PERFORMANCE OF HIGH BURNUP MOX FUEL
13th International Conference on CANDU Fuel - 2016 Aug. 15-18


Presented at:
13th International Conference on CANDU Fuel
2016 Aug. 15-18
Location:
Kingston, ON Canada
Session Title:
Session 4: Advanced Fuel Cycles - MOX

Authors:
M. Floyd (CNL)
S. Corbett (CNL)
A. Barry (CNL)
  

Abstract

Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL; formerly AECL) has 50 years of experience in developing (U, Pu)O2 mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel that supports PHWR reactor fuel technology. This has included several CANDU type irradiation tests having 19, 37 and 43-element geometries. This experience has been published in the open literature, including several papers associated with the CANDU Fuel Conference. The largest of CNL’s MOX fuel experiments, BDL-419, comprises fifteen 37-element geometry bundles irradiated in the NRU reactor. The pellets in these bundles contain 0.5 wt.% Pu in total heavy elements (Pu + natural uranium). To date, BDL-419 bundles have achieved burnups of up to ~ 900 MWh/kgHE. Most recently, two BDL-419 bundles (ADM and ADP) have completed post-irradiation examination in the CNL hot cell facilities located at Chalk River. These bundles incorporated three different coatings on the inner bore of alternating outer elements to mitigate stress corrosion cracking (SCC) of the Zircaloy-4 sheath. The outer elements of bundle ADM achieved beginning-of-life powers > 50 kW/m and burnups > 800 MWh/kgHE; none of the elements experienced failure. The outer elements of bundle ADP achieved beginning-of-life powers > 60 kW/m and burnups > 500 MWh/kgHE; two of the outer elements experienced sheath SCC failure as a result of high internal gas pressure (high fission-gas release). This paper will present the performance assessment results of MOX BDL-419 bundles ADP and ADM and compare them with other CNL MOX fuel tests and UO2 fuel having similar operating histories and designs.

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