Comparison of Reactivity Control Systems for the Submersion Subcritical Safe Space (S∧4) Reactor

Schriener, Timothy M.; El-Genk, Mohamed S.
January 2008
AIP Conference Proceedings;1/21/2008, Vol. 969 Issue 1, p348
Conference Proceeding
This paper compares the effectiveness of two control mechanisms for the S∧4 reactor, namely: (a) rotating BeO drums with 120° thin segments of enriched B4C in the radial reflector; and (b) sliding windows in the radial reflector. Investigated are the effects of using these control mechanisms on the differential reactor control worth, power generation profiles, and spatial neutrons flux distributions is the S∧4 reactor. For both control mechanism, the radial reflector has the same dimensions and volume. Results show that the difference in reactor performance with the two control mechanisms is small. The sliding reflector configuration features slightly lower mass and power peaking, and relatively more even fission power profiles in the core. The differential control worth for the sliding reflector segments is almost constant compared to that using rotating control drums, potentially simplifying the reactor control operation. The presence of a strong neutron absorber in the rotating drums slightly decreases the amount of excess reactivity at BOL compared with the sliding reflector configuration. However, the higher rate of reactivity depletion in the S∧4 reactor with the latter may negate this advantage.


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