Description: The evaluation of the disposition of plutonium using light water reactors is receiving increased attention. However, mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel assemblies possess much higher absorption and fission cross- sections when compared to standard UO2 assemblies. Those properties yield very high thermal flux gradients at the interfaces between MOX and UO2 assemblies. It has already been reported that standard flux reconstruction methods (that recover the homogeneous intranodal flux shape using the converged nodal solution) yield large errors in the presence of MOX assemblies. In an accompanying paper, we compare diffusion and simplified PN calculations of a mixed-oxide benchmark problem to a reference transport calculation. In this paper, we examine the errors associated with standard nodal diffusion methods when applied to the same benchmark problem. Our results show that a large portion of the error is associated with the quadratic leakage approximation (QLA) that is commonly used in the standard nodal codes.
Date: July 24, 1998
Creator: Brantley, P. S., LLNL
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