Transmutation Performance Analysis for Inert Matrix Fuels in Light Water Reactors and Computational Neutronics Methods Capabilities at INL

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The urgency for addressing repository impacts has grown in the past few years as a result of Spent Nuclear Fuel (SNF) accumulation from commercial nuclear power plants. One path that has been explored by many is to eliminate the transuranic (TRU) inventory from the SNF, thus reducing the need for additional long term repository storage sites. One strategy for achieving this is to burn the separated TRU elements in the currently operating U.S. Light Water Reactor (LWR) fleet. Many studies have explored the viability of this strategy by loading a percentage of LWR cores with TRU in the form of ... continued below

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Pope, Michael A.; Bays, Samuel E.; Piet, S.; Ferrer, R.; Asgari, Mehdi & Forget, Benoit May 1, 2009.

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Description

The urgency for addressing repository impacts has grown in the past few years as a result of Spent Nuclear Fuel (SNF) accumulation from commercial nuclear power plants. One path that has been explored by many is to eliminate the transuranic (TRU) inventory from the SNF, thus reducing the need for additional long term repository storage sites. One strategy for achieving this is to burn the separated TRU elements in the currently operating U.S. Light Water Reactor (LWR) fleet. Many studies have explored the viability of this strategy by loading a percentage of LWR cores with TRU in the form of either Mixed Oxide (MOX) fuels or Inert Matrix Fuels (IMF). A task was undertaken at INL to establish specific technical capabilities to perform neutronics analyses in order to further assess several key issues related to the viability of thermal recycling. The initial computational study reported here is focused on direct thermal recycling of IMF fuels in a heterogeneous Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) bundle design containing Plutonium, Neptunium, Americium, and Curium (IMF-PuNpAmCm) in a multi-pass strategy using legacy 5 year cooled LWR SNF. In addition to this initial high-priority analysis, three other alternate analyses with different TRU vectors in IMF pins were performed. These analyses provide comparison of direct thermal recycling of PuNpAmCmCf, PuNpAm, PuNp, and Pu. The results of this infinite lattice assembly-wise study using SCALE 5.1 indicate that it may be feasible to recycle TRU in this manner using an otherwise typical PWR assembly without violating peaking factor limits.

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  • Report No.: INL/EXT-07-12472
  • Grant Number: DE-AC07-99ID-13727
  • DOI: 10.2172/961935 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 961935
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc928949

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  • May 1, 2009

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Nov. 13, 2016, 7:26 p.m.

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  • Jan. 4, 2017, 2:27 p.m.

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Pope, Michael A.; Bays, Samuel E.; Piet, S.; Ferrer, R.; Asgari, Mehdi & Forget, Benoit. Transmutation Performance Analysis for Inert Matrix Fuels in Light Water Reactors and Computational Neutronics Methods Capabilities at INL, report, May 1, 2009; [Idaho]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc928949/: accessed October 17, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.