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Title: Neutronics Simulations of 237Np Targets to Support Safety-Basis and 238Pu Production Assessment Efforts at the High Flux Isotope Reactor

Fueled by two highly enriched uranium-bearing fuel elements surrounded by a large concentric ring of beryllium reflector, the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) provides one of the highest neutron fluxes in the world and is used to produce unique isotopes like plutonium-238. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration use radioisotope thermoelectric generators powered by 238Pu for deep-space missions. As part of the US Department of Energy s task to reestablish the domestic production of 238Pu, a technology demonstration sub-project has been initiated to establish a new 238Pu supply chain. HFIR safety-basis neutronics calculations are being performed to ensure the target irradiations have no adverse impacts on reactor performance and to calculate data required as input to follow-on thermal-structural, thermal-hydraulic and radionuclide/dose analyses. Plutonium-238 production assessments are being performed to estimate the amount of 238Pu that can be produced in HFIR s permanent beryllium reflector. It is estimated that a total of 0.96 1.12 kg 238Pu (~1.28 1.49 kg PuO2 at 85% 238Pu/Pu purity) could be produced per year in HFIR s permanent beryllium reflector irradiation facilities if they are all utilized.
 [1] ;  [1]
  1. ORNL
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Resource Relation:
Conference: Nuclear and Emerging Technologies for Space 2015 (NETS), Albuquerque, NM, USA, 20150223, 20150226
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR)
Sponsoring Org:
Work for Others (WFO)
Country of Publication:
United States
plutonium-238; HFIR; isotope; depletion; neutronics