Naval Reactors History Database (nrhdb)
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1Title:  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. 
 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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