Thorium as an additive for improved neutronic properties in boiling water reactor fuel
Journal article, 2018

This article treats the replacement of burnable absorbers with a fertile absorber in boiling water reactor fuel. The target is to improve the fuel economy while meeting the same safety demands as the currently used conventional uranium oxide (UOX) fuel. A candidate fertile absorber is Th-232, and this work investigates the impact of replacing part of the U-238 in UOX fuel with Th-232. Computer simulations have been carried out and comparisons made for fuel assemblies with fertile and burnable absorbers, loaded in the boiling water reactor Oskarshamn 3, using the tools and methods that are normally employed for reload design and safety evaluation for this reactor. The results show that power balance and shutdown margins can be improved at the cost of higher enrichment needs. Alternatively, the fuel can be designed to just fulfil the relevant safety criteria, giving slightly lower uranium needs, which may compensate for the increased enrichment costs.

Power peaking


Boiling water reactor


Shutdown margin


Burnable absorber


Klara L Insulander Björk

Thor Energy

Chalmers, Physics, Subatomic and Plasma Physics

Christer Netterbrant


Annals of Nuclear Energy

0306-4549 (ISSN) 1873-2100 (eISSN)

Vol. 113 470-475

Subject Categories

Subatomic Physics

Energy Engineering

Energy Systems



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3/8/2018 1