An international programme called REBUS for the investigation of the burn-up credit has been initiated by the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre SCK-CEN and Belgonucle´aire with the support of EdF and IRSN from France and VGB, representing German nuclear utilities and NUPEC, representing the Japanese industry. Recently also ORNL from the U.S. joined the programme. The programme aims to establish a neutronic benchmark for reactor physics codes in order to qualify the codes for calculations of the burn-up credit. The benchmark exercise investigates the following fuel types with associated burn-up: reference fresh 3.3% enriched UO2 fuel, fresh commercial PWR UO2 fuel and irradiated commercial PWR UO2 fuel (54 GWd/tM), fresh PWR MOX fuel and irradiated PWR MOX fuel (20 GWd/tM). The experiments on the three configurations with fresh fuel have been completed. The experiments show a good agreement between calculation and experiments for the different measured parameters: critical water level, reactivity effect of the water level and fission-rate and flux distributions. In 2003 the irradiated BR3 MOX fuel bundle was loaded into the VENUS reactor and the associated experimental programme was carried out. The reactivity measurements in this configuration with irradiated fuel show a good agreement between experimental and preliminary calculated values.

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