Reactor physics calculations on MOX fuel in Boiling Water Reactors (BWRs)
Paper in proceedings, 2002
The loading of MOX (Mixed Oxide) fuel in BWRs (Boiling Water Reactors) is considered in this paper in a “once-through” strategy. The fuel assemblies are of the General Electric 8x8 type, whereas the reactor is of the General Electric BWR/6 type. Comparisons with traditional UOX (Uranium Oxide) fuel assemblies revealed that the loading of MOX fuel in BWRs is possible, but this type of fuel creates new problems that have to be addressed in further detail. The major ones are the SDM (Shutdown Margin) and the stability of the cores at BOC (Beginning Of Cycle), which were demonstrated to be significantly lowered. The former requires a new design of the control rods, whereas a modification of the Pu isotopic vector allows improving the latter. Another issue with the use of the MOX fuel assemblies in a “once-through” strategy is the increased radiotoxicity of the discharged fuel assemblies, which is much higher than of the UOX fuel assemblies.