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HTC Experimental Program: Validation and Calculational Analysis

F. Fernex, T. Ivanova, F. Bernard, E. Létang, P. Fouillaud, J. F. Thro

Nuclear Science and Engineering

Volume 162 / Number 1 / May 2009 / Pages 1-24


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In the 1980s a series of the Haut Taux de Combustion (HTC) critical experiments with fuel pins in a water-moderated lattice was conducted at the Apparatus B experimental facility in Valduc (Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique, France) with the support of the Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire and AREVA NC. Four series of experiments were designed to assess profit associated with actinide-only burnup credit in the criticality safety evaluation for fuel handling, pool storage, and spent-fuel cask conditions. The HTC rods, specifically fabricated for the experiments, simulated typical pressurized water reactor uranium oxide spent fuel that had an initial enrichment of 4.5 wt% 235U and was burned to 37.5 GWd/tonne U.

The configurations have been modeled with the CRISTAL criticality package and SCALE 5.1 code system. Sensitivity/uncertainty analysis has been employed to evaluate the HTC experiments and to study their applicability for validation of burnup credit calculations. This paper presents the experimental program, the principal results of the experiment evaluation, and modeling. The HTC data applicability to burnup credit validation is demonstrated with an example of spent-fuel storage models.

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