Advances in nuclear science and technology. / Volume 4 by Paul Greebler, Ernest J. Henley

By Paul Greebler, Ernest J. Henley

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H. Fuel Elements for the Gas-Cooled Fast Reactors Stainless-steel-clad U0 2-PuO fuel elements have been assumed for the reference design of the gas-cooled fast reactor cores, although comparative evaluations of stainless-steel-clad carbide fuel elements have been made (14). In either case, the type of fuel element envisioned for the gas-cooled fast reactors is an assembly of approximately 1-cm-diam, stainless-steel-clad fuel rods. The subdivision of the fuel must be very great in order to achieve the high core power densities and fuel ratings required for reasonable performance with a fast-neutron-spectrum reactor.

The external forms of the fuel elements that have been developed for the Dragon, Peach Bottom, and AVR nuclear plants are quite different. The core of the Dragon reactor experiment (36) contains 37 clusters of fuel elements with seven fuel rods in each cluster. 25 ft (160 cm) long with about 16 in. of graphite at each end to serve as reflectors. 5 in. 75 in. 45 cm). The coated fuel particles are contained in the graphite matrix of the fuel compacts. A purge flow of helium gas between the sleeve and compacts is maintained by allowing a small in-leakage of helium at the top of the fuel element and some in-leakage through the pores in the graphite sleeve.

2 53 efficiencies in utilizing U to produce electrical energy in a once-through U cycle, and (b) the relative production rates of bred fuel as a byproduct of the energy production for this particular cycle. These data are 2 53cases of the natural and shown in the last two columns of Table IX. In the enrichment is less than low-enrichment uranium reactors, the final U 2 53 therefore, would probably not 2be53recovered. that of natural uranium and, Hence, the discharged U fuel has been included2in53the U consumption for the first three cases.

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