CUED Publications database

The effect of plutonium quality on thorium-plutonium mixed oxide fuel in light water reactors

Morrison, SL and Lindley, BA and Parks, GT (2016) The effect of plutonium quality on thorium-plutonium mixed oxide fuel in light water reactors. In: UNSPECIFIED pp. 1697-1706..

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Abstract

The UK has 112 tonnes of separated plutonium (Pu) of various isotopic compositions or 'qualities'. The currently preferred plutonium management method is to use uranium-plutonium (U-Pu) mixed oxide (MOX) fuel. Recent research suggests thorium (Th) fuels may offer favourable performance particularly through the use of Th-Pu MOX fuels in Reduced Moderation Light Water Reactors (RMLWRs). This study investigates the effects of plutonium loading and quality on the Doppler Coefficient (DC), Moderator Temperature Coefficient (MTC) and Void Coefficient (VC) for Pressurised Water Reactors (PWRs) and Reduced Moderation PWRs (RMPWRs). Simulations were carried out using WIMS for zero depletion and depletion cases at a standard burnup of 32 GWd/t. For zero depletion, DC remains negative for all plutonium loadings. MTC became positive for loadings of 32-40% (PWR) and 25-31% (RMPWR). With a 5% voided core VC became positive for loadings of 24-31% in both models. For a fully voided core VC became positive at 21-26% (PWR) and 19-23% (RMPWR). With depletion, up to 30% plutonium can be used in PWRs and 20% in RMPWRs with both limited by the MTC and VC at 5% voiding. Plutonium vectors containing the most Pu-240 have the most negative DC due to the large absorption crosssection. MTC was found to be most affected by the presence of Pu-239 and Pu-241. VC and MTC displayed similar trends.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Subjects: UNSPECIFIED
Divisions: Div A > Energy
Depositing User: Cron Job
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2017 19:34
Last Modified: 03 Aug 2017 03:08
DOI: