Fuel Cycle Scenario Definition, Evaluation, and Trade-offs

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This report aims to clarify many of the issues being discussed within the AFCI program, including Inert Matrix Fuel (IMF) versus Mixed Oxide (MOX) fuel, single-pass versus multi-pass recycling, thermal versus fast reactors, potential need for transmutation of technetium and iodine, and the value of separating cesium and strontium. It documents most of the work produced by INL, ANL, and SNL personnel under their Simulation, Evaluation, and Trade Study (SETS) work packages during FY2005 and the first half of FY2006. This report represents the first attempt to calculate a full range of metrics, covering all four AFCI program objectives - ... continued below

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Piet, Steven J.; Matthern, Gretchen E.; Jacobson, Jacob J.; Laws, Christopher T.; Cadwallader, Lee C.; Yacout, Abdellatif M. et al. August 1, 2006.

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Description

This report aims to clarify many of the issues being discussed within the AFCI program, including Inert Matrix Fuel (IMF) versus Mixed Oxide (MOX) fuel, single-pass versus multi-pass recycling, thermal versus fast reactors, potential need for transmutation of technetium and iodine, and the value of separating cesium and strontium. It documents most of the work produced by INL, ANL, and SNL personnel under their Simulation, Evaluation, and Trade Study (SETS) work packages during FY2005 and the first half of FY2006. This report represents the first attempt to calculate a full range of metrics, covering all four AFCI program objectives - waste management, proliferation resistance, energy recovery, and systematic management/economics/safety - using a combination of "static" calculations and a system dynamic model, DYMOND. In many cases, we examine the same issue both dynamically and statically to determine the robustness of the observations. All analyses are for the U.S. reactor fleet. This is a technical report, not aimed at a policy-level audience. A wide range of options are studied to provide the technical basis for identifying the most attractive options and potential improvements. Option improvement could be vital to accomplish before the AFCI program publishes definitive cost estimates. Information from this report will be extracted and summarized in future policy-level reports. Many dynamic simulations of deploying those options are included. There are few "control knobs" for flying or piloting the fuel cycle system into the future, even though it is dark (uncertain) and controls are sluggish with slow time response: what types of reactors are built, what types of fuels are used, and the capacity of separation and fabrication plants. Piloting responsibilities are distributed among utilities, government, and regulators, compounding the challenge of making the entire system work and respond to changing circumstances. We identify four approaches that would increase our ability to pilot the fuel cycle system: (1) have a recycle strategy that could be implemented before the 2030-2050 approximate period when current reactors retire so that replacement reactors fit into the strategy, (2) establish an option such as multi-pass blended-core IMF as a downward plutonium control knob and accumulate waste management benefits early, (3) establish fast reactors with flexible conversion ratio as a future control knob that slowly becomes available if/when fast reactors are added to the fleet, and (4) expand exploration of blended assemblies and cores, which appear to have advantages and agility. Initial results suggest multi-pass full-core MOX appears to be a less effective way than multi-pass blended core IMF to manage the fuel cycle system because it requires higher TRU throughput while more slowly accruing waste management benefits. Single-pass recycle approaches for LWRs (we did not study the VHTR) do not meet AFCI program objectives and could be considered a "dead end". Fast reactors appear to be effective options but a significant number of fast reactors must be deployed before the benefit of such strategies can be observed.

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  • Report No.: INL/EXT-06-11683
  • Grant Number: DE-AC07-99ID-13727
  • DOI: 10.2172/911563 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 911563
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc882035

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • August 1, 2006

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

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  • Nov. 7, 2016, 4:13 p.m.

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Piet, Steven J.; Matthern, Gretchen E.; Jacobson, Jacob J.; Laws, Christopher T.; Cadwallader, Lee C.; Yacout, Abdellatif M. et al. Fuel Cycle Scenario Definition, Evaluation, and Trade-offs, report, August 1, 2006; [Idaho Falls, Idaho]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc882035/: accessed April 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.