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Completely automated nuclear reactors for long-term operation

Description: The authors discuss new types of nuclear fission reactors optimized for the generation of high-temperature heat for exceedingly safe, economic, and long-duration electricity production in large, long-lived central power stations. These reactors are quite different in design, implementation and operation from conventional light-water-cooled and -moderated reactors (LWRs) currently in widespread use, which were scaled-up from submarine nuclear propulsion reactors. They feature an inexpensive initial fuel loading which lasts the entire 30-year design life of the power-plant. The reactor contains a core comprised of a nuclear ignitor and a nuclear burn-wave propagating region comprised of natural thorium or uranium, a pressure shell for coolant transport purposes, and automatic emergency heat-dumping means to obviate concerns regarding loss-of-coolant accidents during the plant`s operational and post-operational life. These reactors are proposed to be situated in suitable environments at {approximately}100 meter depths underground, and their operation is completely automatic, with no moving parts and no human access during or after its operational lifetime, in order to avoid both error and misuse. The power plant`s heat engine and electrical generator subsystems are located above-ground.
Date: January 1, 1996
Creator: Teller, E.; Ishikawa, M. & Wood, L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Cost analysis guidelines

Description: The first phase of the Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride Management Program (Program)--management strategy selection--consists of several program elements: Technology Assessment, Engineering Analysis, Cost Analysis, and preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Cost Analysis will estimate the life-cycle costs associated with each of the long-term management strategy alternatives for depleted uranium hexafluoride (UF6). The scope of Cost Analysis will include all major expenditures, from the planning and design stages through decontamination and decommissioning. The costs will be estimated at a scoping or preconceptual design level and are intended to assist decision makers in comparing alternatives for further consideration. They will not be absolute costs or bid-document costs. The purpose of the Cost Analysis Guidelines is to establish a consistent approach to analyzing of cost alternatives for managing Department of Energy`s (DOE`s) stocks of depleted uranium hexafluoride (DUF6). The component modules that make up the DUF6 management program differ substantially in operational maintenance, process-options, requirements for R and D, equipment, facilities, regulatory compliance, (O and M), and operations risk. To facilitate a consistent and equitable comparison of costs, the guidelines offer common definitions, assumptions or basis, and limitations integrated with a standard approach to the analysis. Further, the goal is to evaluate total net life-cycle costs and display them in a way that gives DOE the capability to evaluate a variety of overall DUF6 management strategies, including commercial potential. The cost estimates reflect the preconceptual level of the designs. They will be appropriate for distinguishing among management strategies.
Date: January 10, 1996
Creator: Strait, R.S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Measurement and accounting of the minor actinides produced in nuclear power reactors

Description: Because of their value as nuclear fuels and their impact on long-term storage of high-level radioactive waste, measurement and accounting for minor actinides (MAs) produced in nuclear power reactors are becoming significant issues. This report attempts to put the issues in perspective by reviewing the commercial nuclear fuel cycle with emphasis on reprocessing plants and key measurement points therein. Radiation signatures and characteristics are compared and contrasted for special nuclear materials (SNMs) and MAs. Also, inventories and relative amounts of SNMs and MAs are generally described for irradiated nuclear fuel and reprocessing plants. The bulk of the report describes appropriate measurement technologies, capabilities, and development needs to satisfy material accounting requirements for MAs, with emphasis on adaptation of current technologies. Recommendations for future systems studies and development of measurement methods are also included. 38 refs., 3 figs., 12 tabs.
Date: January 1, 1996
Creator: Stewart, J.E.; Walton, R.B.; Phillips, J.R.; Hsue, S.T.; Eccleston, G.W.; Menlove, H.O. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department