The Need for Integral Critical Experiments with Low-moderated MOX Fuels

Workshop Proceedings, Paris, France, 14-15 April 2004

ISBN : 92-64-02078-0
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The use of MOX fuel in commercial reactors is a means of burning plutonium originating from either surplus weapons or reprocessed irradiated uranium fuel. This requires the fabrication of MOX assemblies on an industrial scale.

The OECD/NEA Expert Group on Experimental Needs for Criticality Safety has highlighted MOX fuel manufacturing as an area in which there is a specific need for additional experimental data for validation purposes. Indeed, integral experiments with low-moderated MOX fuel are either scarce or not sufficiently accurate to provide an appropriate degree of validation of nuclear data and computer codes. New and accurate experimental data would enable a better optimisation of the fabrication process by decreasing the uncertainties in the determination of multiplication factors of configurations such as the homogenisation of MOX powders.

This report contains the proceedings of a workshop organised by the OECD/NEA Nuclear Science Committee. Issues debated include the expression of research needs, proposals of experimental programmes and prospects for an international co-operative programme to address these needs.