Category Archives: Progress, Challenges, and Opportunities for. Converting U. S. and Russian Research Reactors

CORE MODIFICATIONS FOR CONVERSION

Two presentations on modifications of research reactor cores to address the technical challenges of conversion were given by Panel 2.1 speakers: John Stevens (Argonne National Laboratory) provided a U. S. viewpoint on core modifications (Stevens, 2011), and I. T. Tetiyakov (NIKIET) provided a Russian viewpoint (Tetiyakov, 2011).

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Oak Ridge: High Flux Isotope Reactor

David Cook HFIR currently operates at 85 MW—following a derating from 100 MW in the early 1990s because of embrittlement of the reactor pres­sure vessel—using a U3Og-Al dispersion fuel that is 93 percent enriched in uranium-235. HFIR’s original primary mission was the production of transuranic isotopes. With the addition of the cold neutron source in 2007, the facility began hosting […]

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Material Attractiveness

A. N. Chebeskov As noted in Chapter 1, the lack of availability of special nuclear mate­rial (SNM) that can be used to build a nuclear weapon is widely agreed to be a major barrier to nuclear proliferation (see Chapter 1). Thus, an essential part of understanding the proliferation risk associated with a research reactor involves understanding how straightforward it would […]

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PROLIFERATION AND CIVILIAN TRADE IN HEU

The availability of HEU—particularly in the civilian sector—is a sig­nificant proliferation and security concern. In 2001, the U. S. National Research Council stated in its report, Making the Nation Safer, that “(t)he primary impediment that prevents countries or technically competent ter­rorist groups from developing nuclear weapons is the [lack of] availabil­ity of special nuclear material (SNM),[8] especially HEU” (NRC, 2001). […]

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University of Wisconsin Nuclear Reactor

Paul Wilson UWNR is a 1 megawatt (MW) TRIGA pool reactor (see Chapter 1) housed on the University of Wisconsin campus in Madison, Wisconsin. Its primary mission is the training of undergraduate and graduate nuclear engineering students; however, it is also used to perform research, including irradiation for neutron activation analysis.

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Oregon State TRIGA Mark II Reactor

The Oregon State TRIGA reactor is licensed to operate at a steady state power of 1.1 megawatts (MW) and can pulse to 2,500 MW with a peak steady-state thermal flux of about 1013 neutrons per square centimeter per second (n/cm2-s) in the B1 position. The reactor was originally fueled with a 70 percent enriched UZrHx fuel with a 1.6 weight […]

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Neutronics and Thermal/hydraulic Analyses

HFIR staff has developed a reference fuel design, but there is signifi­cant work remaining to evaluate its safety. HFIR’s conversion plan requires maintaining the fuel plates’ involute shapes, the overall core geometry, thermal/hydraulic system parameters, and key neutron fluxes, particularly in the flux trap region. To create a “proof of concept” reference LEU fuel design, state-of-the-art HEU-validated neutronics analyses were […]

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AGEING AND OBSOLESCENCE OF RESEARCH REACTORS

Two presentations on understanding and addressing the ageing and obsolescence of research reactors were given by Panel 2.2 speakers: H.-J. Roegler (an independent consultant from Germany, formerly with Sie­mens[40]) described an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) initiative on research reactor ageing and ageing management (Roegler, 2011). E. P. Ryazantsev (Kurchatov Institute) provided a historical description of the research and test […]

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