Concept evaluation of nuclear fusion driven symbiotic energy systems
Concept evaluation of nuclear fusion driven symbiotic energy systems This paper analyzes systems based on D-T and semi-catalyzed D-D fusion-powered U233 breeders. Two different blanket types were used: metallic thorium pebble-bed blankets with a batch reprocessing mode and a molten salt blanket with on-line continuous or batch reprocessing. All fusion-driven blankets are assumed to have spherical geometries, with a 85% closure. Neutronics depletion calculations were performed with a revised version of the discrete ordinates code XSDRN-PM, using multigroup (100 neutron, 21 gamma-ray groups) coupled cross-section libraries. These neutronics calculations are coupled with a scenario optimization and cost analysis code. Also, the fusion burn was shaped so as to keep the blanket maximum power density below a preset value, and to improve the performance of the fusion-driven systems. The fusion-driven symbiotes are compared with LMFBR-driven energy systems. The nuclear fission breeders that were used as drivers have parameters characteristic of heterogeneous, oxide LMFBRs. They are net plutonium users - the plutonium is obtained from the discharges of LWRs - and U233 is bred in the fission breeder thorium blankets. The analyses of the symbiotic energy systems were performed at equilibrium, at maximum rate of grid expansion, and for a given nuclear power demand.
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