Skip to main content

Overview of the Recent BWR Burnup Credit Project at Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Publication Type
Conference Paper
Book Title
Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Nuclear Criticality Safety
Publication Date
Conference Name
International Conference on Nuclear Criticality Safety ICNC 2019
Conference Location
Paris, France
Conference Sponsor
Conference Date

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) have completed a five-year program to investigate burnup credit (BUC) for boiling-water reactor (BWR) spent nuclear fuel (SNF) stored in storage and transportation systems. The project examined both peak reactivity BUC, also sometimes called gadolinium credit, and extended BWR BUC. Here extended refers to credit for burnups beyond that associated with peak reactivity. The findings related to peak reactivity BUC are summarized in NUREG/CR-7194, and four additional NUREG/CR documents present the results of the studies of extended BWR BUC. The first of these documents, NUREG/CR-7224, presents results of investigations to determine the effects of axial moderator density profiles, control blade use, and axial burnup profiles. Studies on the impact of core operating conditions and assembly-specific depletion conditions are addressed in NUREG/CR-7240, validation of depleted SNF isotopic predictions is addressed in NUREG/CR-7251, and validation of keff calculations for extended BWR BUC are discussed in NUREG/CR-7252. A summary of the entire project, including major conclusions regarding each of the studies, is included in this paper.