Feasibility Study Part – II Theoretical Calculations of Fission 99Mo Production by the Irradiation of LEU Metallic Uranium Foil at Tajoura

Research Reactor
Bsebsu, F. M.1,Elwaer S.2 Renewable Energies and Water Desalination Research Center P.O. Box 30878 Tajoura (Tripoli), Libya

Abstract
The Renewable Energies and Water Desalination Research Center (REWDRC), Libya, will implement the technology for 99Mo isotope production using LEU foil target (This target is made of a LEU metallic uranium foil inserted between two concentric aluminium cylinders), to obtain new revenue streams for the Tajoura nuclear research reactor and desiring to serve the Libyan hospitals by providing the medical radioisotopes. This paper will present the preliminary results for the neutronic and activity calculations of 99Mo, taking into account different irradiation and decay times.

1. Introduction
The Tajoura reactor is a pool type reactor, moderated and cooled by light water located at the Renewable Energies and Water Desalinization Research Center (REWDRC). The reactor is designated to carry out experiments in field of 2VCR 1VCR 2VCV 1VCV nuclear physics and nuclear engineering, 4VCR 3VCR neutron activation analysis, solid state physics 6 5 4 1 3 2 4VCV 3VCV and isotope production. The reactor was put 1 2 into operation at a power level of 10 MW in 6VCR 5VCR 3 September 1983. [1] 8VCR 7VCR
4

The reactor is completely converted to Low Enriched Uranium (LEU, 19.7% of 235U) fuel of type IRT-4M at the end of 2006; the new fuel is an alloy (matrix) of aluminum and uraniumdioxide (UO2–Al) with aluminum cladding. The moderation and core cooling are provided through forced convection of de-mineralized water. [2] The compact core loading of Tajoura reactor core consists of 16 IRT-4M fuel assemblies type (10 (6TFA) + 6 (8TFA)) with LEU 19.7% 235U enrichment.

10VCR 6VCV 8VCV 10VCV 14VCR 16VCR 13VCR 18VCR 19VCR 12VCR

5 6 11VCR

9VCR 5VCV 7VCV 15VCR 9VCV

17VCR

Figure 1. Tajoura Reactor Core Horizontal Cross Section.

1 2

Dr. Bsebsu, Farag Muftah, Reactor Department, Calculation Unit, Head of, Bsebsu@yahoo.com Dr. Elwaer, Sami, Radiochemistry Department, Head of, samiwer@yahoo.com

The Tajoura reactor has 44 vertical irradiation channels (6 in the 8TFA fuel assemblies, 9 in removable Beryllium reflector units, 19 VCR in the stationary reflector blocks, and 10 VCV in reactor core Al vessel). Figure 1 shows the Tajoura core horizontal cross section. The study of this analysis includes the neutronic and activity analysis of 99Mo, where Figure 2 shows the LEU target configuration, dimensions, and specifications [3]

Figure 2. LEU Target Horizontal, Vertical Cross Sections, and Dimensions.

2. Neutronic and Activity Calculations
The neutronic calculations were performed for the present core configuration of Tajoura reactor using Table 1 neutronics computer package [4] codes, Energy five-group structure used in neutronic programs used routinely in the the diffusion theory calculations fuel management of this reactor. Broad Fine Energy Different cell models were needed to Grou Group Interval [eV]
ps 1 2 3 s 1– 5 6– 15 16 – 0.821 E+06 – 1.000 E+07 5.530 E+03 – 0.821 E+06 2.100 – 5.530

generate appropriate cross sections for the various reactor regions in an energy five-group structure. The WIMS-D4 code was used to generate the multi-group nuclear constants library for different regions as a function of burn-up, the main transport calculation was performed in 69 energy groups, condensing to 7 groups for the diffusion theory calculations as shown in Table 1. In order to calculate the cross sections for fuel assembly, a complete fuel assembly and a homogeneous extra zone was used. The extra region includes the aluminum in the fuel elements beyond the width of the meat, the aluminum side fuel elements, the water beyond the width of the meat and the water channels surrounding the fuel element. In a diffusion calculation, a fuel element will be represented by three zones, the central zone is a homogenization of the meat, cladding and the cooling and the lateral zones are identical to each other and are formed by a homogenous mixture of aluminum and water. The nuclear constants for beryllium elements, aluminum elements, blanking 225 elements, absorber tail plates and the water 200 as a reflector have been obtained using 175 different macro-cell models. 150 The fission product activities were 125 calculated using ORIGEN-S code from the 100 SCALE-4.4a system [5], considering an irradiation at constant thermal neutron flux, 75 1.0×1014 n cm-2 s-1, and an irradiation time of 50 3 days for a target containing 8 gm of 25 uranium 19.75% enriched. The 99Mo activity in 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 curie as a function of time is shown in Figure Time, days 3. The irradiation time has a large impact Figure 3. Mo activity for 8 grams of on specific activity. All the molybdenum 19.75% enriched uranium, an irradiation time of 3 days and Φth = 1.0×1014 n cm-2 isotopes from 95Mo to 100Mo are produced from s-1 fission and they continue to build up, making the 99Mo Ci content per gram of molybdenum material decrease with increased irradiation time. A determination of the specific activity of the 99Mo must consider the fission products which are stable isotopes of molybdenum (97Mo, 98Mo and 100Mo). Table 2.
99

