SUBJECT: Ph.D. Dissertation Defense
BY: Tyler Sumner
TIME: Friday, November 12, 2010, 8:30 a.m.
PLACE: Boggs, 3-28
TITLE: Effects of Fuel Type on the Safety Characteristics of a Sodium Cooled Fast Reactor
COMMITTEE: Dr. Seyed M. Ghiaasiaan, Chair (ME)
Dr. Hamid Garmestani (MSE)
Dr. Bojan Petrovic (NRE)
Dr. Weston M. Stacey (NRE)
Dr. C. K. Wang (NRE)
Dr. John Zino (GE-H)


A series of accident simulations were performed using INLís thermal hydraulics code RELAP5-3D to analyze steady-state and transient behavior of a sodium cooled fast reactor. The reactor chosen for this study was General Electricís S-PRISM, which is a 1,000 MWt pool-type sodium-cooled fast reactor, designed for either an Oxide or Metal fueled core. CEAís reactor physics code ERANOS 2.0 was used to calculate key core characteristics including power profiles, reactivity feedback coefficients and delayed neutron parameters. S-PRISM was then redesigned for a Nitride fueled core to take advantage of the Nitride fuelís high thermal conductivity and melting temperature. Loss of flow, loss of heat sink, loss of power and inadvertent control rod withdrawal accidents were simulated for each core at beginning, middle and end of cycle to determine if one fuel type provides significant safety advantages over the others.