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1993 (1)
1986 (1)
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1Title:  Fuel summary report: Shippingport Light Water Breeder Reactor Add
 Summary:  This report provides an in-depth analysis of the Light-Water Breeder Reactor (LWBR) core installed in the Shippingport Atomic Power Station from 1977 to 1982. The core "was developed to prove the concept of a pressurized water breeder reactor" (iv). Its operation was successful, in that the "LWBR generated more than 29,000 effective full power hours (EFPH) of energy" (1-1). The core's design was based on a Thorium/U-233 fuel cycle. The U-233 isotope was used because of its high neutron regeneration factor ("the average number of neutrons produced in fission for each neutron absorbed in fissile fuel") relative to U-235 and Pu-239 (3-1). The LWBR design was similar to the two earlier PWR core its use of a seed-blanket design for the reactor fuel. However, one difference between the LWBR and the PWR cores that preceded it in the Shippingport plant was the control mechanism: instead of Hafnium control rods, the breeder plant "was designed with a movable seed, which was raised and lowered to control neutron absorption" (iv). That is, "to start up the reactor, the seed assemblies were raised, bringing the U-233 bearing parts of the fuel closer together"; to shut down the reactor, the fuel assembly was lowered (3-1). Another innovation in the core's design was the use of a Throrium reflector blanket to reduce neutron leakage. Section 2 includes a detailed description of the breeding decay series (in which Th-232 is converted to Uranium) and of the fuel assembly. Section 5 of the report notes one challenge of the transition from the PWR to LWBR design: "the use of the U-233/Th fuel system led to the need for an extensive analysis of available cross section data and other nuclear data for U-233 and Thorium, which had previously been given less attention than U-235 and U-238" (5-1). 
 Source:  http://www.inl.gov/technicalpublications/Documents/2664750.pdf 
 Date:   2002 
 Subject(s):  Light Water Breeder Reactor (LWBR) | Shippingport Atomic Power Station | Nuclear engineering | Naval Reactors 
 Type:  Text 
 Format:  PDF 
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2Title:  Shippingport operations with the Light Water Breeder Reactor (LWBR) core (LWBR development program) Add
 Summary:  This report provides a retrospective review of the Light-Water Breeder Reactor (LWBR) core at the Shippingport Atomic Power Station. NR's central role in the creation of the LWBR is noted: "In the early 1960's, work done by the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC - now the Department of Energy, DOE) laboratories under the direction of Naval Reactors showed it might be possible to develop a practical, self-sustaining breeder reactor, cooled and moderated with ordinary (light) water and fueled with uranium-233 and thorium" (1-1). The core's design was guided by two principles, "demonstrating typical utility operational capability while simultaneously producing more fissile fuel than is consumed" (2-1). A U-233/Thorium fuel cycle was used in the LWBR, primarily because "the average number of neutrons produced per atom of fissile fuel destroyed by neutron absorption is large enough for U-233 to permit breeding in a thermal reactor, whereas for either U-235 or Pu-238 this quantity is too small" (3-1). Innovations for the LWBR included "design of a practical movable fuel control system to eliminate neutron-absorbing control rods, and design of reliable fuel rod support system with minimum detrimental effect on neutron economy" (2-1). One problem that occurred during LWBR's operations was high radiation levels in the plant work areas. The report notes that "these levels, which existed after plant shutdown, were attributed to deposition of radioactive wear and corrosion products (crud) onto plant surfaces" (6-26). Section 1 of the report includes an in-depth, chronological summary of the LWBR's operations (broken down by quarter) from its reaching 100% reactor power on 2 December 1977 to its final shutdown on 1 October 1982. 
 Source:  http://www.osti.gov/bridge 
 Date:   1986 
 Subject(s):  Light Water Breeder Reactor (LWBR) | Shippingport Atomic Power Station | Nuclear engineering | Naval Reactors 
 Type:  Text 
 Format:  PDF 
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3Title:  The Shippingport Pressurized Water Reactor and Light-Water Breeder Reactor Add
 Summary:  This summary and outline, written by J.C. Clayton of the Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory, describes the history of the cores used at the Shippingport Atomic Power Station. It notes that the design and construction of the Shippingport plant, the first commercial power reactor in the United States, was led by the Naval Reactors Branch, reporting to the Atomic Energy Commission. PWR core 1 used a seed-blanket arrangement, with "highly-enriched uranium alloy fuel assemblies" constituting the seed, and "natural uranium dioxide fuel rods" the blanket (3). For PWR core 1, Clayton notes that both regions were essential in maintaining a chain reaction. PWR core 2 employed several advances in reactor technology in order to increase power density and core lifetime. Unlike PWR core 1, the seed region of PWR 2 was capable of a self-sustaining reaction. Both PWR cores 1 and 2 employed Hafnium control rods in the seed region only. Clayton then summarizes the operation of the Shippingport reactor using the Light-Water Breeder Reactor (LWBR) core, its final core prior to decommissioning. He notes that "the Shippingport LWBR demonstrated the feasibility of using the thorium-uranium fuel cycle in a light-water environment" (6). Given the fact that the LWBR was used in the Shippingport reactor vessel and plant, Clayton asserts that the LWBR design "is a viable alternative as a PWR replacement in future generations of nuclear reactors" (6). 
 Source:  http://www.osti.gov/bridge 
 Date:   1993 
 Subject(s):  Light Water Breeder Reactor (LWBR) | Shippingport Atomic Power Station | Nuclear engineering | Naval Reactors 
 Type:  Text 
 Format:  PDF 
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