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Abstracts and Available Papers Presented at the
2003 International RERTR Meeting

THE CHILEAN LEU FUEL FABRICATION PROGRAM.

STATUS REPORT

J. Marin, M. Barrera, J. R. Lisboa, O. Jimenez, L. Olivares,  J.C. Chavez

Department of  Materials.
Comisión Chilena de Energía Nuclear, CCHEN, Amunategui  95, Santiago 6500687 – Chile.

ABSTRACT

The U3Si2 LEU fuel manufacturing program started in 1998 for Chile’s RECH–1 reactor, being completed this year with the assembly of four fuel elements (FE) and thus resulting in 48 FE delivered to the reactor.  These FE have a density of 3.4 MgU /m³. Four of them, called “leaders”, were early introduced into the reactor core for qualification purposes, two in December 1998 and two in July 1999. Up to date, they have achieved a burn-up of 32% and 30 % respectively, and have shown excellent irradiation behavior at inspections scheduled by the RECH–1 irradiation follow-up program. During 2002 a reference nucleus comprising 32 LEU fuel elements was configured at the RECH-1, thus achieving the LEU conversion goal.

In March 2003, Chile’s Fuel Fabrication Plant delivered one FE to the Petten-HFR, and its irradiation, which started in May 2003, will end by August 2004 after achieving 55% burn up. This irradiation qualification service will finish in the year 2005 with PIE tests, as established in a contractual agreement between the IAEA, NRG, and CCHEN. These fabrication and irradiation efforts are the final results of an internal R&D program, that nowadays has an U- 7% Mo alloy development in progress. Finally, all these fabrication activities have comprised quality issues that have been addressed via the implementation of a QMS that has resulted in an ISO 9001 Certification obtained in March 2003.


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Contact:
Mr. Jorge Marin
Head, Fuel Fabrication Plant
Comisión Chilena de Energía Nuclear
Amunategui N°95
P.O. Box 188-D
Santiago, Chile
Phone:  +56 (2) 655-4220
Fax:      +56 (2) 655-4255
E-mail:  jmarin@cchen.cl

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Last modified on July 29, 2008 11:34 +0200