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Title: Coolant Density and Control Blade History Effects in Extended BWR Burnup Credit

Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission have initiated a multiyear project to investigate the application of burnup credit (BUC) for boiling water reactor (BWR) fuel in storage and transportation casks. This project includes two phases. The first phase investigates the applicability of peak reactivity methods currently used for spent fuel pools to spent fuel storage and transportation casks and the validation of reactivity (k eff) calculations and predicted spent fuel compositions. The second phase focuses on extending BUC beyond peak reactivity. This paper documents work performed to date investigating some aspects of extended BUC. (The technical basis for application of peak reactivity methods to BWR fuel in storage and transportation systems is presented in a companion paper.) Two reactor operating parameters are being evaluated to establish an adequate basis for extended BWR BUC: (1) the effect of axial void profile and (2) the effect of control blade utilization during operation. A detailed analysis of core simulator data for one cycle of a modern operating BWR plant was performed to determine the range of void profiles and the variability of the profile experienced during irradiation. Although a single cycle does not provide complete data, the data obtainedmore » are sufficient to determine the primary effects and to identify conservative modeling approaches. These data were used in a study of the effect of axial void profile. The first stage of the study was determination of the necessary moderator density temporal fidelity in depletion modeling. After the required temporal fidelity was established, multiple void profiles were used to examine the effect on cask reactivity. The results of these studies are being used to develop recommendations for conservatively modeling the void profile effects for BWR depletion calculations. The second operational parameter studied was control blade history. Control blades are inserted in various locations and at varying degrees during BWR operation based on the core loading pattern. When present during depletion, control blades harden the neutron spectrum locally because they displace the moderator and absorb thermal neutrons. The investigation of the effect of control blades on post operational cask reactivity is documented herein, as is the effect of multiple (continuous and intermittent) exposure periods with control blades inserted. The coupled effects of control blade presence on power density, void profile, or burnup profile will be addressed in future work.« less
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  1. ORNL
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Resource Relation:
Conference: ICNC 2015, Charlotte, NC, USA, 20150913, 20150917
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Work for Others (WFO)
Country of Publication:
United States