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Radiat Prot Dosimetry. 2005;115(1-4):110-2.

Modern new nuclear fuel characteristics and radiation protection aspects.

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Radiation Safety, Shielding Design Office, Framatome ANP GmbH, Erlangen, Germany.


The glut of fissile material from reprocessing plants and from the conclusion of the cold war has provided the opportunity to design new fuel types to beneficially dispose of such stocks by generating useful power. Thus, in addition to the normal reactor core complement of enriched uranium fuel assemblies, two other types are available on the world market. These are the ERU (enriched recycled uranium) and the MOX (mixed oxide) fuel assemblies. Framatome ANP produces ERU fuel assemblies by taking feed material from reprocessing facilities and blending this with highly enriched uranium from other sources. MOX fuel assemblies contain plutonium isotopes, thus exploiting the higher neutron yield of the plutonium fission process. This paper describes and evaluates the gamma, spontaneous and alpha reaction neutron source terms of these non-irradiated fuel assembly types by defining their nuclear characteristics. The dose rates which arise from these terms are provided along with an overview of radiation protection aspects for consideration in transporting and delivering such fuel assemblies to power generating utilities.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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