This article describes the light water reactor optimizer (LWROpt), a fuel cycle optimization code originally developed for BWRs, which has been adapted to perform core fuel reload and/or operational control rod management for pressurized water reactors (PWRs) and small modular reactors (SMRs), as well. Additionally, the eighth-core symmetric shuffle option is introduced to help expedite large-scale optimizations. These new features of the optimizer are tested by performing optimizations starting from a base case of an SMR core model that was developed manually and unrodded. The new fuel inventory (NFI) and loading pattern (LP) search in LWROpt was able to eliminate all of the constraint violations present in the initial base solution. However, independent control rod pattern (CRP) searches for the best several LPs found were not successful in generating CRPs without any constraint violations. This indicates that fully decoupling the fuel loading from the CRP optimization can increase the computational tractability of these calculations but at the expense of effectiveness. To improve on the individual search results, a coupled fuel loading (NFI and LP) and CRP search was performed, which produced a better overall result but still with some small constraint violations, emphasizing the fact that optimizing the fuel loading arrangement in a small high-leakage unborated core while concurrently determining its operational rod patterns for a 4-year operational cycle is no easy feat even to an experienced core designer; thus, this process can be greatly aided by employing automated combinatorial optimization tools.
SMR Fuel Cycle Optimization Using LWROpt
Manuscript received May 6, 2016; final manuscript received August 16, 2016; published online December 20, 2016. Assoc. Editor: Akos Horvath.
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Ottinger, K. E., and Ivan Maldonado, G. (December 20, 2016). "SMR Fuel Cycle Optimization Using LWROpt." ASME. ASME J of Nuclear Rad Sci. January 2017; 3(1): 011014. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4034573
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