1. bookVolume 59 (2014): Issue 4 (December 2014)
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
1508-5791
First Published
25 Mar 2014
Publication timeframe
4 times per year
Languages
English
access type Open Access

Burn-up calculation of different thorium-based fuel matrixes in a thermal research reactor using MCNPX 2.6 code

Published Online: 30 Dec 2014
Volume & Issue: Volume 59 (2014) - Issue 4 (December 2014)
Page range: 129 - 136
Received: 27 Aug 2013
Accepted: 08 Aug 2014
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
1508-5791
First Published
25 Mar 2014
Publication timeframe
4 times per year
Languages
English
Abstract

Decrease of the economically accessible uranium resources and the inherent proliferation resistance of thorium fuel motivate its application in nuclear power systems. Estimation of the nuclear reactor’s neutronic parameters during different operational situations is of key importance for the safe operation of nuclear reactors. In the present research, thorium oxide fuel burn-up calculations for a demonstrative model of a heavy water- -cooled reactor have been performed using MCNPX 2.6 code. Neutronic parameters for three different thorium fuel matrices loaded separately in the modelled thermal core have been investigated. 233U, 235U and 239Pu isotopes have been used as fissile element in the thorium oxide fuel, separately. Burn-up of three different fuels has been calculated at 1 MW constant power. 135X and 149Sm concentration variations have been studied in the modelled core during 165 days burn-up. Burn-up of thorium oxide enriched with 233U resulted in the least 149Sm and 135Xe productions and net fissile production of 233U after 165 days. The negative fuel, coolant and void reactivity of the used fuel assures safe operation of the modelled thermal core containing (233U-Th) O2 matrix. Furthermore, utilisation of thorium breeder fuel demonstrates several advantages, such as good neutronic economy, 233U production and less production of long-lived α emitter high radiotoxic wastes in biological internal exposure point of view

Keywords

1. IAEA. (2005). Thorium fuel cycle - potential benefi ts and challenges. Vienna: International Atomic Energy Agency. (IAEA-TECDOC-1450).Search in Google Scholar

2. Weaver, K. D., & Herring, J. S. (2002). Performance of thorium-based mixed oxide fuels for the consumption of plutonium in current and advanced reactors. In International Congress on Advanced Nuclear Power Plants (ICAPP). ANS Annual Meeting, 9-13 June 2002, Hollywood, Florida, USA.Search in Google Scholar

3. Lung, M., & Gremm, O. (1998). Perspectives of the thorium fuel cycle. Nucl. Eng. Des., 180, 133-146.10.1016/S0029-5493(97)00296-3Search in Google Scholar

4. Usha, S., Ramanarayanan, R. R., Mohanakrishnan, P., & Kapoor, R. P. (2006). Research reactor KAMINI. Nucl. Eng. Des., 236, 872-880.10.1016/j.nucengdes.2005.09.033Search in Google Scholar

5. Kumar, A., Srivenkatesan, R., & Sinha, R. K. (2009). On the physics design of advanced heavy water reactor (AHWR). In International Conference on Opportunities and Challengers for Water Cooled Reactors in the 21st Century, 27-28 October 2009 (pp. 84-85). Vienna: International Atomic Energy Agency. (IAEA-CN-164).Search in Google Scholar

6. Maitra, R. (2005) Thorium: Preferred nuclear fuel of the fuel. Sci. Technol., 18, 64-71.Search in Google Scholar

7. Sasidharan, K., & Chafale, S. B. (2012). New reactor concepts. BARC Highlights - Reactor Technology and Engineering, from http://barc.gov.in/publications/eb/golden/reactor/toc/chapter9/9.pdf.Search in Google Scholar

8. Pelowitz, D. B. (2008). MCNPX2.6.0 user manual. Los Alamos: Los Alamos National Laboratory (LA- -CP-07-1473).Search in Google Scholar

9. Thorium high temperature reactor (THTR), from paksnuclearpowerplant.com.Search in Google Scholar

10. Fensin, M. L. (2008). Development of the MCNPX depletion capability: A Monte Carlo depletion method that automates the coupling between MCNPX and CINDER90 for high fi delity burn-up calculations. Doctoral dissertation, University of Florida.Search in Google Scholar

11. Persson, C. -M. (2005). Reactivity determination and Monte Carlo simulation of the subcritical reactor experiment - “Yalina”. Master of Science Thesis, Department of Nuclear and Reactor, Physics Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, from http://neutron. kth.se/publications/library/CalleMSc.pdf.Search in Google Scholar

12. Hassanzadeh, M., Feghhi, S. A. H., & Khalafi , H. (2013). Calculation of kinetic parameters in an accelerator driven subcritical TRIGA reactor using MCNIC method. Ann. Nucl. Energy, 59, 188-193.10.1016/j.anucene.2013.03.044Search in Google Scholar

13. Westlen, D. (2007). Why faster is better - on minor actinide transmutation in hard neutron spectra. Doctoral dissertation, Division of Reactor Physics, University of Stockholm, from http://neutron.kth.se/publications/PhDtheses.shtmlSearch in Google Scholar

14. Snoj, L., & Ravnik, M. (2006). Calculation of power density with MCNP in TRIGA reactor. In Proceedings of the International Conference on Nuclear Energy for New Europe, 12-15 September 2006 (Paper no. 109, pp. 1-6). Portoroz, Slovenia.Search in Google Scholar

15. Shultis, J. K., & Faw, R. E. (2011) An MCNP primer. Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering, Kansas State University, from http://krex.ksu.edu.Search in Google Scholar

16. El Bakkari, B., El Bardouni, T., Merroun, O., El Younoussi, Ch., Boulaich, Y., & Chakir, E. (2009). Development of an MCNP-tally based burn-up code and validation through PWR benchmark exercises. Ann. Nucl. Energy, 36, 626-633.10.1016/j.anucene.2008.12.025Search in Google Scholar

17. Marin, T. W., Takahashi, K., & Bartels, D. M. (2006). Temperature and density dependence light and heavy water ultraviolet absorption edge. Chem. Phys., 125, 1-11.10.1063/1.233852116999533Search in Google Scholar

18. Kazimi, M. S., Czerwinski, K. R., Driscoll, M. J., Hejzlar, P., & Meyer, J. E. (1999). On the use of thorium in light water reactors. Department of Nuclear Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. (MIT-NFC-TR-016), from http://www.ltbridge.com/ assets/15.pdf. Search in Google Scholar

Recommended articles from Trend MD

Plan your remote conference with Sciendo