Argonne National Laboratory
Reduced Enrichment for Research and Test Reactors
Nuclear Engineering Division at Argonne
U.S. Department of Energy

Examples of LEU Conversion Analyses in the RERTR Program


A. Francis DiMeglio
Rhode Island Atomic Energy Commission
Narragansett, Rhode Island, USA

J. E. Matos
Argonne National Laboratory
Argonne, Illinois, USA

K. E. Freese
Argonne National Laboratory
Argonne, Illinois, USA

E. F. Spring
Rhode Island Atomic Energy Commission
Narragansett, Rhode Island, USA


The 2 MW Rhode Island Atomic Energy Commission reactor is required to convert from the use of High Enriched Uranium (HEU) fuel to the use of Low Enriched Uranium (LEU) fuel using a standard LEU fuel plate which is thinner and contains more U-235 than the current HEU plate. These differences, coupled with a desire to upgrade the characteristics and capability of the reactor, have resulted in core design studies and thermal hydraulic studies not only at the current 2 MW but also at the maximum power level of the reactor, 5 MW. In addition, during 25 years of operation, it has become clear that the main uses of the reactor have been neutron scattering and neutron activation analysis. The requirement to convert to LEU presents an opportunity to optimize the core for the utilization and to restudy the thermal hydraulics using modern techniques. This paper presents a status report on the conversion.

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Dr. James E. Matos
Senior Physicist
Argonne National Laboratory
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Last modified on July 29, 2008 11:34 +0200