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Approximate mass of special alloys in a nuclear reactor?

  1. Jul 27, 2015 #1
    Approximately, what is the total mass of these materials that is contained in a "typical" Gen III or III+ PWR (e.g., EPR, AP1000...)?

    1/ Zr alloy (fuel cladding and other assembly components)?
    2/ Ag-In-Cd alloy (control rods)?
    3/ Gd (burnable neutron absorber)?
    4/ Ni-based alloys?
    5/ Stainless steel?

    As this is quite a complicated question, please don't hesitate to only answer some parts of it. Thank you!
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 27, 2015 #2


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    In the whole plant? All primary systems? The reactor vessel? Or just the fuel assemblies?
  4. Jul 27, 2015 #3
    My question is about the whole plant. However I would just need an order of magnitude and I guess that 1/ Zr alloy, 2/ Ag-In-Cd alloy and 3/ Gd are mainly contained in the core.
  5. Jul 28, 2015 #4


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    One can find some numbers in the suppliers DCD for each reactor.

    AP1000 - http://www.nrc.gov/reactors/new-reactors/design-cert/ap1000/dcd/Tier 2/Chapter 4/4-1_r14.pdf

    The mass of cladding (ZIRLO) is 43,105 lb = 19,550 kg. Westinghouse fuel does not necessarily uses Gd as a burnable absorber, but rather ZrB2 coated on the fuel pellets. The fuel assembly has 10 structural spacer grids, including top and bottom (2) Ni-Cr-Fe Alloy 718 grids and 8 ZIRLO grids, and 4 intermediate (smaller) ZIRLO mid-span mixing grids.

    The unit uses 53 RCCAs and 16 GRCAs. One can estimate the AIG and SS by the length of the fingers/rodlets. I believe other sections of Chapter 4 describe some of the ex-core systems, e.g., control rod drive mechanism.

    There really is no typical Gen III+ reactor.

    Other chapters probably have the masses of Inconel (typ 690) in the steam generators and stainless steel in piping. Stainless steel is typically 304/304L or 316/316L.
  6. Jul 30, 2015 #5
    Thank you for these information.
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