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A Simplified Approach for Evaluation of the Burnup Potential of Alternative Fuels

Stella Maris Oggianu, Hee Cheon No, Mujid S. Kazimi

Nuclear Technology

Volume 146 / Number 3 / June 2004 / Pages 221-229


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To evaluate the burnup potential of a fuel pin, a simplified fuel rod analysis code called FUEL-SIMplified model (FUELSIM) was developed using the general-purpose software VENSIM. FUELSIM is based on FRAPCON-3 models and validated against it. A sensitivity analysis was done using FUELSIM to determine the fuel parameters that have high importance in limiting the burnup potential of a fuel material. Among 16 parameters, 10 were identified as having high importance. For six fuel materials (uranium metal, UC, UN, Th/U metal, UO2/ThO2 fuels, and UO2), a simplified model for the pressure rise and volumetric changes inside the fuel is developed to estimate the operational index of each fuel; these models include only the variables with high importance. It was found that the highest burnup potential is that of the nitride fuel, followed by the UO2/ThO2 fuel.

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