A new core loading pattern scheme has been developed with the objective of significantly reducing both the maximum and cycle average RCS (Reactor Cooling System) soluble boron requirements for a typical PWR (Pressurized Water Reactor) plant with 18 month cycle. This strategy has several advantages including reduced operational costs due to boron addition and subsequent dilution, less challenging coolant chemistry adjustments and decreased tritium production over the cycles. The core design utilizes a typical Westinghouse 4-Loop core with assemblies containing both ZrB2 Integral Fuel burnable Absorber (IFBA) and high concentration Gadolinium (Gd) burnable absorbers (BAs) in the same assembly. This combination achieves the boron reduction objectives while still maintaining good power margins and good fuel cycle economics. This paper describes the major characteristics of these cycles and compares these to a reference cycle design typical of those used in current Westinghouse 4-Loop type plants.

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