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By U. Fano

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0003325 38 It is likely that the increased 235U concentration with increased specific power results from an increased abundance of plutonium isotopes under such a condition; increased fissioning in 239Pu and 241 Pu decreases the depletion rate of 235U required to maintain a fixed power level. Assuming this is true, then the specific power trend is a result of increased plutonium production for increased specific powers. Both 239Pu and 241Pu are produced by neutron absorption in 238U, which typically occurs at higher neutron energies via resonance absorption.

6 wt % fuel to a burnup of 50 GWd/MTU. Because the sensitivity coefficients of 235U, 239Pu, and 241Pu are positive, and the concentration of 238U does not change significantly, the net effect is for k" to increase with increasing specific power. Thus the trend for k" to increase with increasing depletion rate for a given level of burnup in the absence of fission products is caused by the behavior of the three fissile isotopes. Isotope 235 U 238 U 239 Pu 240 Pu 241 Pu Table 8. 0003325 38 It is likely that the increased 235U concentration with increased specific power results from an increased abundance of plutonium isotopes under such a condition; increased fissioning in 239Pu and 241 Pu decreases the depletion rate of 235U required to maintain a fixed power level.

For actinides-only analyses, k" is found to increase as the fuel cycle in which the power increase occurs moves toward the end of the depletion period; the increase in k" is consistent with the earlier study of specific power effects. For low burnups, the operating history makes little difference. For highpower operation in the first cycle, the reduced-power operation over the last two cycles overcompensates for the effect of the initial high power. When the high-power operation occurs near the middle of life, its effect is nearly balanced by reduced-power operation in the final cycle, since results are nearly the same as those of case 2.

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