Parametric Study of the Effect of Burnable Poison Rods for PWR Burnup Credit

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The Interim Staff Guidance on burnup credit (ISG-8) issued by the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (U.S. NRC) Spent Fuel Project Office recommends restricting the use of burnup credit to assemblies that have not used burnable absorbers. This recommended restriction eliminates a large portion of the currently discharged spent fuel assemblies from cask loading, and thus severely limits the practical usefulness of burnup credit. In the absence of readily available information on burnable poison rod (BPR) design specifications and usage in U.S. pressurized-water-reactors (PWRs), and the subsequent reactivity effect of BPR exposure on discharged spent nuclear fuel (SNF), NRC staff ... continued below

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160 pages

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Wagner, J. C. September 28, 2001.

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Description

The Interim Staff Guidance on burnup credit (ISG-8) issued by the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (U.S. NRC) Spent Fuel Project Office recommends restricting the use of burnup credit to assemblies that have not used burnable absorbers. This recommended restriction eliminates a large portion of the currently discharged spent fuel assemblies from cask loading, and thus severely limits the practical usefulness of burnup credit. In the absence of readily available information on burnable poison rod (BPR) design specifications and usage in U.S. pressurized-water-reactors (PWRs), and the subsequent reactivity effect of BPR exposure on discharged spent nuclear fuel (SNF), NRC staff has indicated a need for additional information in these areas. In response, this report presents a parametric study of the effect of BPR exposure on the reactivity of SNF for various BPR designs, fuel enrichments, and exposure conditions, and documents BPR design specifications. Trends in the reactivity effects of BPRs are established with infinite pin-cell and assembly array calculations with the SCALE and HELIOS code packages, respectively. Subsequently, the reactivity effects of BPRs for typical initial enrichment and burnup combinations are quantified based on three-dimensional (3-D) KENO V.a Monte Carlo calculations with a realistic rail-type cask designed for burnup credit. The calculations demonstrate that the positive reactivity effect due to BPR exposure increases nearly linearly with burnup and is dependent on the number, poison loading, and design of the BPRs and the initial fuel enrichment. Expected typical reactivity increases, based on one-cycle BPR exposure, were found to be less than 1% {Delta}k. Based on the presented analysis, guidance is offered on an appropriate approach for calculating bounding SNF isotopic data for assemblies exposed to BPRs. Although the analyses do not address the issue of validation of depletion methods for assembly designs with BPRs, they do demonstrate that the effect of BPRs is generally well behaved and that independent codes and cross-section libraries predict similar results. The report concludes with a discussion of the issues for consideration and recommendations for inclusion of SNF assemblies exposed to BPRs in criticality safety analyses using burnup credit for dry cask storage and transport.

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160 pages

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  • Other Information: PBD: 28 Sep 2001

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  • Report No.: ORNL/TM-2000/373
  • Grant Number: AC05-00OR22725
  • DOI: 10.2172/814219 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 814219
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc739434

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Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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Creation Date

  • September 28, 2001

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Oct. 18, 2015, 6:40 p.m.

Description Last Updated

  • Sept. 25, 2017, 5:17 p.m.

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Wagner, J. C. Parametric Study of the Effect of Burnable Poison Rods for PWR Burnup Credit, report, September 28, 2001; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc739434/: accessed September 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.