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Title: Actinide transmutation in nuclear reactors

Abstract

Of some interest is the comparison between the actinide nuclide burning up (fission) rates such as americium 241, americium 242, curium 244, and neptunium 237, in the reactors with fast or thermal neutron spectra.

Authors:
; ; ;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
107276
Report Number(s):
CONF-920957-
Journal ID: TANSAO; ISSN 0003-018X; TRN: 95:021005
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Transactions of the American Nuclear Society; Journal Volume: 67; Journal Issue: Suppl.1; Conference: 3. annual Nuclear Society International (NSI) meeting: nuclear technology tomorrow, St. Petersburg (Russian Federation), 14-18 Sep 1992; Other Information: PBD: 1993
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
21 NUCLEAR POWER REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS; 22 NUCLEAR REACTOR TECHNOLOGY; ACTINIDES; TRANSMUTATION; AMERICIUM 241; AMERICIUM 242; CURIUM 244; NEPTUNIUM 237; NEUTRON SPECTRA; ACTINIDE BURNER REACTORS; FBR TYPE REACTORS; HIGH-LEVEL RADIOACTIVE WASTES

Citation Formats

Ganev, I.K., Lopatkin, A.V., Naumov, V.V., and Tocheny, L.V.. Actinide transmutation in nuclear reactors. United States: N. p., 1993. Web.
Ganev, I.K., Lopatkin, A.V., Naumov, V.V., & Tocheny, L.V.. Actinide transmutation in nuclear reactors. United States.
Ganev, I.K., Lopatkin, A.V., Naumov, V.V., and Tocheny, L.V.. 1993. "Actinide transmutation in nuclear reactors". United States. doi:.
@article{osti_107276,
title = {Actinide transmutation in nuclear reactors},
author = {Ganev, I.K. and Lopatkin, A.V. and Naumov, V.V. and Tocheny, L.V.},
abstractNote = {Of some interest is the comparison between the actinide nuclide burning up (fission) rates such as americium 241, americium 242, curium 244, and neptunium 237, in the reactors with fast or thermal neutron spectra.},
doi = {},
journal = {Transactions of the American Nuclear Society},
number = Suppl.1,
volume = 67,
place = {United States},
year = 1993,
month =
}
  • One of the main directions in the management of high-level radioactive wastes is the development of specialized reactors for transmutation with maximum support coefficients for the existing power reactor. The developments have shown that it is more expetitious to design the reactor for actinide transmutation and for fission products separately. For the above purposes, the FBR type fast neutron reactor and FMF type fast reactor with melted fuel were considered.
  • A small tokamak-based fusion reactor can be attractive for actinide waste transmutation. Equilibrium concentrations of transuranium isotopes were estimated in a molten-salt based fusion transmutation reactor. Nuclear performance parameters were derived for two types of fusion-driven transmutation reactors: Pu-assisted and minor actinides-only systems. The minor actinide-only burning system appears to be the ultimate fusion transmutation reactor. Because such a transmutation system can destroy the minor actinides generated in 35 LWRs, each of which produces the same thermal power as the transmutation reactor. However, a Pu-assisted transmutation reactor may achieve the same thermal power at a lower fusion power because ofmore » the higher energy multiplication in the blanket. It can therefore be developed as a shorter-term technology to demonstrate the viable long-term solution to nuclear waste. 13 refs., 2 figs., 4 tabs.« less
  • The use of light water reactors (LWRs) for the destruction of plutonium and other actinides [especially those in spent nuclear fuel (SNF)] is being examined worldwide. One possibility for transmutation of this material is the use of mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel, which is a combination of uranium and plutonium oxides. MOX fuel is used in nuclear reactors worldwide, so a large experience base for its use already exists. However, to limit implementation of SNF transmutation to only a fraction of the LWRs in the United States with a reasonable number of license extensions, full cores of MOX fuel probably are required.more » This paper addresses the logistics associated with using LWRs for this mission and the design issues required for full cores of MOX fuel. Given limited design modifications, this paper shows that neutronic safety conditions can be met for full cores of MOX fuel with up to 8.3 wt% of plutonium.« less
  • Public opposition to nuclear power has focused on the long-term risks from reactor waste. In the Purex process used in Europe, this waste is a concentrated nitric acid solution containing all nonvolatile fission products and the actinides Np, Am, and Cm, plus smaller amounts of U and Pu. Techniques have recently been described which guarantee an absolutely safe containment of this high-active waste (HAW) for about 1000 years. At longer times, the risk to the biosphere is dominated by the actinides. If these actinides are isolated from the rest of the HAW and destroyed through nuclear incineration, the long-term risksmore » of the HAW will be dramatically reduced. This paper presents a detailed scheme for removing the actinides from the Purex-HAW solution. In principle, the process consists of three different solvent extraction cycles, using HDEHP and TBP in three successive steps. The scheme has been tested on a synthetic HAW solution containing all fission products and actinides (except Z greater than or equal to 96, Cm) using laboratory-scale mixer-settler batteries. Results from runs on old Purex waste are also presented. If applied to fresh Purex waste, the process will encounter problems due to radiation damage to the reagents. In practice, this difficulty can be circumvented by using short contact times in the solvent extraction process. Extremely rapid multistage solvent extraction separations can be carried out by theSISAK technique (i.e., batteries of static mixers and special centrifugal separators). This technique is also described.« less