A small nuclear reactor using thorium and plutonium fuel has been designed from the neutronic point of view. The thermal power of the reactor is 150 MWth and it is proposed to be used to supply electricity in an island in Indonesia.
Thorium and plutonium fuel was chosen because in recent years the thorium fuel cycle is one of the promising ways to deal with the increasing number of plutonium stockpiles, either from the utilization of uranium fuel cycle or from nuclear weapon dismantling. A mixed fuel of thorium and plutonium will not generate the second generation of plutonium which will be a better way to incinerate the excess plutonium compared with the MOX fuel.
Three kinds of plutonium grades which are the reactor grade (RG), weapon grade (WG), and spent fuel grade (SFG) plutonium, were evaluated as the thorium fuel mixture in the $17\times17$ Westinghouse PWR Fuel assembly. The evaluated parameters were the multiplication factor, plutonium depletion, fissile buildup, neutron spectrum, and temperature reactivity feedback. An optimization was also done to increase the plutonium depletion by changing the Moderator to Fuel Ratio (MFR). The computer codes TRITON (coupled NEWT and ORIGEN-S) in SCALE version 6 were used as the calculation tool for this assembly level.
From the evaluation and optimization of the fuel assembly, the whole core was designed. The core was consisted of 2 types of thorium fuel with different plutonium grade and it followed the checkerboard loading pattern. A new concept of enriched burnable poison was also introduced to the core. The core life is 6.4 EFPY or 75 GWd/MTHM. It can burn up to 58% of its total mass of initial plutonium. VENTURE was used as the calculation tool for the core level.