To develop an integrated platform that uses state-of-the art computational and modeling techniques and integrates all tasks required for plant fuel-reload into one automated process.
Researchers will develop an integrated platform that combines multiple tasks required for a fuel-reload analysis and includes fuel-pattern optimization. The integration removes manual data transfer between tasks, eliminating human-error, and the optimization capability allows for a reduced fuel-batch size. This platform also allows the transition from a deterministic approach to transient and accident analyses to a probabilistic (risk-informed) approach. The risk-informed approach to safety evaluations will enable additional reductions in fuel-batch size. The developed platform will be ready-for deployment to industry, providing utilities the option to perform fuel analyses in-house, independent from fuel vendors, an additional savings. This work will assist industry with the transition to accident-tolerant fuels (ATFs) because the developed framework and computational platform will be capable of performing evaluations of ATFs during both the licensing phase and normal plant operations.
2022—develop and demonstrate a risk-informed approach for a fuel-reload safety analyses; further enhance the platform capabilities by improvements to uncertainty evaluations in RELAP5-3D and to the optimization module.
2023—complete an economic benefit assessment for the new fuel-management plan and extend the framework's capabilities to other core configurations (i.e., pressurized water reactors with ATFs and 24-month refueling cycle, generic boiling-water reactors).
2024—complete demonstration of ready-for-deployment framework to the industry, including equilibrium scenarios (i.e., normal plant operation).
2025—prepare a topical report (TR) that demonstrates the framework and its capabilities, including all regulatory-required steps for a typical license-amendment request; support the TR review and approval process by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
This graphic is an example of reactor core configuration. The project goal is to find the most optical configuration to improve fuel performance and reactor safety, and ultimately save costs due to reduction of new fuel volume.