SuperCritical Water-cooled nuclear Reactor (SCWR) designs are one of six nuclear-reactor concepts being developed under the Generation IV International Forum (GIF) initiative. A generic pressure-tube SCWR consists of distributed fuel channels with coolant inlet and outlet temperatures of 350 and 625°C at 25 MPa, respectively. Such reactor coolant outlet conditions allow for high thermal efficiencies of SCW Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) of about 45–50%. In addition to high thermal efficiencies, SCWR designs provide the means for co-generation of hydrogen through thermochemical processes such as the Cu–Cl cycle.
The main objective of this paper is to determine the power distribution inside the core of an SCWR by using a lattice code - DRAGON and a diffusion code - DONJON. As a result of these calculations, heat-flux profiles in all fuel channels were determined. Consequently, the heat-flux profile in a channel with the maximum thermal power was used as an input into a thermal-hydraulic code, which was developed in MATLAB in order to calculate a fuel centerline temperature for UO2 and UC nuclear fuels. Results of an analysis showed that the fuel centerline temperature of UC was significantly lower than that of UO2. This paper also studies effects of energy groups on multi-group diffusion calculations and proposes nine energy groups for further neutronic studies related to SCWRs.