High Temperature Reactor Fuel Elements

In summary: The Japanese have a reprocessing plan for the high level waste from HTGR and the americans are examine other fuel cycles too. It is very difficult to find an overview about the activities of all the institutions and companies involved in HTGR development. This forum is a great idea and will help to communicate informations about the TRISO fuel and the HTGR.In summary, the conversation discusses the topic of HTR-Fuel Elements and the search for information about research and developments in this area. The participants mention various conferences and journals where papers on fuel production and testing can be found, as well as sharing personal experiences and suggestions for further resources. The conversation highlights the limited information and research available on HTGR TRISO fuel since 1990 and the ongoing
  • #1

this is my first thread in this forum.

I'm writing my PhD about HTR-Fuel Elements. I'm not quite sure if anyone in this forum knows about this sort of fuel which is totally different to "normal" fuel.

Anyway, I'm looking for informations about research in the US (or global) what are researches are interested in? Improving fuel characteristics? If yes, what do they want to change for which reason? etc.

Does anyone have a idea where I can find whitepaper's or anything like this?

Any help is appreciated.

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  • #2
FlyingEng said:

this is my first thread in this forum.

I'm writing my PhD about HTR-Fuel Elements. I'm not quite sure if anyone in this forum knows about this sort of fuel which is totally different to "normal" fuel.

Do a search both online and in the library on "triso".

That's the name given to the little pellets of pyrolitic carbon-encased uranium
that is used in pebble bed reactors. Previos designs of HTGRs like Peach Bottom I
and Fort St. Vrain also used pyrolitic carbon - they just where not pebbles.

Dr. Gregory Greenman
  • #3
Wow thanks for the quick answer.

I'm working at the German company which was actually developing and manufacturing the coated particles respectively the actual pebble for the AVR and the THTR (both HTR Reactors in Germany). Unfortunately in the late 80's the HTR Development Program was stopped because of political changes and my company stopped HTR activities.
All they have left are some retired Engineers but they are not up to date in terms of new development activities.
Now nuclear energy is becoming more and more important in Germany (hopefully!) HTR activities are more interesting right now. My company is engineering the PBMR Pebble-Manufacturing Plant at this stage, but as you maybe know PBMR isn't doing well right now.
Just to avoid questions, we are just adopting the old manufacturing processes to the state of the art technologies. We are not changing the behaviour of the CP/pebble.


Do you mean I should google? I thought there might be something like a academic search or something like this.

Thanks for your help.
  • #4
You'll want to look at various papers in Journal of Nuclear Materials and Nuclear Engineering & Design, as well as the proceedings of SMiRT and other conferences, e.g.

A Study of Mechanical Integrity of Coated Particle Fuel under High Burnup

INL has had a demonstration program on modern TRISO fuel, which has been irradiated in ATR. The fuel is UCO or UO2 kernel in PyC/SiC/PyC coating. There are issues with respect to keeping the Pu and transuranides from the SiC.

The Japanese have their own program.

UC and UN are attractive from the standpoint of thermal conductivity, but f.p. retention/migration is an issue depending on temperature. Fuel swelling will be an issue at high burnup, and it will affect transient performance.
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  • #6
The MIT work reminded me of the work on tricarbide fuels by Samim Anghaie and Jim Tulenko at INSPI, UFL.

http://www.inspi.ufl.edu/tricarbide.pdf [Broken]
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  • #7
Im doing my PhD on thorium fuel cycles in the HTR-PM. You can check the publication lists from the university I am at (TU-Delft), plenty of nice thesis and publications regarding HTR's. Where are mostly looking at reactor physics though, but a previous PhD has done some stress analysis on TRISO's.

http://www.tnw.tudelft.nl/live/pagina.jsp?id=e8ae1f1c-c79c-4693-84c1-25a855bfe4bb&lang=en [Broken]

Sciencedirect is probably the best academic search engine. http://www.sciencedirect.com/

and the american nuclear society journals has some interesting articles.
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  • #8
Great Forum. Thanks for your help. There is plenty of stuff out there to read... I have to do a first screen at the weekend.

I'm pretty sure further questions will come up and I'm also sure I will find answers out here!

Great. Thank you all :smile:

Are there many people here in this forum writing thesis or doing research regarding to HTR Technology?

  • #9
PF has many graduate students, but most are probably involved in some branch of physics. I doubt we have many doing theses in HTR technology.
  • #10
I happened to see the thread today. The HTR community organises bi-annual conferences on HTR technology where there are many papers on fuel production and testing. The latest was in washington in October 2008, organised by ASME. To find all the conferences search for HTR-200 2/4/6/8 to get tother right year. Papers may have to be bought from the organisers. Through a library access can also be gained to the INIS database of the IAEA which also has numerous articles on TRISO fuel.

  • #11
There was not much of development in HTGR TRISO fuel since 1990. However, the US have tested some advanced fuel (UO2*) containing a ZrC layer on the kernel and in Japan ZrC coatings instead of SiC were examined. Release of Ag and Cs in long term normal operation is a major problem of standard TRISO fuel and there is some hope that the new developments will improve this behaviour.

1. What is a High Temperature Reactor Fuel Element?

A High Temperature Reactor Fuel Element is a component of a nuclear reactor that contains the fuel necessary for the nuclear chain reaction to take place. It is typically made of a ceramic material, such as uranium dioxide, and is designed to withstand high temperatures and radiation levels.

2. How does a High Temperature Reactor Fuel Element work?

The fuel element contains small pellets of enriched uranium dioxide, which undergo nuclear fission when bombarded by neutrons. This releases energy in the form of heat, which is used to generate electricity. The fuel element is surrounded by a protective cladding to contain the radioactive materials.

3. What are the advantages of using High Temperature Reactor Fuel Elements?

One of the main advantages is their ability to operate at higher temperatures, which allows for more efficient energy production. They also have a longer lifespan and produce less waste compared to other types of nuclear fuel. Additionally, the ceramic material used in these fuel elements is more stable and less prone to corrosion.

4. What are the potential risks associated with High Temperature Reactor Fuel Elements?

The main risk is the release of radioactive materials in the event of a malfunction or accident. However, these reactors have multiple safety features in place to prevent and mitigate such incidents. Another concern is the proper disposal of spent fuel elements, which can remain radioactive for thousands of years.

5. How are High Temperature Reactor Fuel Elements regulated?

These fuel elements are regulated by government agencies, such as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in the United States. They must meet strict safety and environmental standards before being approved for use in a nuclear reactor. Regular inspections and maintenance are also required to ensure their safe operation.

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