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Reduced Enrichment for Research and Test Reactors
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Abstracts and Available Papers Presented at the
2004 International RERTR Meeting

A Neutronic Feasibility Study for HEU-LEU conversion of the reactor PIK

Yu. V. Petrov, A. N. Erykalov and M. S. Onegin
Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute of RAS
188350, Gatchina, Leningrad district, Russia


Earlier (Bariloche, 2002) we have shown the possibility of the conversion of reactor PIK from HEU(90%) to MEU(36%) fuel. Monte Carlo calculations have demonstrated that the [UO2(25vol.%)+Cu] meat with density 2.2gU/cm3 could be changed for the [UO2(38vol.%)+Al] meat with 3.6gU/cm3 with noticeable gain in reactor neutronics. The following attempt to reach LEU(19.75%) conversion with UMo(9w.%) meat with Al cladding (instead of stainless steel) failed due to the strains and stresses, which arise in the FE during the working cycle. There is a possibility of the cladding peeling off the meat.

In this talk we suggest for PIK to use [UMo(9w.%)60vol.%+Mg] meat with 9.4gU/cm3 and stainless steel cladding. Thin tubes with such meat were manufactured and used during fifty years as 6% enriched fuel elements in the first Nuclear Power Station of Russia. We plan to perform the Monte Carlo simulations for such PIK-4 FE. In the case of success it would be the first example of HEU-LEU conversion of high-flux reactor without change of core geometry.

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Dr. Jordi Roglans-Ribas
Technical Director, RERTR Department
Nuclear Engineering Division 362
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Last modified on July 29, 2008 11:33 +0200