Validation of ATR Fission Power Deposition Fraction in HEU and LEU Fuel Plates

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The Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) is a high power (250 MW), high neutron flux research reactor operating in the United States. Powered with highly enriched uranium (HEU), the ATR has a maximum unperturbed thermal neutron flux rating of 1.0 x 1015 n/cm2–s. Because of its high power and large test volumes located in high flux areas, the ATR is an ideal candidate for assessing the feasibility of converting an HEU driven reactor to a low-enriched core. A detailed plate-by-plate MCNP ATR full core model has been developed and validated for the low-enriched uranium (LEU) fuel conversion feasibility study. Using this ... continued below

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Chang, G. S. September 1, 2008.

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The Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) is a high power (250 MW), high neutron flux research reactor operating in the United States. Powered with highly enriched uranium (HEU), the ATR has a maximum unperturbed thermal neutron flux rating of 1.0 x 1015 n/cm2–s. Because of its high power and large test volumes located in high flux areas, the ATR is an ideal candidate for assessing the feasibility of converting an HEU driven reactor to a low-enriched core. A detailed plate-by-plate MCNP ATR full core model has been developed and validated for the low-enriched uranium (LEU) fuel conversion feasibility study. Using this model, an analysis has been performed to determine the LEU density and U-235 enrichment required in the fuel meat to yield equivalent K-eff versus effective full power days (EFPDs) between the HEU and LEU cores. This model has also been used to optimize U-235 content of the LEU core, minimizing the differences in K-eff and heat flux profile between the HEU and LEU cores at 115 MW total core power for 125 EFPDs. The LEU core conversion feasibility study evaluated foil type (U-10Mo) fuel with the LEU reference design of 19.7 wt% U-235 enrichment. The LEU reference design has a fixed fuel meat thickness of 0.330 mm and can sustain the same operating cycle length as the HEU fuel. Heat flux and fission power density are parameters that are proportional to the fraction of fission power deposited in fuel. Thus, the accurate determination of the fraction of fission power deposited in the fuel is important to ATR nuclear safety. In this work, a new approach was developed and validated, the Tally Fuel Cells Only (TFCO) method. This method calculates and compares the fission power deposition fraction between HEU and LEU fuel plates. Due to the high density of the U-10Mo LEU fuel, the fission ?-energy deposition fraction is 37.12%, which is larger than the HEU’s ?-energy deposition fraction of 19.7%. As a result, the fuel decay heat cooling will need to be improved. During the power operation, the total fission energy (200 MeV per fission) deposition fraction of LEU and HEU are 90.9% and 89.1%, respectively.

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  • PHYSOR'08 International Conference on the Physics of Reactors - Nuclear Power: A Sustainable Resourc,Interlaken, Switzerland,09/14/2008,09/19/2008

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  • Report No.: INL/CON-07-13182
  • Grant Number: DE-AC07-99ID-13727
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 941749
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc898398

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

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • September 1, 2008

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  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

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  • Oct. 19, 2016, 1:11 p.m.

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Chang, G. S. Validation of ATR Fission Power Deposition Fraction in HEU and LEU Fuel Plates, article, September 1, 2008; [Idaho Falls, Idaho]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc898398/: accessed January 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.