Core design of PWR-type seed-blanket core breeder reactor with tightly packed fuel assembly

Tetuso Takei*, Akifumi Yamaji

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    Pressurized water reactor (PWR) is the reactor type with the most abundant operation experience in the world. However, studies on designing PWR-type fast reactors have been limited and there have not been any PWR-type fast breeder reactor design concepts. In this study, the concept of seed-blanket PWR-type breeder reactor with tightly packed fuel assembly (TPFA) has been developed by coupled three dimensional neutronics and thermal-hydraulics core calculations. For the seed-blanket heterogeneous core using mixed oxide (MOX) fuel and depleted uranium, it has been shown that the core height is limited to about 1.0 m or less, in order to satisfy the design criterion of negative void reactivity. Moreover, it has been shown that increasing the core power density is difficult, as it leads to substantial increase in the core pressure drop. Consequently, the core characteristics are featured by low breeding performance with compound system doubling time (CSDT) of about 150 years or more (fissile plutonium surviving ratio of below 1.01) and low thermal power of about 700 MW or less. For the core using 4.95 wt% enriched uranium for the blanket assembly, it is possible to improve the void reactivity characteristics, breeding performance and thermal power by reducing reactivity difference between the seed and the blanket fuel assemblies. By utilizing enriched uranium, the concept of breeding PWR core with CSDT of 60 years and thermal power of 1000 MW has been shown. In addition, PWR-type breeder reactor concept using enriched uranium that the fissile surviving ratio including uranium and plutonium exceeds 1 was shown for the first time.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)45-54
    Number of pages10
    JournalNuclear Engineering and Design
    Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jul 1


    • Breeder reactor
    • Compound system doubling time (CSDT)
    • Pressurized water reactor (PWR)
    • Seed-blanket core
    • Tightly packed fuel assembly (TPFA)

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
    • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
    • Materials Science(all)
    • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
    • Waste Management and Disposal
    • Mechanical Engineering


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