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Analysis of Accidents at the Pakistan Research Reactor-1 Using Proposed Mixed-Fuel (HEU and LEU) Core

Ishtiaq H. Bokhari

Nuclear Technology / Volume 148 / Number 3 / December 2004 / Pages 369-376

Technical Note / Fission Reactors

The Pakistan Research Reactor-1 (PARR-1) was converted from highly enriched uranium (HEU) to low-enriched uranium (LEU) fuel in 1991. The reactor is running successfully, with an upgraded power level of 10 MW. To save money on the purchase of costly fresh LEU fuel elements, the use of less burnt HEU spent fuel elements along with the present LEU fuel elements is being considered. The proposal calls for the HEU fuel elements to be placed near the thermal column to gain the required excess reactivity. In the present study the safety analysis of a proposed mixed-fuel core has been carried out at a calculated steady-state power level of 9.8 MW. Standard computer codes and correlations were employed to compute various parameters. Initiating events in reactivity-induced accidents involve various modes of reactivity insertion, namely, start-up accident, accidental drop of a fuel element on the core, flooding of a beam tube with water, and removal of an in-pile experiment during reactor operation. For each of these transients, time histories of reactor power, energy released, temperature, and reactivity were determined.

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