Neutronics benchmark of a MOX assembly with near-weapons-grade plutonium

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One of the proposed ways to dispose of surplus weapons-grade plutonium (Pu) is to irradiate the high-fissile material in light-water reactors in order to reduce the Pu enrichment to the level of spent fuels from commercial reactors. Considerable experience has been accumulated about the behavior of mixed-oxide (MOX) uranium and plutonium fuels for plutonium recycling in commercial reactors, but the experience is related to Pu enrichments typical of spent fuels quite below the values of weapons-grade plutonium. Important decisions related to the kind of reactors to be used for the disposition of the plutonium are going to be based on ... continued below

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7 p.

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Difilippo, F.C. & Fisher, S.E. August 1, 1998.

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  • Oak Ridge National Laboratory
    Publisher Info: Oak Ridge National Lab., Computational Physics and Engineering Div., TN (United States)
    Place of Publication: Tennessee

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Description

One of the proposed ways to dispose of surplus weapons-grade plutonium (Pu) is to irradiate the high-fissile material in light-water reactors in order to reduce the Pu enrichment to the level of spent fuels from commercial reactors. Considerable experience has been accumulated about the behavior of mixed-oxide (MOX) uranium and plutonium fuels for plutonium recycling in commercial reactors, but the experience is related to Pu enrichments typical of spent fuels quite below the values of weapons-grade plutonium. Important decisions related to the kind of reactors to be used for the disposition of the plutonium are going to be based on calculations, so the validation of computational algorithms related to all aspects of the fuel cycle (power distributions, isotopics as function of the burnup, etc.), for weapons-grade isotopics is very important. Analysis of public domain data reveals that the cycle-2 irradiation in the Quad cities boiling-water reactor (BWR) is the most recent US destructive examination. This effort involved the irradiation of five MOX assemblies using 80 and 90% fissile plutonium. These benchmark data were gathered by General Electric under the sponsorship of the Electric Power Research Institute. It is emphasized, however, that global parameters are not the focus of this benchmark, since the five bundles containing MOX fuels did not significantly affect the overall core performance. However, since the primary objective of this work is to compare against measured post-irradiation assembly data, the term benchmark is applied here. One important reason for performing the benchmark on Quad Cities irradiation is that the fissile blends (up to 90%) are higher than reactor-grade and, quite close to, weapons-grade isotopics.

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7 p.

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INIS; OSTI as DE98007148

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  • International conference on the physics of nuclear science and technology, Long Island, NY (United States), 5-8 Oct 1998

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  • Other: DE98007148
  • Report No.: ORNL/CP--96309
  • Report No.: CONF-981003--
  • Grant Number: AC05-96OR22464
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 666162
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc710812

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  • August 1, 1998

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 12, 2015, 6:31 a.m.

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  • Nov. 3, 2016, 6:49 p.m.

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Difilippo, F.C. & Fisher, S.E. Neutronics benchmark of a MOX assembly with near-weapons-grade plutonium, article, August 1, 1998; Tennessee. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc710812/: accessed November 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.