1. bookVolume 60 (2015): Issue 3 (September 2015)
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
1508-5791
First Published
25 Mar 2014
Publication timeframe
4 times per year
Languages
English
Open Access

Modeling minor actinide multiple recycling in a lead-cooled fast reactor to demonstrate a fuel cycle without long-lived nuclear waste

Published Online: 25 Sep 2015
Volume & Issue: Volume 60 (2015) - Issue 3 (September 2015)
Page range: 581 - 590
Received: 09 Oct 2014
Accepted: 20 May 2015
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
1508-5791
First Published
25 Mar 2014
Publication timeframe
4 times per year
Languages
English
Abstract

The concept of closed nuclear fuel cycle seems to be the most promising options for the efficient usage of the nuclear energy resources. However, it can be implemented only in fast breeder reactors of the IVth generation, which are characterized by the fast neutron spectrum. The lead-cooled fast reactor (LFR) was defined and studied on the level of technical design in order to demonstrate its performance and reliability within the European collaboration on ELSY (European Lead-cooled System) and LEADER (Lead-cooled European Advanced Demonstration Reactor) projects. It has been demonstrated that LFR meets the requirements of the closed nuclear fuel cycle, where plutonium and minor actinides (MA) are recycled for reuse, thereby producing no MA waste. In this study, the most promising option was realized when entire Pu + MA material is fully recycled to produce a new batch of fuel without partitioning. This is the concept of a fuel cycle which asymptotically tends to the adiabatic equilibrium, where the concentrations of plutonium and MA at the beginning of the cycle are restored in the subsequent cycle in the combined process of fuel transmutation and cooling, removal of fission products (FPs), and admixture of depleted uranium. In this way, generation of nuclear waste containing radioactive plutonium and MA can be eliminated. The paper shows methodology applied to the LFR equilibrium fuel cycle assessment, which was developed for the Monte Carlo continuous energy burnup (MCB) code, equipped with enhanced modules for material processing and fuel handling. The numerical analysis of the reactor core concerns multiple recycling and recovery of long-lived nuclides and their influence on safety parameters. The paper also presents a general concept of the novel IVth generation breeder reactor with equilibrium fuel and its future role in the management of MA.

Keywords

1. GIF. (2002). A Technology Roadmap for Generation IV Nuclear Energy Systems. U.S. DOE and the Generation IV International Forum.Search in Google Scholar

2. GIF. (2006). The U.S. Generation IV Fast Reactors Strategy. U.S. DOE. (DOE/NE-0130).Search in Google Scholar

3. Cinotti, L., Smith, C. F., Siennicki, J. J., & et al. (2007). The potential of the LFR and the ELSY project. Nice, France: ICAPP’07.Search in Google Scholar

4. Döderlein, C., Cetnar, J., Grasso, G., & et al. (2013). Definition of the ELFR core and neutronic characterization. (Technical Report LEADER-DEL 005-2011, WP2, LEADER Project).Search in Google Scholar

5. X-5 Monte Carlo Team. (2003). MCNP - A General Monte Carlo N-Particle Transport Code, Version 5. Los Alamos: Los Alamos National Laboratory. (LAUR-03-1987).Search in Google Scholar

6. Cetnar, J. (2006). General solution of Bateman equations for nuclear transmutations. Ann. Nucl. Energy, 33(7), 640-645.10.1016/j.anucene.2006.02.004Search in Google Scholar

7. Cetnar, J., Gudowski, W., & Wallenius, J. (1999). MCB: A Continuous Energy Monte Carlo Burnup Simulation Code. Actinide and Fission Product Partitioning and Transmutation. (EUR 18898 EN, OECD/NEA 523).Search in Google Scholar

8. Artioli, C., Grasso, G., & Petrovich, C. (2010). A new paradigm for core design aimed at the sustainability of nuclear energy: The solution of the extended equilibrium state. Ann. Nucl. Energy, 37, 915-922.10.1016/j.anucene.2010.03.016Search in Google Scholar

9. NEA/NSC/DOC18. (2006). Processing of the JEFF-3.1 Cross Section Library into Continuous Energy Monte Carlo Radiation Transport and Criticality Data Library. http://www.nea.fr/abs/html/nea-1768.html. Search in Google Scholar

10. Firestone, R. B., Shirley, V., Baglin, C., Chu, S., & Zipkin, J. (1996). Table of Isotopes 8E. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Search in Google Scholar

Recommended articles from Trend MD

Plan your remote conference with Sciendo