Deep Burn Fuel Cycle Integration: Evaluation of Two-Tier Scenarios

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The use of a deep burn strategy using VHTRs (or DB-MHR), as a means of burning transuranics produced by LWRs, was compared to performing this task with LWR MOX. The spent DB-MHR fuel was recycled for ultimate final recycle in fast reactors (ARRs). This report summarizes the preliminary findings of the support ratio (in terms of MWth installed) between LWRs, DB-MHRs and ARRs in an equilibrium “two-tier” fuel cycle scenario. Values from literature were used to represent the LWR and DB-MHR isotopic compositions. A reactor physics simulation of the ARR was analyzed to determine the effect that the DB-MHR spent ... continued below

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Bays, S.; Zhang, H. & Pope, M. May 1, 2009.

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The use of a deep burn strategy using VHTRs (or DB-MHR), as a means of burning transuranics produced by LWRs, was compared to performing this task with LWR MOX. The spent DB-MHR fuel was recycled for ultimate final recycle in fast reactors (ARRs). This report summarizes the preliminary findings of the support ratio (in terms of MWth installed) between LWRs, DB-MHRs and ARRs in an equilibrium “two-tier” fuel cycle scenario. Values from literature were used to represent the LWR and DB-MHR isotopic compositions. A reactor physics simulation of the ARR was analyzed to determine the effect that the DB-MHR spent fuel cooling time on the ARR transuranic consumption rate. These results suggest that the cooling time has some but not a significant impact on the ARRs conversion ratio and transuranic consumption rate. This is attributed to fissile worth being derived from non-fissile or “threshold-fissioning” isotopes in the ARR’s fast spectrum. The fraction of installed thermal capacity of each reactor in the DB-MHR 2-tier fuel cycle was compared with that of an equivalent MOX 2-tier fuel cycle, assuming fuel supply and demand are in equilibrium. The use of DB-MHRs in the 1st-tier allows for a 10% increase in the fraction of fleet installed capacity of UO2-fueled LWRs compared to using a MOX 1st-tier. Also, it was found that because the DB-MHR derives more power per unit mass of transuranics charged to the fresh fuel, the “front-end” reprocessing demand is less than MOX. Therefore, more fleet installed capacity of DB-MHR would be required to support a given fleet of UO2 LWRs than would be required of MOX plants. However, the transuranic deep burn achieved by DB-MHRs reduces the number of fast reactors in the 2nd-tier to support the DB-MHRs “back-end” transuranic output than if MOX plants were used. Further analysis of the relative costs of these various types of reactors is required before a comparative study of these options could be considered complete.

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  • Report No.: INL/EXT-09-15915
  • Grant Number: DE-AC07-99ID-13727
  • DOI: 10.2172/961929 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 961929
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc934599

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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, 2:19 p.m.

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Bays, S.; Zhang, H. & Pope, M. Deep Burn Fuel Cycle Integration: Evaluation of Two-Tier Scenarios, report, May 1, 2009; [Idaho]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc934599/: accessed September 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.