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Title: Reactor Neutronics: Impact of Fissile Material

Here, given a wide variety of reactor designs and fuel types, it can be difficult to identify the underlying cause of basic performance differences such as flux level and enrichment requirement. In this paper, using solely the definitions of the core multiplication factor and core power, simple relations have been derived allowing estimates of the flux ratio and fissile material concentration ratio for any reactor concept when 235U is replaced with 239Pu or vice-versa. These relations are functions of the neutron non-leakage probability, and one only needs to know number of neutrons emitted per fission, and the fission cross-section ratio between the 235U system and the 239Pu system. It is found that for a reactor concept having significant leakage, the achievable flux level when using 239Pu as fissile material can be up to 45% larger than when using 235U as fissile material, and the required fissile concentration of 239Pu is up to 48% lower than that of 235U to achieve criticality.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [1]
  1. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
AC02-06CH11357
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nuclear Science and Engineering
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 187; Journal Issue: 2; Journal ID: ISSN 0029-5639
Publisher:
American Nuclear Society - Taylor & Francis
Research Org:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
21 SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS; 11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; fissile material; neutron flux level; neutronics
OSTI Identifier:
1393937