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A Parametric Study of the DUPIC Fuel Cycle to Reflect Pressurized Water Reactor Fuel Management Strategy

Daniel Rozon, Wei Shen

Nuclear Science and Engineering

Volume 138 / Number 1 / May 2001 / Pages 1-25


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For both pressurized water reactor (PWR) and Canada deuterium uranium (CANDU) tandem analysis, the Direct Use of spent PWR fuel In CANDU reactor (DUPIC) fuel cycle in a CANDU 6 reactor is studied using the DRAGON/DONJON chain of codes with the ENDF/B-V and ENDF/B-VI libraries. The reference feed material is a 17 × 17 French standard 900-MW(electric) PWR fuel. The PWR spent-fuel composition is obtained from two-dimensional DRAGON assembly transport and depletion calculations. After a number of years of cooling, this defines the initial fuel nuclide field in the CANDU unit cell calculations in DRAGON, where it is further depleted with the same neutron group structure. The resulting macroscopic cross sections are condensed and tabulated to be used in a full-core model of a CANDU 6 reactor to find an optimized channel fueling rate distribution on a time-average basis. Assuming equilibrium refueling conditions and a particular refueling sequence, instantaneous full-core diffusion calculations are finally performed with the DONJON code, from which both the channel power peaking factors and local parameter effects are estimated. A generic study of the DUPIC fuel cycle is carried out using the linear reactivity model for initial enrichments ranging from 3.2 to 4.5 wt% in a PWR. Because of the uneven power histories of the spent PWR assemblies, the spent PWR fuel composition is expected to differ from one assembly to the next. Uneven mixing of the powder during DUPIC fuel fabrication may lead to uncertainties in the composition of the fuel bundle and larger peaking factors in CANDU. A mixing method for reducing composition uncertainties is discussed.

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