Feasibility studies of LEU fuel conversion for the BMRR and HFBR. Page: 4 of 6
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LEU FUEL CONVERSION FEASIBILITY STUDIES
FOR THE BMRR AND HFBR
R. B. Pond, N. A. Hanan and J. E. Matos
Argonne National Laboratory
Argonne, Illinois 60439-4841
Feasibility studies have been performed to convert both the Brookhaven Medical
Research Reactor (BMRR) and the High Flux Beam Reactor (HFBR) at the Brookhaven
National Laboratory from the use of HEU (93%) fuel to the use of LEU (<20%) fuel. The
studies are intended to determine suitable LEU fuels that will provide fuel lifetime and
neutron flux performance similar to the current HEU fuels. Both reactors use MTR-type
fuel assemblies: the BMRR has 18 fuel plates with 140g 2'U (0.43 gU/cm3) and the
HFBR has 20 plates, of which 18 are fuel with 351g 2"U (1.1 gU/cm3).
The BMRR is a 3 MW light-water cooled, graphite reflected reactor used for
medical and research purposes. A model of the BMRR is shown in Fig. 1. The reactor has
two irradiation facilities that have tailored neutron spectra. A thermal neutron irradiation
facility (TNIF) is used for animal research and an epi-thermal neutron irradiation facility
(ENIF) is used for boron capture neutron therapy (BCNT).
The HFBR is a heavy-water cooled and moderated reactor with multiple beam
tubes, and several in-core and ex-core experiment locations. A model of the HFBR is
shown in Fig. 2. Very high thermal neutron fluxes are achieved in the D20 reflector in the
vicinity of the beam tubes and in the irradiation facilities.
Both reactors were modeled using the three-dimensional (XYZ-geometry) DIF3D
diffusion theory code' with cross section generated using the WIMS-D4M code2, and
using the MCNP Monte Carlo code3. Fuel cycle calculations were performed using the
FUEL CONVERSION STUDY RESULTS
The conversion of the BMRR appears to be feasible using an LEU core consisting
initially of 17 fuel assemblies with a loading of 162g 235U. The HEU and LEU assemblies
both have 18 fueled plates, but the cladding thickness of the LEU plates is 0.38 mm
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Hanan, N. A.; Matos, J. E. & Pond, R. B. Feasibility studies of LEU fuel conversion for the BMRR and HFBR., article, November 14, 1997; Illinois. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc794417/m1/4/: accessed March 23, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.