Safety analyses at the high flux isotope reactor (HFIR) are required to qualify irradiation of production targets containing neptunium dioxide/aluminum cermet (NpO2/Al) pellets for the production of plutonium-238 (238Pu). High heat generation rates (HGRs) due to a fertile starting material (237Np), low melting temperatures, and previously unstudied material irradiation behavior (i.e., swelling/densification, fission gas release) require a sophisticated set of steady-state thermal simulations in order to ensure sufficient safety margins. Experience gained from previous models for preliminary target designs is incorporated into a more comprehensive production target model designed to qualify a target for three cycles of irradiation and illuminate potential in-reactor behavior of the target.

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