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Reduced Enrichment for Research and Test Reactors
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Abstracts and Available Papers Presented at the
2000 International RERTR Meeting

Status in 2000 of the High Flux Reactor Fuel Cycle

J. Guidez, A. Gevers – JRC

F.J. Wijtsma, P.J.M. Thijssen, J.A. Hendriks – NRG


The High Flux Reactor located at Petten (The Netherlands) is managed by the European Commission and operated under contract by NRG (Nuclear Research and consultancy Group). This plant, located in the “medical valley" is the main provider in Europe of facilities and radioisotopes for nuclear medicine, as well as for research and industrial purposes.

The plant is in operation since 1961 using HEU. After preparatory work begun in 1998 and 1999 [ref. 1 and 2], the decision to convert the reactor to LEU was taken and the official diplomatic notes were signed in January 2000 with the US authorities. This decision allows two co-operation possibilities. First on a limited HEU fuel supply until the HFR has obtained a new licence for operation with LEU. Secondly on possibilities of shipment to the USA of spent fuel. This paper details the status of the work begun with the US authorities and DOE to ensure the fuel supply: export licence, container licence, transportation, etc. Other ways to supply necessary HEU until the conversion licence is valid are also presented.

For the conversion studies [ref. 3], a new status is made of the end of Phase 1. A comparison between the results of ANL calculations and NRG calculations is made. The final choice of LEU elements for conversion is presented. It enables a longer cycle (28,3 operating days instead of 24,7) with only small penalties (less than 5%) on thermal flux. A short description of Phase II is given, with a global planning estimation for obtaining licences.

For the new MTR fuel, a presentation is made of the tests that have begun in 2000 on the reactor and of the projects in the study of new tests. HFR is participating actively in this research field [ref. 4].

For the back-end of the fuel cycle, this presentation shows the status of the HABOG facility under construction, to allow the storage of the HFR spent fuel (1400 elements) after 2003. So HFR will be ready before 2006 with its own storage capacity that could begin in 2004. Until this date an extra funding was given by the Dutch Ministry of Environment, for a shipment to the USA of about 120 elements. A status is given on this action.

In conclusion great progress have been made during this year, towards a stabilised situation, with a reactor converted to LEU and a facility available for spent fuel storage.

PDF version available
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Mr. Joel Guidez
Head of HFR
European Commission JRC
P.O. Box 2, Petten Site
1755ZG Petten, The Netherlands

Phone: 31-224-565151
Fax: 31-226-561449

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Last modified on July 29, 2008 11:33 +0200