Computational Neutronics Methods and Transmutation Performance Analyses for Fast Reactors

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The once-through fuel cycle strategy in the United States for the past six decades has resulted in an accumulation of Light Water Reactor (LWR) Spent Nuclear Fuel (SNF). This SNF contains considerable amounts of transuranic (TRU) elements that limit the volumetric capacity of the current planned repository strategy. A possible way of maximizing the volumetric utilization of the repository is to separate the TRU from the LWR SNF through a process such as UREX+1a, and convert it into fuel for a fast-spectrum Advanced Burner Reactor (ABR). The key advantage in this scenario is the assumption that recycling of TRU in ... continued below

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Ferrer, R.; Asgari, M.; Bays, S. & Forget, B. March 1, 2007.

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Description

The once-through fuel cycle strategy in the United States for the past six decades has resulted in an accumulation of Light Water Reactor (LWR) Spent Nuclear Fuel (SNF). This SNF contains considerable amounts of transuranic (TRU) elements that limit the volumetric capacity of the current planned repository strategy. A possible way of maximizing the volumetric utilization of the repository is to separate the TRU from the LWR SNF through a process such as UREX+1a, and convert it into fuel for a fast-spectrum Advanced Burner Reactor (ABR). The key advantage in this scenario is the assumption that recycling of TRU in the ABR (through pyroprocessing or some other approach), along with a low capture-to-fission probability in the fast reactor’s high-energy neutron spectrum, can effectively decrease the decay heat and toxicity of the waste being sent to the repository. The decay heat and toxicity reduction can thus minimize the need for multiple repositories. This report summarizes the work performed by the fuel cycle analysis group at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) to establish the specific technical capability for performing fast reactor fuel cycle analysis and its application to a high-priority ABR concept. The high-priority ABR conceptual design selected is a metallic-fueled, 1000 MWth SuperPRISM (S-PRISM)-based ABR with a conversion ratio of 0.5. Results from the analysis showed excellent agreement with reference values. The independent model was subsequently used to study the effects of excluding curium from the transuranic (TRU) external feed coming from the LWR SNF and recycling the curium produced by the fast reactor itself through pyroprocessing. Current studies to be published this year focus on analyzing the effects of different separation strategies as well as heterogeneous TRU target systems.

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  • Report No.: INL/EXT-07-12466
  • Grant Number: DE-AC07-99ID-13727
  • DOI: 10.2172/919551 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 919551
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc898761

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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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  • March 1, 2007

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

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  • Nov. 7, 2016, 4:02 p.m.

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Ferrer, R.; Asgari, M.; Bays, S. & Forget, B. Computational Neutronics Methods and Transmutation Performance Analyses for Fast Reactors, report, March 1, 2007; [Idaho Falls, Idaho]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc898761/: accessed August 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.