Implications of Fast Reactor Transuranic Conversion Ratio

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Theoretically, the transuranic conversion ratio (CR), i.e. the transuranic production divided by transuranic destruction, in a fast reactor can range from near zero to about 1.9, which is the average neutron yield from Pu239 minus 1. In practice, the possible range will be somewhat less. We have studied the implications of transuranic conversion ratio of 0.0 to 1.7 using the fresh and discharge fuel compositions calculated elsewhere. The corresponding fissile breeding ratio ranges from 0.2 to 1.6. The cases below CR=1 (“burners”) do not have blankets; the cases above CR=1 (“breeders”) have breeding blankets. The burnup was allowed to float ... continued below

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Piet, Steven J.; Hoffman, Edward A. & Bays, Samuel E. November 1, 2010.

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Theoretically, the transuranic conversion ratio (CR), i.e. the transuranic production divided by transuranic destruction, in a fast reactor can range from near zero to about 1.9, which is the average neutron yield from Pu239 minus 1. In practice, the possible range will be somewhat less. We have studied the implications of transuranic conversion ratio of 0.0 to 1.7 using the fresh and discharge fuel compositions calculated elsewhere. The corresponding fissile breeding ratio ranges from 0.2 to 1.6. The cases below CR=1 (“burners”) do not have blankets; the cases above CR=1 (“breeders”) have breeding blankets. The burnup was allowed to float while holding the maximum fluence to the cladding constant. We graph the fuel burnup and composition change. As a function of transuranic conversion ratio, we calculate and graph the heat, gamma, and neutron emission of fresh fuel; whether the material is “attractive” for direct weapon use using published criteria; the uranium utilization and rate of consumption of natural uranium; and the long-term radiotoxicity after fuel discharge. For context, other cases and analyses are included, primarily once-through light water reactor (LWR) uranium oxide fuel at 51 MWth-day/kg-iHM burnup (UOX-51). For CR<1, the heat, gamma, and neutron emission increase as material is recycled. The uranium utilization is at or below 1%, just as it is in thermal reactors as both types of reactors require continuing fissile support. For CR>1, heat, gamma, and neutron emission decrease with recycling. The uranium utilization exceeds 1%, especially as all the transuranic elements are recycled. exceeds 1%, especially as all the transuranic elements are recycled. At the system equilibrium, heat and gamma vary by somewhat over an order of magnitude as a function of CR. Isotopes that dominate heat and gamma emission are scattered throughout the actinide chain, so the modest impact of CR is unsurprising. Neutron emitters are preferentially found among the higher actinides, so the neutron emission varies much stronger with CR, about three orders of magnitude.

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  • 11th Information Exchange Meeting on Actinide and Fission Product Partitioning and Transmutation,San Francisco,11/01/2010,11/05/2010

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  • Report No.: INL/CON-10-20139
  • Grant Number: DE-AC07-05ID14517
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 991890
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc1014502

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  • November 1, 2010

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  • Oct. 14, 2017, 8:36 a.m.

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  • Nov. 3, 2017, 4:34 p.m.

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Piet, Steven J.; Hoffman, Edward A. & Bays, Samuel E. Implications of Fast Reactor Transuranic Conversion Ratio, article, November 1, 2010; Idaho. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1014502/: accessed July 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.