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The design and performance of a civil marine reactor with regard to the thermal performance of the fuel

James, Kris (2017) The design and performance of a civil marine reactor with regard to the thermal performance of the fuel. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Kris James - PhD Thesis.pdf
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Abstract

There is a concerted world wide effort to limit greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Civil shipping accounts for a 3 % proportion of greenhouse gas emissions and to combat this problem, nuclear power is proposed as an alternative energy source. This thesis set out to evaluate the use of a civil marine nuclear reactor for commercial shipping purposes. A review was carried out to determine past uses of civil marine nuclear reactors to assist specification of the criteria for a civil ship reactor e.g. reactor type, operating conditions. The refuelling period of such ships was understood as an issue for commercial success and so having fuel in the reactor for periods of 15 years was determined to be a key goal, as well as keeping the fissile enrichment of the fuel low. Computational simulation of the thermo-mechanical performance on fuel rods under expected operating conditions for a civil marine reactor were conducted. Higher thermal efficiency in the fuel rods was determined to be key in achieving long refuelling periods. Fabrication of simulant fuel cermets was undertaken with spark plasma sintering to produce simulant cermet fuel pellets with improved thermal conductivity and was evaluated to be an efficient cermet production route. This was achieved with YSZ as a simulant for UO2 fuel, with metallic Mo and W to produce stable cermets at varying metallic loading. The thermal conductivity values were found to increase by a factor of 2-3 with up to 30 % metallic loading. The final aspect of this thesis focused on finite element simulation, studying the shape of metallic loading inside a cermet to determine a suitable layout to provide the greatest thermal transfer with several candidate geometries determined to be appropriately suitable.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Engineering (Sheffield) > Materials Science and Engineering (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Mr Kris James
Date Deposited: 06 Sep 2017 11:10
Last Modified: 06 Sep 2017 11:10
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/18067

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