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Title: Impact of HFIR LEU Conversion on Beryllium Reflector Degradation Factors

An assessment of the impact of low enriched uranium (LEU) conversion on the factors that may cause the degradation of the beryllium reflector is performed for the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR). The computational methods, models, and tools, comparisons with previous work, along with the results obtained are documented and discussed in this report. The report documents the results for the gas and neutronic poison production, and the heating in the beryllium reflector for both the highly enriched uranium (HEU) and LEU HFIR configurations, and discusses the impact that the conversion to LEU may have on these quantities. A time-averaging procedure was developed to calculate the isotopic (gas and poisons) production in reflector. The sensitivity of this approach to different approximations is gauged and documented. The results show that the gas is produced in the beryllium reflector at a total rate of 0.304 g/cycle for the HEU configuration; this rate increases by ~12% for the LEU case. The total tritium production rate in reflector is 0.098 g/cycle for the HEU core and approximately 11% higher for the LEU core. A significant increase (up to ~25%) in the neutronic poisons production in the reflector during the operation cycles is observed formore » the LEU core, compared to the HEU case, for regions close to the core s horizontal midplane. The poisoning level of the reflector may increase by more than two orders of magnitude during long periods of downtime. The heating rate in the reflector is estimated to be approximately 20% lower for the LEU core than for the HEU core. The decrease is due to a significantly lower contribution of the heating produced by the gamma radiation for the LEU core. Both the isotopic (gas and neutronic poisons) production and the heating rates are spatially non-uniform throughout the beryllium reflector volume. The maximum values typically occur in the removable reflector and close to the midplane.« less
  1. ORNL
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
NN9002000; MDGA518
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); High Flux Isotope Reactor
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
Country of Publication:
United States
HFIR; LEU Conversion; Beryllium