The Optimum Plutonium Inert Matrix Fuel Form for Reactor-Based Plutonium Disposition

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The University of Florida has underway an ongoing research program to validate the economic, operational and performance benefits of developing an inert matrix fuel (IMF) for the disposition of the U.S. weapons plutonium (Pu) and for the recycle of reprocessed Pu. The current fuel form of choice for Pu disposition for the Department of Energy is as a mixed oxide (MOX) (PuO2/UO2). We will show analyses that demonstrate that a Silicon Carbide (SiC) IMF offers improved performance capabilities as a fuel form for Pu recycle and disposition. The reason that UF is reviewing various materials to serve as an inert ... continued below

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Tulenko, J.S.; Wang, J. & Acosta, C. October 6, 2004.

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The University of Florida has underway an ongoing research program to validate the economic, operational and performance benefits of developing an inert matrix fuel (IMF) for the disposition of the U.S. weapons plutonium (Pu) and for the recycle of reprocessed Pu. The current fuel form of choice for Pu disposition for the Department of Energy is as a mixed oxide (MOX) (PuO2/UO2). We will show analyses that demonstrate that a Silicon Carbide (SiC) IMF offers improved performance capabilities as a fuel form for Pu recycle and disposition. The reason that UF is reviewing various materials to serve as an inert matrix fuel is that an IMF fuel form can offer greatly reduced Pu and transuranic isotope (TRU) production and also improved thermal performance characteristics. Our studies showed that the Pu content is reduced by an order of magnitude while centerline fuel temperatures are reduced approximately 380 degrees centigrade compared to MOX. These reduced temperatures result in reduced stored heat and thermal stresses in the pellet. The reduced stored heat reduces the consequences of the loss of coolant accident, while the reduced temperatures and thermal stresses yield greatly improved fuel performance. Silicon Carbide is not new to the nuclear industry, being a basic fuel material in gas cooled reactors.

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INIS; OSTI as DE00840375

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  • Americas Nuclear Energy Symposium (ANES 2004), Miami, FL (US), 10/03/2004--10/06/2004

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  • Report No.: none
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 840375
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc780758

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  • October 6, 2004

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  • Dec. 3, 2015, 9:30 a.m.

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  • Jan. 22, 2016, 6:25 p.m.

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Tulenko, J.S.; Wang, J. & Acosta, C. The Optimum Plutonium Inert Matrix Fuel Form for Reactor-Based Plutonium Disposition, article, October 6, 2004; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc780758/: accessed September 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.