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Title: Neutronic Analysis of the Burning of Transuranics in Fully Ceramic Micro-Encapsulated Tri-Isotropic Particle-Fuel in a PWR

Abstract

Calculations have been performed to assess the neutronic behavior of pins of Fully-Ceramic Micro-encapsulated (FCM) fuel in otherwise-conventional Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) fuel pins. The FCM fuel contains transuranic (TRU) – only oxide fuel in tri-isotropic (TRISO) particles with the TRU loading coming from the spent fuel of a conventional LWR after 5 years of cooling. Use of the TRISO particle fuel would provide an additional barrier to fission product release in the event of cladding failure. Depletion calculations were performed to evaluate reactivity-limited burnup of the TRU-only FCM fuel. These calculations showed that due to relatively little space available for fuel, the achievable burnup with these pins alone is quite small. Various reactivity parameters were also evaluated at each burnup step including moderator temperature coefficient (MTC), Doppler, and soluble boron worth. These were compared to reference UO2 and MOX unit cells. The TRU-only FCM fuel exhibits degraded MTC and Doppler coefficients relative to UO2 and MOX. Also, the reactivity effects of coolant voiding suggest that the behavior of this fuel would be similar to a MOX fuel of very high plutonium fraction, which are known to have positive void reactivity. In general, loading of TRU-only FCM fuel into anmore » assembly without significant quantities of uranium presents challenges to the reactor design. However, if such FCM fuel pins are included in a heterogeneous assembly alongside LEU fuel pins, the overall reactivity behavior is dominated by the uranium pins while attractive TRU destruction performance levels in the TRU-only FCM fuel pins is. From this work, it is concluded that use of heterogeneous assemblies such as these appears feasible from a preliminary reactor physics standpoint.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Idaho National Laboratory (INL)
Sponsoring Org.:
DOE - NE
OSTI Identifier:
1057206
Report Number(s):
INL/JOU-11-23982
Journal ID: ISSN 0029-5493
DOE Contract Number:  
DE-AC07-05ID14517
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Nuclear Engineering and Design
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 252; Journal ID: ISSN 0029-5493
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; FCM; Fully-Encapsulated; Microstructure; PWR; Transuranics; TRISO; TRU

Citation Formats

Michael A. Pope, R. Sonat Sen, Abderrafi M. Ougouag, Gilles Youinou, and Brian Boer. Neutronic Analysis of the Burning of Transuranics in Fully Ceramic Micro-Encapsulated Tri-Isotropic Particle-Fuel in a PWR. United States: N. p., 2012. Web. doi:10.1016/j.nucengdes.2012.07.013.
Michael A. Pope, R. Sonat Sen, Abderrafi M. Ougouag, Gilles Youinou, & Brian Boer. Neutronic Analysis of the Burning of Transuranics in Fully Ceramic Micro-Encapsulated Tri-Isotropic Particle-Fuel in a PWR. United States. doi:10.1016/j.nucengdes.2012.07.013.
Michael A. Pope, R. Sonat Sen, Abderrafi M. Ougouag, Gilles Youinou, and Brian Boer. Thu . "Neutronic Analysis of the Burning of Transuranics in Fully Ceramic Micro-Encapsulated Tri-Isotropic Particle-Fuel in a PWR". United States. doi:10.1016/j.nucengdes.2012.07.013.
@article{osti_1057206,
title = {Neutronic Analysis of the Burning of Transuranics in Fully Ceramic Micro-Encapsulated Tri-Isotropic Particle-Fuel in a PWR},
author = {Michael A. Pope and R. Sonat Sen and Abderrafi M. Ougouag and Gilles Youinou and Brian Boer},
abstractNote = {Calculations have been performed to assess the neutronic behavior of pins of Fully-Ceramic Micro-encapsulated (FCM) fuel in otherwise-conventional Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) fuel pins. The FCM fuel contains transuranic (TRU) – only oxide fuel in tri-isotropic (TRISO) particles with the TRU loading coming from the spent fuel of a conventional LWR after 5 years of cooling. Use of the TRISO particle fuel would provide an additional barrier to fission product release in the event of cladding failure. Depletion calculations were performed to evaluate reactivity-limited burnup of the TRU-only FCM fuel. These calculations showed that due to relatively little space available for fuel, the achievable burnup with these pins alone is quite small. Various reactivity parameters were also evaluated at each burnup step including moderator temperature coefficient (MTC), Doppler, and soluble boron worth. These were compared to reference UO2 and MOX unit cells. The TRU-only FCM fuel exhibits degraded MTC and Doppler coefficients relative to UO2 and MOX. Also, the reactivity effects of coolant voiding suggest that the behavior of this fuel would be similar to a MOX fuel of very high plutonium fraction, which are known to have positive void reactivity. In general, loading of TRU-only FCM fuel into an assembly without significant quantities of uranium presents challenges to the reactor design. However, if such FCM fuel pins are included in a heterogeneous assembly alongside LEU fuel pins, the overall reactivity behavior is dominated by the uranium pins while attractive TRU destruction performance levels in the TRU-only FCM fuel pins is. From this work, it is concluded that use of heterogeneous assemblies such as these appears feasible from a preliminary reactor physics standpoint.},
doi = {10.1016/j.nucengdes.2012.07.013},
journal = {Nuclear Engineering and Design},
issn = {0029-5493},
number = ,
volume = 252,
place = {United States},
year = {2012},
month = {11}
}