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Analyses and improvement of fuel temperature coefficient of rock-like oxide fuel in LWRs from neutronic aspect

  • Shelley, Afroza (American International University-Bangladesh, Department of Physics)
  • Received : 2019.08.26
  • Accepted : 2019.12.02
  • Published : 2020.06.25

Abstract

Fuel temperature coefficient (FTC) of PuO2+ZrO2 (ROX) fueled LWR cell is analyzed neutronically with reactor- and weapons-grade plutonium fuels in comparison with a U-free PuO2+ThO2 (TOX), and a conventional MOX fuel cells. The FTC value of a ROX fueled LWR is smaller compared to a TOX or a MOX fueled LWRs and becomes extremely positive especially, at EOL. This is because when fuel temperature is increased, thermal neutron spectrum is shifted to harder, which is extreme at EOL in ROX fuel than that in TOX and MOX fuels. Consequently at EOL, 239Pu and 241Pu contributes to positive fuel temperature reactivity (FTR) in ROX fuel, while they have negative contribution in TOX and MOX fuels. The FTC problem of ROX fuel is mitigated by additive ThO2, UO2 or Er2O3. In ROX-additive fuel, the atomic density of fissile Pu becomes more than additive free ROX fuel especially at EOL, which is the main cause to improve the FTC problem. The density of fissile Pu is more effective to decrease the thermal spectrum shifts with increase the fuel temperature than additive ThO2, UO2 or Er2O3 in ROX fuel.

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