fuel melting temperature limit ~2593. Both
the Overpower with uncertainties case and the 100% Power fuel temperatures are below the
centerline line temperature. That supports the fact that the loading pattern is capable safely
operate and not exceeding the melting temperature points of the fuel rods.

250
750
1250
1750
2250
2750
0 1 2 3 4 5
T
e
m
p
e
r
a
t
u
r
e

[
o
C
]

Axial Zone [m]
Overpower + uncertanties, fuel average, rod 3
Fuel Centerline Temp
100%Power, fuel average, rod 1
46

7. Heat transfer coefficient


Figure 32: 100% Power Rod 1: Heat transfer coefficient


Figure 33: Over Power + uncertainties Rod 1: Heat transfer coefficient
Heat transfer coefficient represents how heat transfers from the fuel assembly to the coolant.
During the bubble nucleation regime, the heat transfer coefficient increases exponentially in both
cases. However, the path varies at the Figures 32 and 33, after the heat transfer reaches its
maximum , it decreases slowly in comparison to the 100% Power cases heat transfer at the point
where the coolant reaches the saturated temperature. The reason probably is that the high amount
of gaseous phase in the 2-phase flow coolant reduces the heat transfer capabilities.
0
50000
100000
150000
200000
250000
300000
0 1 2 3 4 5
H
_
s
u
r
f

[
w
/
m
2
/
k
]

Axial Zone [m]
H_surf
0
50000
100000
150000
200000
250000
300000
0 1 2 3 4 5
H
_
s
u
r
f

[
w
/
m
2
/
k
]

Axial Zone [m]
47

5.4 Steady State Analysis Summary
As it was observed, the location of the hottest subchannel are different for the overpower case.
The subchannel 1 was the hottest for the Nominal Power case, while the hottest subchannel at
Overpower + Uncertainties was 3.

48

Chapter 6
Conclusion
6.1 Terminal Objective
The primary objective of this design project was to familiarize students with the codes and
methods used in nuclear core development. With the design of Gator Lake Unit 1, Cycle 15, this
objective has been met through the successful completion of a new core, which meets and
exceeds all of the expectations put before it. The satisfaction of all core requirements itself
exemplifies the achievement of this terminal goal, as does this technical report and its associated
presentation.
6.2 Enabling Objective
Developing an acceptable reload core lading pattern with appropriate safety and operational
analysis verifications was the primary objective of the course. Firstly, the core loading pattern
criteria met the limits. Maximum enthalpy rise for unrodded case was 1.428, when the limit was
1.432. Cycle length was exceeded by 1.34 EFPD, which could result in additional $5 million
revenue. MTC value is negative throughout the whole cycle, when the limit is 0 pcm / deg F. No
additional fuel assemblies were used.
Secondly, through safety evaluations, it was shown that the reactor is safe to be operated in
neutronics perspective. The major safety analysis were performed: rod ejection accident,
shutdown margin, and rodded F
H
. All the safety criteria were passed with a margin in the
analysis, except the rodded F
H
calculation. Thirdly, the operational calculations were performed
to aid reactor operators in safe operation of the reactor.
Finally, thermal hydraulics analysis showed that the reactor is safe to be operated in thermal-
hydraulic perspective. The MDNBR of the overpower case is 1.34 which is above the required
MDNBR limit of 1.3. The operating temperatures of cladding and coolant are below the steady
state operation limit around 399. The operational fuel temperature were below the fuel
centerline limit. Based on the thermal hydraulics steady state analysis the loading pattern for the
Gator Lake is safe to be used.


49

REFERENCES

1. Dr. Avramova, Maria . "Safety Margins Evaluation with CDSC." TH Lecture 6.
NucE431W Nuclear Reactor Core design Synthesis, Pennsylvania State University. 1 Jan.
2014. Lecture.
4. Dr. Avramova, Maria . "Safety Margins Evaluation with a Subchannel Code-Examples."
TH Lecture 9. NucE431W Nuclear Reactor Core design Synthesis, Pennsylvania State
University. 1 Jan. 2014. Lecture.
5. Westingouse, "Core Deisgn Training Course", Presented to Penn State University, NucE
431W, Spring 2014 Westinghouse Electric Companty, LLC.