Licensable Power Capacity of the PUR-1 Research Reactor

2019-01-03T20:12:38Z (GMT) by Clive Townsend
This work aims to develop a theoretical power operations envelope for the PUR-1 reactor. Given the bulk coolant temperature, the reactor’s power level is limited primarily by the Onset of Nucleate Boiling. Additional limitations to the reactor power are explored including the dose rate at the top of the pool due to shine and the airborne effluent of argon and nitrogen. Operations in excess of the facility cooling capacity will be proposed and are already permitted at other US research reactor facilities, provided temperature limitations are met. The MCNP and NATCON code packages have been implemented to assist in power limitation measurement. A brief discussion on the licensing considerations is included to provide some framework for pursuit of these higher power levels. The maximum power consideration ensures continued full use of the facility while maximizing its effectiveness in the teaching laboratories and access to researchers. The final power level is limited by the administrative dose limit at the top of the reactor pool as well as the Onset of Nucleate Boiling power level as a function of bulk pool temperature. The result is an operational envelope which would allow operators to have the maximum neutron flux without changing the facility or creating phase transition within the light water coolant.