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The EBR-II X501 Minor Actinide Burning Experiment

Description: The X501 experiment was conducted in EBR II as part of the Integral Fast Reactor program to demonstrate minor actinide burning through the use of a homogeneous recycle scheme. The X501 subassembly contained two metallic fuel elements loaded with relatively small quantities of americium and neptunium. Interest in the behavior of minor actinides (MA) during fuel irradiation has prompted further examination of existing X501 data and generation of new data where needed in support of the U.S. waste transmutation effort. The X501 experiment is one of the few MA bearing fuel irradiation tests conducted worldwide, and knowledge can be gained by understanding the changes in fuel behavior due to addition of MAs. Of primary interest are the effect of the MAs on fuel cladding chemical interaction and the redistribution behavior of americium. The quantity of helium gas release from the fuel and any effects of helium on fuel performance are also of interest. It must be stressed that information presented at this time is based on the limited PIE conducted in 1995–1996 and, currently, represents a set of observations rather than a complete understanding of fuel behavior. This report provides a summary of the X501 fabrication, characterization, irradiation, and post irradiation examination.
Date: January 1, 2008
Creator: Carmack, W. J.; Meyer, M. K.; Hayes, S. L. & Tsai, H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S./EURATOM INERI - Development of Inert Matrix Fuels for Plutonium and Minor Actinide Management in LWRs -- Fuel Requirements and Down-Select Report

Description: This report documents the first milestone of the International Nuclear Energy Research Initiative (INERI) U.S./Canada Joint Proposal entitled “Development of Inert Matrix Fuels for Plutonium and Minor Actinide Management in Power Reactors.” The milestone represents the assessment and preliminary study of a variety of fuels that hold promise as transmutation and minor actinide burning fuel compositions for light water reactors. The most promising fuels of interest to the participants on this INERI program have been selected for further study. These fuel compositions are discussed in this report.
Date: August 1, 2005
Creator: Carmack, William; Fielding, Randy; Medvedev, Pavel & Meyer, Mitch
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

AECL/U.S. INERI - Development of Inert Matrix Fuels for Plutonium and Minor Actinide Management in Power Reactors Fuel Requirements and Down-Select Report

Description: This report documents the first milestone of the International Nuclear Energy Research Initiative (INERI) U.S./Euratom Joint Proposal 1.8 entitled “Development of Inert Matrix Fuels for Plutonium and Minor Actinide Management in Light-Water Reactors.” The milestone represents the assessment and preliminary study of a variety of fuels that hold promise as transmutation and minor actinide burning fuel compositions for light-water reactors. The most promising fuels of interest to the participants on this INERI program have been selected for further study. These fuel compositions are discussed in this report.
Date: August 1, 2005
Creator: Carmack, William; Fielding, Randy; Medvedev, Pavel & Meyer, Mitch
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Reactor Physics Characterization of Transmutation Targeting Options in a Sodium Fast Reactor

Description: In sodium fast reactor designs, the fuel related inherent negative reactivity feedback is accomplished mainly through parasitic capture in U-238. However for an efficient minor actinide burning system, it is desirable to reduce or eliminate U-238 entirely to suppress further transuranic actinide generation. Consequently, reactivity feedback is accomplished by enhancing axial neutron streaming during a loss of coolant void situation. This is done by flattening “pancake” the active core geometry. Flattening the reactor also increases axial leakage which removes neutrons that could otherwise be used to destroy minor actinides. Therefore, it is important to tailor the neutron spectrum in the core for optimized feedback and minor actinide destruction simultaneously by using minor actinide and fission product targets.
Date: April 1, 2007
Creator: Bays, Samuel E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Minor Actinide Recycle in Sodium Cooled Fast Reactors Using Heterogeneous Targets

Description: This paper investigates the plausible design of transmutation target assemblies for minor actinides (MA) in Sodium Fast Reactors (SFR). A heterogeneous recycling strategy is investigated, whereby after each reactor pass, un-burned MAs from the targets are blended with MAs produced by the driver fuel and additional MAs from Spent Nuclear Fuel (SNF). A design iteration methodology was adopted for customizing the core design, target assembly design and matrix composition design. The overall design was constrained against allowable peak or maximum in-core performances. While respecting these criteria, the overall design was adjusted to reduce the total number of assemblies fabricated per refueling cycle. It was found that an inert metal-hydride MA-Zr-Hx target matrix gave the highest transmutation efficiency, thus allowing for the least number of targets to be fabricated per reactor cycle.
Date: April 1, 2009
Creator: Bays, Samuel; Medvedev, Pavel; Pope, Michael; Ferrer, Rodolfo; Forget, Benoit & Asgari, Mehdi
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Evaluation of Heterogeneous Options: Effects of MgO versus UO2 Matrix Selection for Minor Actinide Targets in a Sodium Fast Reactor

