DEVELOPMENT OF A FUEL PERFORMANCE CODE FOR THORIUM-PLUTONIUM FUEL
Paper i proceeding, 2014
Thorium-plutonium Mixed OXide fuel (Th-MOX) is considered for use as light water reactor fuel. Both neutronic and material properties show some clear benefits over those of uranium oxide and uranium-plutonium mixed oxide fuel, but for a new fuel type to be licensed for use in commercial reactors, its behaviour must be possible to predict. For the thermomechanical behaviour, this is normally done using a well validated fuel performance code, but given the
scarce operation experience with Th-MOX fuel, no such code is available today.
In this paper we present the ongoing work with developing a fuel performance code for prediction of the thermomechanical behaviour of Th-MOX for light water reactors. The wellestablished fuel performance code FRAPCON is modified by incorporation of new correlations for the material properties of the thorium-plutonium mixed oxide, and by develoment of a new subroutine for prediction of the radial power profiles within the fuel pellets. This paper lists the correlations chosen for the fuel material properties, describes the methodology for modifying the power profile calculations and shows the results of fuel temperature calculations with the code in its current state of development. The code will ultimately be validated using data from a Th-MOX test irradiation campaign which is currently ongoing in the Halden research reactor.
Fuel performance code