Opportunities for mixed oxide fuel testing in the advanced test reactor to support plutonium disposition

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Numerous technical issues must be resolved before LWR operating licenses can be amended to allow the use of MOX fuel. These issues include the following: (1) MOX fuel fabrication process verification; (2) Whether and how to use burnable poisons to depress MOX fuel initial reactivity, which is higher than that of urania; (3) The effects of WGPu isotopic composition; (4) The feasibility of loading MOX fuel with plutonia content up to 7% by weight; (5) The effects of americium and gallium in WGPu; (6) Fission gas release from MOX fuel pellets made from WGPu; (7) Fuel/cladding gap closure; (8) The ... continued below

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19 p.

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Terry, W.K.; Ryskamp, J.M. & Sterbentz, J.W. August 1, 1995.

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Description

Numerous technical issues must be resolved before LWR operating licenses can be amended to allow the use of MOX fuel. These issues include the following: (1) MOX fuel fabrication process verification; (2) Whether and how to use burnable poisons to depress MOX fuel initial reactivity, which is higher than that of urania; (3) The effects of WGPu isotopic composition; (4) The feasibility of loading MOX fuel with plutonia content up to 7% by weight; (5) The effects of americium and gallium in WGPu; (6) Fission gas release from MOX fuel pellets made from WGPu; (7) Fuel/cladding gap closure; (8) The effects of power cycling and off-normal events on fuel integrity; (9) Development of radial distributions of burnup and fission products; (10) Power spiking near the interfaces of MOX and urania fuel assemblies; and (11) Fuel performance code validation. The Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory possesses many advantages for performing tests to resolve most of the issues identified above. We have performed calculations to show that the use of hafnium shrouds can produce spectrum adjustments that will bring the flux spectrum in ATR test loops into a good approximation to the spectrum anticipated in a commercial LWR containing MOX fuel while allowing operation of the test fuel assemblies near their optimum values of linear heat generation rate. The ATR would be a nearly ideal test bed for developing data needed to support applications to license LWRs for operation with MOX fuel made from weapons-grade plutonium. The requirements for planning and implementing a test program in the ATR have been identified. The facilities at Argonne National Laboratory-West can meet all potential needs for pre- and post-irradiation examination that might arise in a MOX fuel qualification program.

Physical Description

19 p.

Notes

INIS; OSTI as DE96001187

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  • Other Information: PBD: Aug 1995

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  • Other: DE96001187
  • Report No.: INEL--95/0384
  • Grant Number: AC07-94ID13223
  • DOI: 10.2172/114616 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 114616
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc618493

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  • August 1, 1995

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • June 16, 2015, 7:43 a.m.

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  • April 1, 2016, 6:58 p.m.

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Terry, W.K.; Ryskamp, J.M. & Sterbentz, J.W. Opportunities for mixed oxide fuel testing in the advanced test reactor to support plutonium disposition, report, August 1, 1995; Batavia, Illinois. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc618493/: accessed November 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.