Trend in plutonium content of MOX in thermal reactor use and irradiation behavior of MOX with high plutonium content

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The uranium enrichment of UO2 fuel for the current power reactors, both PWR and BWR, tends to increase because of increasing burn-up target. The plutonium content of MOX fuel used in thermal reactors shall be determined in order to have reactivity worth equivalent to enriched UO2 fuel based on physical accounting method for adjusting fissile enrichment, thus the plutonium content tends to increase according to the increment of the uranium enrichment of UO2 fuel and this trend shall further be accentuated due to the fact that Pu recovered from reprocessing of the spent high burnup UO2 fuel contains less fissile isotopes. The calculation results indicate that the plutonium content in MOX will evolve to ratios in excess of 10%. It is important to know MOX irradiation behavior with plutonium content >10 wt%. MOX fuel rods having a plutonium content of about 14 wt% and fabricated by the MIMAS process have been irradiated under PWR conditions in the Belgian test reactors BR-3 and BR-2. The MOX rods are investigated by destructive and non-destructive post irradiation examinations and some of them are now continued to be irradiated in BR-2.


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of Top Fuel 2009
Place of PublicationParis, France
Publication statusPublished - 6 Sep 2009
Event2009 - TopFuel - Water Reactor Fuel Performance Meeting - Paris, France
Duration: 6 Sep 200910 Sep 2009


Conference2009 - TopFuel - Water Reactor Fuel Performance Meeting


  • MOX, CHIPS project, PIE

ID: 141335