SuperCritical Water-cooled nuclear Reactor (SCWR) is one of the six nuclear-reactor concepts being developed under the Generation IV International Forum (GIF) initiative. A generic 1200-MWel pressure-channel SCWR operates at a pressure of 25 MPa with coolant inlet and outlet temperatures of 350°C and 625°C, respectively. High coolant outlet temperature allows for high thermal efficiencies within the range of 45–50%. On the other hand, the high operating temperature of SCWR in turn results in high fuel centerline and sheath temperatures. Hence, it is necessary to determine a power distribution inside a core of a reactor in order to ensure that a fuel and a fuel-bundle design comply with their corresponding temperature limits.
The main objective of this paper is to determine a power distribution inside the core of a generic 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 thermalhydraulic code, which was developed in MATLAB in order to calculate a fuel centerline temperature of UO2 and UC nuclear fuels and a sheath temperature of a new fuel-bundle design. Results of this analysis showed that the fuel centerline temperature of the UC fuel was significantly lower than that of the UO2. This paper also proposes four energy groups for further neutronic studies related to SCWRs.