ATR WG-MOX Fuel Pellet Burnup Measurement by Monte Carlo - Mass Spectrometric Method

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This paper presents a new method for calculating the burnup of nuclear reactor fuel, the MCWO-MS method, and describes its application to an experiment currently in progress to assess the suitability for use in light-water reactors of Mixed-OXide (MOX) fuel that contains plutonium derived from excess nuclear weapons material. To demonstrate that the available experience base with Reactor-Grade Mixed uranium-plutonium OXide (RGMOX) can be applied to Weapons-Grade (WG)-MOX in light water reactors, and to support potential licensing of MOX fuel made from weapons-grade plutonium and depleted uranium for use in United States reactors, an experiment containing WG-MOX fuel is being ... continued below

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Chang, Gray Sen I October 1, 2002.

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This paper presents a new method for calculating the burnup of nuclear reactor fuel, the MCWO-MS method, and describes its application to an experiment currently in progress to assess the suitability for use in light-water reactors of Mixed-OXide (MOX) fuel that contains plutonium derived from excess nuclear weapons material. To demonstrate that the available experience base with Reactor-Grade Mixed uranium-plutonium OXide (RGMOX) can be applied to Weapons-Grade (WG)-MOX in light water reactors, and to support potential licensing of MOX fuel made from weapons-grade plutonium and depleted uranium for use in United States reactors, an experiment containing WG-MOX fuel is being irradiated in the Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory. Fuel burnup is an important parameter needed for fuel performance evaluation. For the irradiated MOX fuel’s Post-Irradiation Examination, the 148Nd method is used to measure the burnup. The fission product 148Nd is an ideal burnup indicator, when appropriate correction factors are applied. In the ATR test environment, the spectrum-dependent and burnup-dependent correction factors (see Section 5 for detailed discussion) can be substantial in high fuel burnup. The validated Monte Carlo depletion tool (MCWO) used in this study can provide a burnup-dependent correction factor for the reactor parameters, such as capture-to-fission ratios, isotopic concentrations and compositions, fission power, and spectrum in a straightforward fashion. Furthermore, the correlation curve generated by MCWO can be coupled with the 239Pu/Pu ratio measured by a Mass Spectrometer (in the new MCWO-MS method) to obtain a best-estimate MOX fuel burnup. A Monte Carlo - MCWO method can eliminate the generation of few-group cross sections. The MCWO depletion tool can analyze the detailed spatial and spectral self-shielding effects in UO2, WG-MOX, and reactor-grade mixed oxide (RG-MOX) fuel pins. The MCWO-MS tool only needs the MS-measured 239Pu/Pu ratio, without the measured isotope 148Nd concentration data, to determine the burnup accurately. MCWO-MS not only provided linear heat generation rate, Pu isotopic composition versus burnup, and burnup distributions within the WG-MOX fuel capsules, but also correctly pointed out the inconsistency in the large difference in burnups obtained by the 148Nd method.

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  • ANS 2002 RPD Topical Meeting,Seoul, Korea,10/07/2002,10/10/2002

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  • Report No.: INEEL/CON-02-00442
  • Grant Number: DE-AC07-99ID-13727
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 910757
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc888261

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

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  • October 1, 2002

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

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  • Oct. 18, 2016, 2:59 p.m.

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Chang, Gray Sen I. ATR WG-MOX Fuel Pellet Burnup Measurement by Monte Carlo - Mass Spectrometric Method, article, October 1, 2002; [Idaho Falls, Idaho]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc888261/: accessed December 14, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.