Description: The primary focus of this work was to compare MgO with UO2 as target matrix material options for burning minor actinides in a transmutation target within a sodium fast reactor. This analysis compared the transmutation performance of target assemblies having UO2 matrix to those having specifically MgO inert matrix.
Date: March 1, 2008
Creator: Pope, M.; Bays, S. & Ferrer, R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Analysis of Pu-Only Partitioning Strategies in LMFBR Fuel Cycles

Description: Sodium cooled Fast Reactors (SFR) have been under consideration for production of electricity, fissile material production, and for destruction of transuranics for decades. The neutron economy of a SFR can be operated in one of two ways. One possibility is to operate the reactor in a transuranic burner mode which has been the focus of active R&D in the last 15 years. However, prior to that the focus was on breeding transuranics. This later mode of managing the neutron economy relies on ensuring the maximum fuel utilization possible in such a way as to maximize the amount of plutonium produced per unit of fission energy in the reactor core. The goal of maximizing plutonium production in this study is as fissile feed stock for the production of MOX fuel to be used in Light Water Reactors (LWR). Throughout the l970’s, this fuel cycle scenario was the focus of much research by the Atomic Energy Commission in the event that uranium supplies would be scarce. To date, there has been sufficient uranium to supply the once through nuclear fuel cycle. However, interest in a synergistic relationship Liquid Metal Fast Breeder Reactors (LMFBR) and a consumer LWR fleet persists, prompting this study. This study considered LMFBR concepts with varying additions of axial and radial reflectors. Three scenarios were considered in collaboration with a companion study on the LWR-MOX designs based on plutonium nuclide vectors produced by this study. The first scenario is a LMFBR providing fissile material to make MOX fuel where the MOX part of the fuel cycle is operated in a once-through-then-out mode. The second scenario is the same as the first but with the MOX part of the fuel cycle multi-recycling its own plutonium with LMFBR being used for the make-up feed. In these first two scenarios, plutonium partitioning ...
Date: February 1, 2013
Creator: Bays, Samuel & Youinou, Gilles
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Heterogeneous Transmutation Sodium Fast Reactor

Description: The threshold-fission (fertile) nature of Am-241 is used to destroy this minor actinide by capitalizing upon neutron capture instead of fission within a sodium fast reactor. This neutron-capture and its subsequent decay chain leads to the breeding of even neutron number plutonium isotopes. A slightly moderated target design is proposed for breeding plutonium in an axial blanket located above the active “fast reactor” driver fuel region. A parametric study on the core height and fuel pin diameter-to-pitch ratio is used to explore the reactor and fuel cycle aspects of this design. This study resulted in both non-flattened and flattened core geometries. Both of these designs demonstrated a high capacity for removing americium from the fuel cycle. A reactivity coefficient analysis revealed that this heterogeneous design will have comparable safety aspects to a homogeneous reactor of comparable size. A mass balance analysis revealed that the heterogeneous design may reduce the number of fast reactors needed to close the current once-through light water reactor fuel cycle.
Date: September 1, 2007
Creator: Bays, S. E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

ENHANCING ADVANCED CANDU PROLIFERATION RESISTANCE FUEL WITH MINOR ACTINIDES

Description: The advanced nuclear system will significantly advance the science and technology of nuclear energy systems and to enhance the spent fuel proliferation resistance. Minor actinides (MA) are viewed more as a resource to be recycled, and transmuted to less hazardous and possibly more useful forms, rather than simply disposed of as a waste stream in an expensive repository facility. MAs can play a much larger part in the design of advanced systems and fuel cycles, not only as additional sources of useful energy, but also as direct contributors to the reactivity control of the systems into which they are incorporated. In this work, an Advanced CANDU Reactor (ACR) fuel unit lattice cell model with 43 UO2 fuel rods will be used to investigate the effectiveness of a Minor Actinide Reduction Approach (MARA) for enhancing proliferation resistance and improving the fuel cycle performance. The main MARA objective is to increase the 238Pu / Pu isotope ratio by using the transuranic nuclides (237Np and 241Am) in the high burnup fuel and thereby increase the proliferation resistance even for a very low fuel burnup. As a result, MARA is a very effective approach to enhance the proliferation resistance for the on power refueling ACR system nuclear fuel. The MA transmutation characteristics at different MA loadings were compared and their impact on neutronics criticality assessed. The concept of MARA, significantly increases the 238Pu/Pu ratio for proliferation resistance, as well as serves as a burnable absorber to hold-down the initial excess reactivity. It is believed that MARA can play an important role in atoms for peace and the intermediate term of nuclear energy reconnaissance.
Date: May 1, 2010
Creator: Chang, Gray S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department