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Light Water Breeder Reactor (LWBR) (1)
Naval Reactors[X]
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Shippingport Atomic Power Station (1)
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2002[X]
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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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