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How to find information about energy density of HWR?

  1. Aug 5, 2011 #1
    I need some help finding out the energy density of different heavy water reactors. In IAEA research reactor database they only list the thermal output of some HWR - RR, but they lack information about the dimensions of the core, thereby making it difficult to figure out their energy density.

    The reason for wanting to find out this is that I want to compare the energy density of other HWR with the HWR Iran are building at Arak.

    Have a nice weekend
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 5, 2011 #2


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    In addition to thermal power, one would need the dimensions of the core to determine the average power density, or alternatively one would need the dimensions of a particular assembly and the number of assemblies in the core.
  4. Aug 6, 2011 #3
    I found a crude estimate by comparing IR-40 with Dhurva in India and NRU in Canada. Dhruva and NRU's cores are cylindrical with the diameter the same as the height. By assuming that condition for IR-40 and taking the energy density of Dhruva I found the dimensions of IR-40. But that was only two reactor cores. To find out if this is even close I would like to compare with some other HWR as well.

    I think the approach figuring out the assemblies is going to be rather difficult. I could ask the Iranians, but I don't think they'll give me a lot of information :)
  5. Aug 6, 2011 #4

    jim hardy

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  6. Aug 7, 2011 #5
    Yeah, I read about that. But that makes no sense to me. Why are they making RBMK looking fuel intended for IR-40, but have operated a heavy water production plant (HWPP) next door for the last four five years.

    Can RBMK fuel even work in a HWR reactor? Are not the fuel rods spaced to tight together for that?

    So I still assume IR-40 is a heavy water reactor. I guess its more expensive to make a HWPP than some mock fuel bundles for confusion...
  7. Aug 8, 2011 #6
    With the data from the three reactors I have I end up with this result:

    NRU (fueled with LEU): energy density: 11,9 MWth / m3
    Candu (fueled with SEU): energy density: 7,64 MWth / m3
    Dhurva (fuel with natural uranium): energy density: 7,41 MWth / m3

    Taking Iran on its word that IR-40 is 40MW, that gives us: volume = thermal power / energy density. I'm also guessing that they will not use LEU fuel since they don't have so much uranium, and if they want to extract pu-239 they want a low enrichment.

    Volume of IR-40: 40MW / 7,5 MWth / m3 = 5,3 m3

    I "guess" the dimensions them to be 1,85m in diameter and 1,95m in height. Is this a crazy estimate?

    Would additional information about other HWR give me a more precise answer?
  8. Aug 8, 2011 #7
    Has to be much longer (at least as long as a fuel assembly).
  9. Aug 8, 2011 #8
    Then you assume they use RBMK fuel rods? I just cant figure out why they want to use modified RBMK fuel rods. Is not fuel rods the least difficult thing to manufacture for a advanced nuclear state?

    To be sure, when literature says "the core" they mean the active region of the fuel rods including moderator and / or coolant + neutron reflector?
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