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Science and Technology of Nuclear Installations
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 965274, 8 pages
Research Article

Study on the Use of Hydride Fuel in High-Performance Light Water Reactor Concept

European Commission, JRC, Institute for Energy and Transport, Westerduinweg 3, 1755 LE Petten, Netherlands

Received 18 November 2014; Revised 15 January 2015; Accepted 15 January 2015

Academic Editor: Iztok Tiselj

Copyright © 2015 Haileyesus Tsige-Tamirat and Luca Ammirabile. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Hydride fuels have features which could make their use attractive in future advanced power reactors. The potential benefit of use of hydride fuel in HPLWR without introducing significant modification in the current core design concept of the high-performance light water reactor (HPLWR) has been evaluated. Neutronics and thermal hydraulic analyses were performed for a single assembly model of HPLWR with oxide and hydride fuels. The hydride assembly shows higher moderation with softer neutron spectrum and slightly more uniform axial power distribution. It achieves a cycle length of 18 months with sufficient excess reactivity. At Beginning of Cycle the fuel temperature coefficient of the hydride assembly is higher whereas the moderator and void coefficients are lower. The thermal hydraulic results show that the achievable fuel temperature in the hydride assembly is well below the design limits. The potential benefits of the use of hydride fuel in the current design of the HPLWR with the achieved improvements in the core neutronics characteristics are not sufficient to justify the replacement of the oxide fuel. Therefore for a final evaluation of the use of hydride fuels in HPLWR concepts additional studies which include modification of subassembly and core layout designs are required.