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Title: Performance of Near-Weapons-Grade Plutonium Fuel Pins in Commercial Light Water Reactors

Abstract

Important decisions related to the kind of reactors to be used for the disposition of the surplus weapons-grade plutonium are going to be based on calculations. Benchmarking computational methods in all aspects of the fuel cycle with measured data is then an obvious necessity. Analysis of public domain data reveals that the cycle-2 irradiation in the Quad Cities-1 boiling water reactor is the most recent U.S. destructive examination, involving the irradiation of five mixed-oxide (MOX) assemblies using 80 and 90% fissile Pu, quite close to weapons-grade Pu isotopic. Such measurements are rare, and they might be the only source of information to quantify differences in key neutronics parameters between high-fissile Pu systems and the well-characterized use of reactor-grade Pu. The pin neutronic performances for the UO{sub 2} and MOX fuels are compared with assembly-level calculation in which {approx}20% of the pins are MOX pins surrounded by UO{sub 2} pins. For MOX rods, HELIOS models the chains for the isotopes of uranium and plutonium reasonably well when compared with measured data at {approx}12,000 MWd/tonne. However, indications are that the amounts of heavier actinides are underpredicted. Measurements and calculations of the relative pin power distribution for the last few weeks of themore » irradiation and the burnup are fairly consistent. The critical effects of the contribution of the 0.296-eV resonance to the production of higher actinides and the destruction of {sup 239}Pu are discussed.« less

Authors:
;  [1]
  1. Oak Ridge National Laboratory (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
20822251
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Nuclear Technology
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 133; Journal Issue: 3; Other Information: Copyright (c) 2006 American Nuclear Society (ANS), United States, All rights reserved. http://epubs.ans.org/; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); Journal ID: ISSN 0029-5450
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
21 SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS; BWR TYPE REACTORS; FUEL CYCLE; FUEL PINS; IRRADIATION; MIXED OXIDE FUELS; PERFORMANCE; PLUTONIUM; PLUTONIUM 239; POWER DISTRIBUTION; URANIUM; URANIUM DIOXIDE; WEAPONS

Citation Formats

Difilippo, Felix C, and Fisher, Stephen E. Performance of Near-Weapons-Grade Plutonium Fuel Pins in Commercial Light Water Reactors. United States: N. p., 2001. Web.
Difilippo, Felix C, & Fisher, Stephen E. Performance of Near-Weapons-Grade Plutonium Fuel Pins in Commercial Light Water Reactors. United States.
Difilippo, Felix C, and Fisher, Stephen E. Thu . "Performance of Near-Weapons-Grade Plutonium Fuel Pins in Commercial Light Water Reactors". United States.
@article{osti_20822251,
title = {Performance of Near-Weapons-Grade Plutonium Fuel Pins in Commercial Light Water Reactors},
author = {Difilippo, Felix C and Fisher, Stephen E},
abstractNote = {Important decisions related to the kind of reactors to be used for the disposition of the surplus weapons-grade plutonium are going to be based on calculations. Benchmarking computational methods in all aspects of the fuel cycle with measured data is then an obvious necessity. Analysis of public domain data reveals that the cycle-2 irradiation in the Quad Cities-1 boiling water reactor is the most recent U.S. destructive examination, involving the irradiation of five mixed-oxide (MOX) assemblies using 80 and 90% fissile Pu, quite close to weapons-grade Pu isotopic. Such measurements are rare, and they might be the only source of information to quantify differences in key neutronics parameters between high-fissile Pu systems and the well-characterized use of reactor-grade Pu. The pin neutronic performances for the UO{sub 2} and MOX fuels are compared with assembly-level calculation in which {approx}20% of the pins are MOX pins surrounded by UO{sub 2} pins. For MOX rods, HELIOS models the chains for the isotopes of uranium and plutonium reasonably well when compared with measured data at {approx}12,000 MWd/tonne. However, indications are that the amounts of heavier actinides are underpredicted. Measurements and calculations of the relative pin power distribution for the last few weeks of the irradiation and the burnup are fairly consistent. The critical effects of the contribution of the 0.296-eV resonance to the production of higher actinides and the destruction of {sup 239}Pu are discussed.},
doi = {},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/20822251}, journal = {Nuclear Technology},
issn = {0029-5450},
number = 3,
volume = 133,
place = {United States},
year = {2001},
month = {3}
}