United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

A Comparative Analysis of LWR Fuel Designs (NUREG-1754)

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Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: November 2001
Date Published: December 2001

Prepared by:
G. M. O'Donnell, H. H. Scott, R. 0. Meyer

Division of Systems Analysis and Regulatory Effectiveness
Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC 20555-0001

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Abstract

In 1980, NRC published a comparative analysis of LWR fuel designs, and that report served as a handy reference for typical design and operating parameters for all types of fuel then in operation in U.S. power reactors. During the past twenty years, significant changes have been made in fuel designs, burnups, and analytical computer codes. The present report is an update of the earlier report. Typical fuel design parameters are tabulated for almost all fuel types in current operation, from BWR 8x8 bundles to PWR 17x17 assemblies. Cross-section diagrams are given for BWR fuel bundles and PWR fuel assemblies. Calculated values are plotted for thirteen operating parameters including fuel centerline temperature, cladding O.D. temperature, gap conductance, rod internal gas pressure, and cladding hoop stress. The calculated values are plotted as a function of fuel burnup to 65 GWd/t for a variety of power histories, covering a range from low to high linear heat ratings, which are constant early in life but decline later in a realistic manner.

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