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High Temperature Reactor Fuel Elements

  1. Feb 11, 2009 #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.

  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 11, 2009 #2


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    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
  4. Feb 11, 2009 #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.
  5. Feb 11, 2009 #4


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    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.
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2015
  6. Feb 12, 2009 #5
    Andrew Kadak has some HTGR information on the MIT page, including a bunch of presentation slides.


    Could be helpful.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  7. Feb 12, 2009 #6


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    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]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  8. Feb 12, 2009 #7
    Im doing my PhD on thorium fuel cycles in the HTR-PM. You can check the publication lists from the university Im 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.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  9. Feb 13, 2009 #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?

  10. Feb 13, 2009 #9


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    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.
  11. Apr 14, 2009 #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.

  12. Apr 17, 2009 #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.
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