Improvement of the thermal margins in the Swedish Ringhals-3 PWR by introducing new fuel assemblies with thorium
Paper in proceeding, 2012

Thorium is a fertile material and most of the past research has focused on breeding thorium to fissile material. In this paper, the focus is on using thorium to improve the thermal margins by homogeneously distributing thorium in the fuel pellets. A proposed uranium-thorium-based fuel assembly is simulated for the Swedish Ringhals-3 PWR core in a realistic demonstration. All the key safety parameters, such as isothermal temperature coefficient of reactivity, Doppler temperature of reactivity, boron worth, shutdown margins and fraction of delayed neutrons are studied in this paper, and are within safety limits for the new core design using the uranium- thorium-based fuel assemblies. The calculations were performed by the two-dimensional transport code CASMO-4E and the two group steady-state three dimensional nodal code SIMULATE-3 from Studsvik Scandpower. The results showed that the uranium-thorium-based fuel assembly improves the thermal margins, both in the pin peak power and the local power (Fq). The improved thermal margins would allow more flexible core designs with less neutron leakage or could be used in power uprates to offer efficient safety margins.

pin peak power

lattice calculations

core calculations


thermal margins



Cheuk Wah Lau

Chalmers, Applied Physics, Nuclear Engineering

Christophe Demaziere

Chalmers, Applied Physics, Nuclear Engineering

U. Sandberg

Proc. Int. Conf. on Advances in Reactor Physics – Linking Research, Industry, and Education (PHYSOR 2012), Knoxville, TN, USA, April 15-20, 2012, American Nuclear Society

Vol. 5 4041-4055
978-162276389-4 (ISBN)

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