ATR LEU Monothlic and Dispersed with 10B Loading Minimization Design – Neutronics Performance Analysis

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The Advanced Test Reactor (ATR), currently operating in the United States, is used for material testing at very high neutron fluxes. Powered with highly enriched uranium (HEU), the ATR has a maximum thermal power rating of 250 MWth. Because of the large test volumes located in high flux areas, the ATR is an ideal candidate for assessing the feasibility of converting HEU driven reactor cores to low-enriched uranium (LEU) cores. The present work investigates the optimized LEU Monolithic and Dispersed fuel with 10B loading minimization design and evaluates the subsequent neutronics operating effects of these optimized fuel designs. The MCNP ... continued below

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Chang, G. S. October 1, 2001.

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The Advanced Test Reactor (ATR), currently operating in the United States, is used for material testing at very high neutron fluxes. Powered with highly enriched uranium (HEU), the ATR has a maximum thermal power rating of 250 MWth. Because of the large test volumes located in high flux areas, the ATR is an ideal candidate for assessing the feasibility of converting HEU driven reactor cores to low-enriched uranium (LEU) cores. The present work investigates the optimized LEU Monolithic and Dispersed fuel with 10B loading minimization design and evaluates the subsequent neutronics operating effects of these optimized fuel designs. The MCNP ATR 1/8th core model was used to optimize the 235U and minimize the 10B loading in the LEU core, such that the differences in K-eff and heat flux profiles between the HEU and LEU cores were minimized. The fuel depletion methodology MCWO was used to calculate K eff versus effective full power days (EFPD) in this paper. The MCWO-calculated results for the optimized LEU Monolithic and Dispersed fuel cases demonstrated adequate excess reactivity such that the K-eff versus EFPD plot is similar to the ATR reference HEU case study. Each HEU fuel element contains 19 fuel plates with a fuel meat thickness of 0.508 mm (20 mil). In this work, the proposed LEU Monolithic (U-10Mo) core conversion case with nominal fuel meat thickness of 0.330 mm (13 mil) and 235U enrichment of 19.7 wt% is used to optimize the radial heat flux profile by varying the fuel meat thickness. The proposed LEU fuel meat varies from 0.203 mm (8.0 mil) to 0.254 mm (10.0 mil) at the inner four fuel plates (1-4) and outer four fuel plates (16-19). In addition, an optimized LEU dispersed (U7Mo) case with all the fuel meat thickness of 0.635 mm (25 mil) was also proposed. Then, for both Monolithic and dispersed cases, a burnable absorber – 10B, was added in the inner and outer plates to reduce the initial excess reactivity, and the higher to average ratio of the inner/outer heat flux more effectively. The final minimized 10B loading for LEU case studies will have 0.635 g in the LEU fuel meat at the inner 2 fuel plates (1-2) and outer 2 fuel plates (18-19), which can achieve peak to average ratios similar to those for the ATR reference HEU case study. The investigation of this paper shows the optimized LEU Monolithic (U-10Mo) and Dispersed (U7Mo) cases can all meet the LEU conversion objectives.

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  • RERTR 2010 ? 32ND INTERNATIONAL MEETING ON REDUCED ENRICHMENT FOR RESEARCH AND TEST REACTORS,SANA Lisboa Hotel Lisbon, Portugal,10/10/2011,10/14/2010

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  • Report No.: INL/CON-10-19405
  • Grant Number: DE-AC07-05ID14517
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1004281
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc833052

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  • October 1, 2001

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  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

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  • June 17, 2016, 10:22 p.m.

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Chang, G. S. ATR LEU Monothlic and Dispersed with 10B Loading Minimization Design – Neutronics Performance Analysis, article, October 1, 2001; Idaho Falls, Idaho. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc833052/: accessed July 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.