Utilizing neutronics modelling to predict changing Pu ratios in UO2 in the presence of Th

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The isotopic fractions of plutonium produced in a reactor are of significant value as nuclear forensic signatures, and the mechanisms of their production and alteration should be investigated thoroughly. A series of neutronics calculations were made on a typical UO2 PWR setup, introducing (Th, U)O2 MOX rods gradually, to investigate how the presence of Th affects the 240Pu/239Pu and 242Pu/239Pu ratios in the remaining UO2 fuel rods. A relationship is found that links the percentage change in these ratios, with the burnup and Th content in the configuration. In an extreme case, it was found that the presence of Th may increase the ratio of 242Pu/239Pu by as much as 3.5% at low burnup.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103762
JournalProgress in Nuclear Energy
Early online date2 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2021

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