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Plutonium Reload Experience in French Pressurized Water Reactors

Michel Rome, Massimo Salvatores, Jacques Mondot, Michel Le Bars

Nuclear Technology

Volume 94 / Number 1 / April 1991 / Pages 87-98


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Spent fuel has been reprocessed in France since the beginning of the French nuclear program. In June 1985, it was decided to recycle plutonium in French pressurized water reactor (PWR) plants. A generic safety report for the Electricité de France 900-MW PWR issued in 1986 demonstrated the feasibility of recycling mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel with a maximum ratio of 30% MOX assemblies in each reload for a total of one-third of the annual core cycle. Between November 1987 and the beginning of 1990, seven MOX reloads were introduced in four reactors. The 2 yr of experience in plutonium reload operations in the French 900-MW PWR is described.

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