Events

Jan 22

”Fully Ceramic Microencapsulated Fuel in High-Temperature Gas-Cooled Reactors”

125 Reber
9:30 a.m.

Additional Information:

The objective of this dissertation is to inform on the viability of high-temperature gas-cooled reactors (HTGR) fueled with the fully ceramic microencapsulated (FCM) fuel form. The HTGRs considered in this work are graphite moderated, helium cooled reactors, with a prismatic block configuration similar to the historic Fort St. Vrain reactor that was operated in Colorado. The FCM fuel consists of TRistructural ISOtropic (TRISO) coated fuel particles embedded in a silicon carbide (SiC) matrix while conventional HTGR fuel uses graphite as its matrix. Compared to the conventional HTGR fuel, the FCM fuel form could enhance the safety of the reactor due to the numerous advantages provided by the SiC matrix. FCM fuel features enhanced ability to retain fission products as the SiC matrix acts as an additional barrier preventing fission product release. SiC is more stable under irradiation and exhibits less swelling after irradiation. Moreover, SiC has better mechanical characteristics and would be less sensitive to physical disturbances. Additionally, SiC has higher oxidation resistance and would suffer less damage in air ingress accidents. Finally, SiC may increase the proliferation resistance of the FCM fuels.

 

A typical General Atomics (GA) prismatic modular HTGR (mHTGR) was selected as the reference reactor to be studied in the current dissertation work. Based on analysis of experimental data and numerical calculations based on benchmarked models, the following questions were answered in this work:

(1)  What are the key changes in fuel cycle performance and fuel cost of HTGRs with the FCM fuel form?

(2)  What is the potential impact of the FCM fuel form on reactor performance and safety characteristics of HTGRs?

(3)  How does the FCM fuel form impact anticipated transients and design basis accidents?

(4)  What are the most important parameters for each of the design basis accidents and their sensitivities to the maximum fuel temperature?

(5)  What is the kinetics of the annealing process of neutron-irradiated SiC? 

(6)  Does the irradiation defect annealing process of SiC significantly impact fuel temperature during design basis accidents?

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Jan 25

Mechanical Engineering Reimagined: Undergrad Student Celebration!

E-Knowledge Commons
2-3 p.m.

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Jan 30

Microcredentialing Workshop: Project Management

125 Reber Building
4:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

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Register in 139 Reber.

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Feb 06-07

Microcredentialing Workshop: Value Engineering

125 Reber Building
4:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Additional Information:

Register in 139 Reber.

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Mar 22

Microcredentialing Workshop: Extraordinary Results, Session 3

E-Knowledge Commons
3:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

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Register in 139 Reber.

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About

The Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering at Penn State is one of the nation’s largest and most successful engineering departments. We serve more than 1,000 undergraduate students and more than 330 graduate students

We offer B.S. degrees in mechanical engineering and nuclear engineering as well as resident (M.S., Ph.D.) and online (M.S., M.Eng.) graduate degrees in nuclear engineering and mechanical engineering. MNE's strength is in offering hands-on experience in highly relevant research areas, such as energy, homeland security, biomedical devices, and transportation systems.

Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering

137 Reber Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4400

Phone: 814-865-2519