Neutronic performance of high-density LEU fuels in water-moderated and water-reflected research reactors

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At the Reduced Enrichment for Research and Test Reactors (RERTR) meeting in September 1994, Durand reported that the maximum uranium loading attainable with U{sub 3}Si{sub 2} fuel is about 6.0 g U/cm{sup 3}. The French Commissariat a l`Energie Atomique (CEA) plan to perform irradiation tests with 5 plates at this loading. Compagnie pour L`Etude et La Realisation de Combustibles Atomiques (CERCA) has also fabricated a few uranium nitride (UN) plates with a uranium density in the fuel meat of 7.0 g/cm{sup 3} and found that UN is compatible with the aluminum matrix at temperatures below 500 C. High density dispersion ... continued below

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7 p.

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Bretscher, M.M. & Matos, J.E. September 1, 1996.

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Description

At the Reduced Enrichment for Research and Test Reactors (RERTR) meeting in September 1994, Durand reported that the maximum uranium loading attainable with U{sub 3}Si{sub 2} fuel is about 6.0 g U/cm{sup 3}. The French Commissariat a l`Energie Atomique (CEA) plan to perform irradiation tests with 5 plates at this loading. Compagnie pour L`Etude et La Realisation de Combustibles Atomiques (CERCA) has also fabricated a few uranium nitride (UN) plates with a uranium density in the fuel meat of 7.0 g/cm{sup 3} and found that UN is compatible with the aluminum matrix at temperatures below 500 C. High density dispersion fuels proposed for development include U-Zr(4 wt%)-Nb(2 wt%), U-Mo(5 wt%), and U-Mo(9 wt%). The purpose of this note is to examine the relative neutronic behavior of these high density fuels in a typical light water-reflected and water-moderated MTR-type research reactor. The results show that a dispersion of the U-Zr-Nb alloy has the most favorable neutronic properties and offers the potential for uranium densities greater than 8.0 g/cm{sup 3}. On the other hand, UN is the least reactive fuel because of the relatively large {sup 14}N(n,p) cross section. For a fixed value of k{sub eff}, the required {sup 235}U loading per fuel element is least for the U-Zr-Nb fuel and steadily increases for the U-Mo(5%), U-Mo(9%), and UN fuels. Because of volume fraction limitations, the UO{sub 2} dispersions are only useful for uranium densities below 5.0 g/cm{sup 3}. In this density range, however, UO{sub 2} is more reactive than U{sub 3}Si{sub 2}.

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7 p.

Notes

INIS; OSTI as DE96015074

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  • Other Information: PBD: [1996]

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  • Other: DE96015074
  • Report No.: ANL/TD/RP--91011
  • Grant Number: W-31109-ENG-38
  • DOI: 10.2172/373923 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 373923
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc680913

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  • September 1, 1996

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  • July 25, 2015, 2:20 a.m.

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  • Dec. 14, 2015, 6:37 p.m.

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Bretscher, M.M. & Matos, J.E. Neutronic performance of high-density LEU fuels in water-moderated and water-reflected research reactors, report, September 1, 1996; Illinois. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc680913/: accessed August 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.