Drop-in capsule testing of plutonium-based fuels in the Advanced Test Reactor

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The most attractive way to dispose of weapons-grade plutonium (WGPu) is to use it as fuel in existing light water reactors (LWRs) in the form of mixed oxide (MOX) fuel - i.e., plutonia (PuO[sub 2]) mixed with urania (UO[sub 2]). Before U.S. reactors could be used for this purpose, their operating licenses would have to be amended. Numerous technical issues must be resolved before LWR operating licenses can be amended to allow the use of MOX fuel. The proposed weapons-grade MOX fuel is unusual, even relative to ongoing foreign experience with reactor-grade MOX power reactor fuel. Some demonstration of the ... continued below

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85 p.

Creation Information

Chang, G.S.; Ryskamp, J.M.; Terry, W.K.; Ambrosek, R.G.; Palmer, A.J. & Roesener, R.A. September 1, 1996.

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Description

The most attractive way to dispose of weapons-grade plutonium (WGPu) is to use it as fuel in existing light water reactors (LWRs) in the form of mixed oxide (MOX) fuel - i.e., plutonia (PuO[sub 2]) mixed with urania (UO[sub 2]). Before U.S. reactors could be used for this purpose, their operating licenses would have to be amended. Numerous technical issues must be resolved before LWR operating licenses can be amended to allow the use of MOX fuel. The proposed weapons-grade MOX fuel is unusual, even relative to ongoing foreign experience with reactor-grade MOX power reactor fuel. Some demonstration of the in- reactor thermal, mechanical, and fission gas release behavior of the prototype fuel will most likely be required in a limited number of test reactor irradiations. The application to license operation with MOX fuel must be amply supported by experimental data. The Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) is capable of playing a key role in the irradiation, development, and licensing of these new fuel types. The ATR is a 250- MW (thermal) LWR designed to study the effects of intense radiation on reactor fuels and materials. For 25 years, the primary role of the ATR has been to serve in experimental investigations for the development of advanced nuclear fuels. Both large- and small-volume test positions in the ATR could be used for MOX fuel irradiation. 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. Furthermore, these data can be obtained more quickly by using ATR instead of testing in a commercial LWR. Our previous work in this area has demonstrated that it is technically feasible to perform MOX fuel testing in the ATR. This report documents our analyses of sealed drop-in capsules containing plutonium-based test specimens placed in various ATR positions.

Physical Description

85 p.

Notes

INIS; OSTI as DE97050824

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  • Other Information: PBD: Sep 1996

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  • Other: DE97050824
  • Report No.: INEL--96/0369
  • Grant Number: AC07-94ID13223
  • DOI: 10.2172/427625 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 427625
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc688515

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

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Creation Date

  • September 1, 1996

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • July 25, 2015, 2:20 a.m.

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  • May 20, 2016, 1:11 p.m.

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Chang, G.S.; Ryskamp, J.M.; Terry, W.K.; Ambrosek, R.G.; Palmer, A.J. & Roesener, R.A. Drop-in capsule testing of plutonium-based fuels in the Advanced Test Reactor, report, September 1, 1996; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc688515/: accessed June 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.