Open Science Research Excellence

Open Science Index

Commenced in January 2007 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 2

2
10006645
Reduction of Plutonium Production in Heavy Water Research Reactor: A Feasibility Study through Neutronic Analysis Using MCNPX2.6 and CINDER90 Codes
Abstract:

One of the main characteristics of Heavy Water Moderated Reactors is their high production of plutonium. This article demonstrates the possibility of reduction of plutonium and other actinides in Heavy Water Research Reactor. Among the many ways for reducing plutonium production in a heavy water reactor, in this research, changing the fuel from natural Uranium fuel to Thorium-Uranium mixed fuel was focused. The main fissile nucleus in Thorium-Uranium fuels is U-233 which would be produced after neutron absorption by Th-232, so the Thorium-Uranium fuels have some known advantages compared to the Uranium fuels. Due to this fact, four Thorium-Uranium fuels with different compositions ratios were chosen in our simulations; a) 10% UO2-90% THO2 (enriched= 20%); b) 15% UO2-85% THO2 (enriched= 10%); c) 30% UO2-70% THO2 (enriched= 5%); d) 35% UO2-65% THO2 (enriched= 3.7%). The natural Uranium Oxide (UO2) is considered as the reference fuel, in other words all of the calculated data are compared with the related data from Uranium fuel. Neutronic parameters were calculated and used as the comparison parameters. All calculations were performed by Monte Carol (MCNPX2.6) steady state reaction rate calculation linked to a deterministic depletion calculation (CINDER90). The obtained computational data showed that Thorium-Uranium fuels with four different fissile compositions ratios can satisfy the safety and operating requirements for Heavy Water Research Reactor. Furthermore, Thorium-Uranium fuels have a very good proliferation resistance and consume less fissile material than uranium fuels at the same reactor operation time. Using mixed Thorium-Uranium fuels reduced the long-lived α emitter, high radiotoxic wastes and the radio toxicity level of spent fuel.

1
14900
The MUST ADS Concept
Abstract:
The presented work is motivated by a French law regarding nuclear waste management. A new conceptual Accelerator Driven System (ADS) designed for the Minor Actinides (MA) transmutation has been assessed by numerical simulation. The MUltiple Spallation Target (MUST) ADS combines high thermal power (up to 1.4 GWth) and high specific power. A 30 mA and 1 GeV proton beam is divided into three secondary beams transmitted on three liquid lead-bismuth spallation targets. Neutron and thermalhydraulic simulations have been performed with the code MURE, based on the Monte-Carlo transport code MCNPX. A methodology has been developed to define characteristic of the MUST ADS concept according to a specific transmutation scenario. The reference scenario is based on a MA flux (neptunium, americium and curium) providing from European Fast Reactor (EPR) and a plutonium multireprocessing strategy is accounted for. The MUST ADS reference concept is a sodium cooled fast reactor. The MA fuel at equilibrium is mixed with MgO inert matrix to limit the core reactivity and improve the fuel thermal conductivity. The fuel is irradiated over five years. Five years of cooling and two years for the fuel fabrication are taken into account. The MUST ADS reference concept burns about 50% of the initial MA inventory during a complete cycle. In term of mass, up to 570 kg/year are transmuted in one concept. The methodology to design the MUST ADS and to calculate fuel composition at equilibrium is precisely described in the paper. A detailed fuel evolution analysis is performed and the reference scenario is compared to a scenario where only americium transmutation is performed.
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