Improved Building Methodology and Analysis of Delay Scenarios of Advanced Nuclear Fuel Cycles with the Verifiable Fuel Cycle Simulation Model (VISION)

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Title: Improved Building Methodology and Analysis of Delay Scenarios of Advanced Nuclear Fuel Cycles with the Verifiable Fuel Cycle Simulation Model (VISION)
Author: Schweitzer, Tyler Martin
Advisors: Dr. Paul J. Turinsky, Committee Chair
Dr. Man Sung Yim, Committee Member
Dr. James R. Wilson, Committee Member
Jacob J. Jacobson, Committee Member
Abstract: The goal of this research is to help better understand the areas of uncertainty with advanced nuclear fuel cycles. The Department of Energy has started several large scale programs that will explore and develop advanced nuclear fuel cycle components. One of the key components to this endeavor is a system dynamics model that simulates the construction of nuclear reactors and their required support facilities in a growing energy demand environment. This research developed methods to more accurately determine when to build facilities based upon forecasting methods and inventories. The next phase of the research was to analyze lead times on constructing light water reactor spent fuel separation facilities and possible associated upset events and their mitigation strategies. The results show a smooth building rate for fast burner reactors, which ensures that the reactors will not run out of fuel supply for their entire lifetime. After analyzing several separation facility sizes and variable construction lead times, it was determined that there is an optimal separation facility size and an optimal lead time for a given growth rate for fast reactors. This optimal case kept the separated material inventory at a minimum value, while also building inventories for reactors that are getting ready to begin operation. Upset events were analyzed in order to determine how the system will respond to a separation facility not starting up on time and a separation facility being taken offline. The results show that increasing the lead time on separation facilities is the best way to mitigate a delayed separation facility and decreasing the separation facility size would better mitigate a facility being taken offline. The use of a separated materials fuel bank was also critical in ensuring that no reactors were starved of fuel during these upset events. In conclusion the work done in this thesis helped to create a better understanding for how different facilities interact in an advanced nuclear fuel cycle.
Date: 2008-05-06
Degree: MS
Discipline: Nuclear Engineering
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/123


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