Physics study for high-performance and very-low-boron APR1400 core with 24-month cycle length

  • Do, Manseok (Department of Nuclear and Quantum Engineering, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)) ;
  • Nguyen, Xuan Ha (Department of Nuclear and Quantum Engineering, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)) ;
  • Jang, Seongdong (Department of Nuclear and Quantum Engineering, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)) ;
  • Kim, Yonghee (Department of Nuclear and Quantum Engineering, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST))
  • Received : 2019.02.07
  • Accepted : 2019.10.28
  • Published : 2020.05.25


A 24-month Advanced Power Reactor 1400 (APR1400) core with a very-low-boron (VLB) concentration has been investigated for an inherently safe and high-performance PWR in this work. To develop a high-performance APR1400 which is able to do the passive frequency control operation, VLB feature is essential. In this paper, the centrally-shielded burnable absorber (CSBA) is utilized for an efficient VLB operation in the 24-month cycle APR1400 core. This innovative design of the VLB APR1400 core includes the optimization of burnable absorber and loading pattern as well as axial cutback for a 24-month cycle operation. In addition to CSBA, an Er-doped guide thimble is also introduced for partial management of the excess reactivity and local peaking factor. To improve the neutron economy of the core, two alternative radial reflectors are adopted in this study, which are SS-304 and ZrO2. The core reactivity and power distributions for a 2-batch equilibrium cycle are analyzed and compared for each reflector design. Numerical results show that a VLB core can be successfully designed with 24-month cycle and the cycle length is improved significantly with the alternative reflectors. The neutronic analyses are performed using the Monte Carlo Serpent code and 3-D diffusion code COREDAX-2 with the ENDF/B-VII.1.



  1. APR1400 design control document and environmental report.
  2. Status Report 83 - Advanced Power Reactor 1400 MWe (APR1400), 2011.
  3. S. Jeong, H. Jun, S. Shon, S. Moon, H. Shin, Feasibility study on 24 month cycle scheme for OPR1000 PWR, in: Pacific Basin Nuclear Conference, San Francisco, USA, September 30-October 4, 2018.
  4. S. Son, J. Lee, et al., Preliminary evaluation of the hybrid long-term cycle strategy for PWR in Korea, in: Fourth International Conference on Nuclear Power Plant Life Management, Lyon, France, October 23-27, 2017.
  5. A.E. Abdelhameed, X.H. Nguyen, Y. Kim, Feasibility of passive autonomous frequency control operation in a Soluble-Boron-Free small PWR, Ann. Nucl. Energy 116 (2018) 319-333.
  6. M.S. Yahya, Y. Kim, An innovative core design for a soluble-boron-free small pressurized water reactor, Int. J. Energy Res. (2017) 1-9.
  7. J. Leppanen, M. Pusa, T. Viitanen, V. Valtavirta, T. Kaltiaisenaho, The Serpent Monte Carlo code: status, development and applications in 2013, Ann. Nucl. Energy 82 (2015 August) 142-150.
  8. J. Leppanen, Serpent A Continuous Energy Monte Carlo Reactor Physics Burn- Up Calculation Code, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Espoo, Finland, 2013.
  9. B. Cho, S. Yuk, N.Z. Cho, Y. Kim, User's Manual for the Rectangular Threedimensional Diffusion Nodal Code COREDAX-2 Version 1.8, ROK: KAIST, 2016. Report no. NURAPT-2016-01.
  10. A.E. Abdelhameed, J. Lee, Y. Kim, Physics conditions of passive autonomous frequency control operation in conventional large-size PWRs, Prog. Nucl. Energy 118 (2020).
  11. KARMA User's Manual, KNF-TR-CDT-13021 Rev. 2, KEPCO Nuclear Fuel Co., June 2015.
  12. X.H. Nguyen, A.A.E. Abdelhameed, Y. Kim, Optimization of centrally shielded burnable absorbers in soluble-boron-free SMR design, in: Transactions of the Korean Nuclear Society Autumn Meeting, Gyeongju, Korea, October 25-27, 2017.
  13. J.M. Noh, N.Z. Cho, A new approach of analytic basis function expansion to neutron diffusion nodal calculation, Nucl. Sci. Eng. 116 (165) (1994).
  14. X.H. Nguyen, C.H. Kim, Y. Kim, An advanced core design for a soluble-boronfree small modular reactor ATOM with centrally-shielded burnable absorber, Nucl. Eng. Technol. (2018), Available online.
  15. Mistarihi, et al., Fabrication of oxide pellets containing lumped $Gd_2O_3$ using $Y_2O_3$-stabilized $ZrO_2$ for burnable absorber fuel applications, Int. J. Energy Res. (42) (2018) 2141-2151.
  16. M. Yahya, H. Yu, Y. Kim, Burnable absorber-integrated Guide Thimble (BigT) - I: design concepts and neutronic characterization on the fuel assembly benchmarks, J. Nucl. Sci. Technol. 53 (7) (2015) 1048-1060,
  17. M. Yahya, Y. Kim, Burnable absorber-integrated guide thimble (BigT) - II: application to 3D PWR core design, J. Nucl. Sci. Technol. 53 (10) (2016) 1521-1527,
  18. Framatome ANP, Inc, EPR Design Description, 2005.
  19. J. Choe, D. Lee, J. Jung, H.C. Shin, Performance evaluation of Zircaloy reflector for pressurized water reactors, Int. J. Energy Res. 40 (2) (2015) 160-167,
  20. M. Do, X.H. Nguyen, Y. Kim, Design of a very-low-boron APR1400 core with 24-month cycle length using centrally-shielded burnable absorber, in: Proceedings of NURER 2018," Jeju, Korea, September 30-October 3, 2018.
  21. KEPCO & KHNP, Criticality Analysis of New and Spent Fuel Storage Racks, November 2014. APR1400-Z-A-NR-14011-NP, Rev.0.