I was a bit surprised to read the attached article in the IET Power Engineer, because I have been a member of the UK Institute of Electrical Engineers for many years and this kind of very technical nuclear article was usually in the UK BNES journal. Maybe nuclear is getting more relevant. The article is about improving PWR efficiency by using hollow fuel pellets and having the cooling water interspersed with nanofluids of oxides and metals. I wondered if either of these two efficiency mods could be applied to CANDU. However hollow fuel elements would seem very difficult to make; would they not require an inner Zircalloy tube ? As for the oxides and metals in the cooling water, would this not require fuel enrichment and cause more contamination. A final pet peeve of mine is the measurement of “efficiency” of a nuclear reactor as though it was a coal fired plant. Efficiency of different kinds of nuclear reactor may be compared in terms of the full cycle of mining and extracting the uranium, transportation, processing, enrichment ( if PWR) and even the eventual recovery of the energy in the used fuel.
Cool water and hollow rods.doc
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