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Pu-Utilization in LWR Experiments


Critical Experiments for the Pu Utilization in VVER Type Reactors Using IPPE Facilities. (Phase 2-Basing of Three VVER FAs loading. Pre-SUPR Experimental Program)

Tech Area / Field

  • FIR-NOT/Nuclear and Other Technical Data/Fission Reactors

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Tocheny L V

Leading Institute
FEI (IPPE), Russia, Kaluga reg., Obninsk


  • European Commission / DG XVII, Belgium, Brussels

Project summary

Basing the experiments for using Pu in LWR type reactors, to estimate the existing nuclear data and calculational codes for maintenance the neutron cross-section libraries and to ensure the calculation of WER reactors fuelled by weapons-grade and civil-grade plutonium.

The Project in whole includes three phases. Phase I (Feasibility Study, completed). Phase II (Just the object of the Proposal # 371.2):

Experimental-and-calculational program with object in mind to reduce a non-correspondence between required level of accuracy and available one during calculations of neutron and physical characteristics of VEER-1000 with MOX fuel. It is planned to carry out the pre-SUPR part of the program - set of physical experiments, simulated three MOX fuel VVER-type assemblies and installed into existing body of critical stand BFS.

This experimental program has been reasoned theoretically by the first phase of the project.

Project Duration: 30 months.

Men-power (total), in man-months: 830. Former Weapons Scientists men-power (in man-month): 535.

Technical approach:

Verification of the neutronics calculation codes and data (first of all -the Russian ones, certified forVVERs) on the available experimental (Russian, Belgium, in the case of their purchase) and calculational (American, Russian, European) benchmarks.

The objectives and anticipated results of the Project:

• One of the goals is to get sufficient accuracy of calculations of WER-1000 core parameters with several MOX fuel assemblies (FA) installed.

• Purchasing of MOX pin fuel for SUPR facility (papers, licensing). The pins will be manufacturing under the subcontract between NIIAR and IPPE. To serve time and money it is suggested to carry out the experiments with this part of MOX fuel (three FAs simulation) at BFS or at the other IPPE' facility, before when it will be possible to manufacture and to place the sufficient amount of MOX fuel corresponding to planning MOX load of the real WER-1000. One of the purposes of this work is to get reliable description of power distributions between UOX and MOX pins and fuel assemblies.

• Proving the sense and representativeness of proposed experiments at BFS facility with MOX fuel pins.

• Experiments on the BFS.

• Experimental-Calculational reasoning of SUPR design concept.

• Development of reasonable experimental program at SUPR facility.

Role of foreign collaborators:

It would be very appreciated to use in the frame project the 30-years experience of the Belgium facility VENUS in the field of plutonium utilization in PWR, as well as one of the French facilities MINERVA and EOLE, for joint analysis of the Project.