Abstracts and Available Papers Presented at the
2000 International RERTR Meeting
AND PROGRESS OF THE RERTR PROGRAM
IN THE YEAR 2000*
Argonne National Laboratory
Argonne, Illinois, USA
This paper describes the progress achieved by the Reduced Enrichment for Research and Test Reactors (RERTR) Program in collaboration with its many international partners during the year 2000 and discusses the main activities planned for the year 2001.
The past year was held by important accomplishments and events for the RERTR program.
- Four additional shipments containing 503 spent fuel assemblies from foreign research reactors were accepted by the U.S. Altogether, 3,740 spent fuel assemblies from foreign research reactors have been received by the U.S. under the acceptance policy.
- Postirradiation examinations of three batches of microplates have continued to reveal excellent irradiation behavior of U-Mo dispersion fuels in a variety of compositions and irradiating conditions. Irradiation of two new batches of miniplates of greater sizes is in progress in the ATR to investigate the swelling behavior of these fuels under prototypic conditions. These materials hold the promise of achieving the program goal of developing LEU research reactor fuels with uranium densities in the 8-9 g /cm3 range.
- Qualification of the U-Mo dispersion fuels is proceeding on schedule. Test fuel elements with uranium density of 6 g/cm3 are being fabricated by BWXT and are scheduled to begin undergoing irradiation in the HFR-Petten in the spring of 2001, with a goal of qualifying this fuel by the end of 2003. U-Mo fuel with uranium density of 8-9 g/cm3 is planned to be qualified by the end of 2005.
- Joint LEU conversion feasibility studies were completed for HFR-Petten and for SAFARI-1.
- Significant improvements were made in the design of LEU metal-foil annular targets that would allow efficient production of fission 99Mo. Irradiations in the RAS-GAS reactor showed that these targets can formed from aluminum tubes, and that the yield and purity of their product from the acidic process were at least as good as those from the HEU Cintichem targets.
- Progress was made on irradiation testing of LEU UO2 dispersion fuel and on LEU conversion feasibility studies in the Russian RERTR program.
- Conversion of the BER-II reactor in Berlin, Germany, was completed and conversion of the La Reina reactor in Santiago, Chile, began.
These are exciting times for the program. In the fuel development area, the RERTR program is aggressively pursuing qualification of high-density LEU U-Mo dispersion fuels, with the dual goal of enabling further conversions and of developing a substitute for LEU silicide fuels that can be more easily disposed of after expiration of the FRR SNF Acceptance Program. The 99Mo effort has reached the point where it appears feasible for all the 99Mo producers of the world to agree jointly to a common course of action leading to the elimination of HEU use in their processes. As in the past, the success of the RERTR program will depend on the international friendship and cooperation that has always been its trademark.
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Dr. Armando Travelli
Nuclear Engineering – 362
Argonne National Laboratory
9700 South Cass Avenue
Argonne, IL 60439
Phone: (630) 252-63639
Fax: (630) 252-5161