Activity, Ci

The results of the ORIGEN-S [5] Activity of 99Mo, Asp, Ci per mg of calculations during the irradiation period are Mo (97Mo, 98Mo, 99Mo and 100Mo) for Different Irradiation Times presented in the Table 2 and Figure 4, where 99 t i, Mo, Asp [Ci/mg Asp is the specific activity of 99Mo in Ci per [h] [Ci] Mo] mg of Mo. At end-of-irradiation (72 hrs), the 12 34.20 215,26 activity of 99Mo is 203 Ci, that is 25.38 Ci 16 45.21 211.16 99 24 67.23 208,50 Mo per gram of 19.75% enriched uranium 32 89.90 203.89 99 irradiated, the Mo yield after 10 hrs of 36 101.29 205,58 decay in pool is 183 Ci the specific activity of 40 112.81 202.67 99 48 134.84 200.65 Mo is 103.00 Ci per milligram of 60 175.08 200.65 molybdenum (97Mo, 98Mo, 99Mo and 100Mo), 72 203.12 199.25

Activity of

99

Mo and Specific

the total activity of the actinides is 450 Ci/g U and the total activity of the fission products is 3904 Ci/g U. At the end of the irradiation, the LEU foil target will be allowed to decay in the reactor pool for a period of 6 hours minimum. Prior to reactor start up, the irradiated target will be removed from the reactor pool and transported to the hot cell for disassembly. Allowing the target to decay in the reactor pool for 6 hours will reduce the end-of-irradiation total fission product activity in 85.37%. [6]

3. Conclusions
The neutronic calculations were performed supposing that the target would be introduced in the cell 6-1 position of the reactor grid in the removable beryllium reflector, the present maximum neutron flux position of Tajoura reactor. In this case, the mean neutron thermal flux is 1.0×10 14 n cm-2 s-1 and the power generated in the target is 7.6 KW. The fission product activities have been calculated using ORIGEN-S code from the SCALE-4.4a system, considering an irradiation at constant Table 3. thermal neutron flux, 1.0×1014 n cm-2 s-1, for Activity of 99Mo and Total Activity of Fission a target containing 8 gm of uranium 19.75% Products, ATfp, in Ci/g U after 72 hours of Irradiation and Different Decay Times enriched, taking into account different 99 td, Mo, ATfp [Ci/mg [h] [Ci] Mo] irradiation and decay times. 0 203.12 3904.00 The irradiation time has a large impact 1 201.72 1852.87 on specific activity. All the molybdenum 2 200.46 1060.70 3 199.24 753.93 isotopes from 95Mo to 100Mo are produced 4 198.04 635.14 from fission and they continue to build up, 5 196.86 589.13 99 making the Mo Ci content per gram of 6 195.71 571.32 7 194.59 564.42 molybdenum material decrease with 8 193.49 561.75 increased irradiation time. A determination 9 192.42 560.71 99 of the specific activity of the Mo must 10 191.36 560.31 consider the fission products which are 15 186.44 560.06 20 182.02 560.06 stable isotopes of molybdenum (97Mo, 98Mo 100 and Mo).

Acknowledgment
The authors wish to express their thanks to Dr. Faisel Abotweirat (Head of Reactor Department) for supporting this work and Dr Charlie Allen (Missouri University Research Reactor (MURR), Columbia Research Reactor, and University of Missouri) for his helping during the Origen results for 8 g LEU foil
216 214 212 210 208 206 204 202 200 198 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90100 120 110 130140150 Decay Time (td), [hrs] Asp(t)=197.97+28.24e
-td/23.22

4. References
1. KNOW-HOW DOCUMENTATIONS: "Tajoura Nuclear Research Design", Building 1, Design Features of the Control Rod Arrangement in the

Figure 4.

Specific Activity of Mo

99

Mo Specific activity

as a function of Decay Time.

Reactor Ensuring Replacement with the Fuel Charge Pattern in the Core, 622-1-KH-151 (9), 1979. 2. Bsebsu, F. M.:”IRT- 4M Fuel Assembly Design and Calculation Parameters”, Technical Report, REWRDC: R-CU2-01-2005, Tajoura (Tripoli) Libya, 2005.01.31 3. Charlie Allen, Technical Drawing of LEU Target Assembly, Email massage, 2007. 4. Eduardo A. Villarino, MTR_PC V3.0, Neutronic, Thermal Hydraulic and Shielding Calculations on PC, INVAP SE, Argentina, 2001. 5. Charlie Allen, ORIGEN Code Results for 8 g LEU foil, Email massage, 2007. 6. Jorge Medel, Fission Mo-99 Production by the Irradiation of a LEU Metallic Uranium Foil at RECH-1 Reactor, Chilean Nuclear Energy Commission, Santiago, Chile, January, 2007

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