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

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Abstracts and Available Papers Presented at the
2000 International RERTR Meeting

Modification of the RINSC LEU Core to Increase Fluxes for BNCT Study

S. C. Mo, R. S. Smith and J. E. Matos
Argonne National Laboratory

M. J. Davis and T. N. Tehan
Rhode Island Nuclear Science Center


The Rhode Island Nuclear Science Center (RINSC) is owned by the State of Rhode Island and was constructed for education, research, and industrial applications. The RINSC research reactor achieved initial criticality in 1964 as a 1 MW reactor using fuel containing high enriched uranium (HEU). In 1968 the facility was upgraded to a power level of 2 MW, making it one of the highest flux university reactors in the United States. In 1993, RINSC converted the HEU core to a compact core using low enriched uranium (LEU) silicide fuel1. The combination of a compact core design and a higher LEU fuel density improved the neutron flux performance of the facility.

The Rhode Island Nuclear Science Center is presently working towards building an advanced Boron Neutron Capture Therapy (BNCT) facility for cancer treatment and research. As part of this project, consideration has been given to a core modification that involves the replacement of three graphite reflectors on the thermal column side of the core with new LEU fuel elements. The modified core has the same operating power of 2 MW. Neutronic and thermal hydraulic calculations were performed to determine how the neutron flux, control rod reactivity worths, and fuel and cladding temperatures would change as a consequence of this modification. This paper presents results of this study.

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Dr. Sai-Chi Mo
Technology Development Division
Argonne National Laboratory
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Last modified on July 29, 2008 11:34 +0200