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Title: Fuel Cycle Scenario Definition, Evaluation, and Trade-offs

Abstract

This report aims to clarify many of the issues being discussed within the AFCI program, including Inert Matrix Fuel (IMF) versus Mixed Oxide (MOX) fuel, single-pass versus multi-pass recycling, thermal versus fast reactors, potential need for transmutation of technetium and iodine, and the value of separating cesium and strontium. It documents most of the work produced by INL, ANL, and SNL personnel under their Simulation, Evaluation, and Trade Study (SETS) work packages during FY2005 and the first half of FY2006. This report represents the first attempt to calculate a full range of metrics, covering all four AFCI program objectives - waste management, proliferation resistance, energy recovery, and systematic management/economics/safety - using a combination of "static" calculations and a system dynamic model, DYMOND. In many cases, we examine the same issue both dynamically and statically to determine the robustness of the observations. All analyses are for the U.S. reactor fleet. This is a technical report, not aimed at a policy-level audience. A wide range of options are studied to provide the technical basis for identifying the most attractive options and potential improvements. Option improvement could be vital to accomplish before the AFCI program publishes definitive cost estimates. Information from this reportmore » will be extracted and summarized in future policy-level reports. Many dynamic simulations of deploying those options are included. There are few "control knobs" for flying or piloting the fuel cycle system into the future, even though it is dark (uncertain) and controls are sluggish with slow time response: what types of reactors are built, what types of fuels are used, and the capacity of separation and fabrication plants. Piloting responsibilities are distributed among utilities, government, and regulators, compounding the challenge of making the entire system work and respond to changing circumstances. We identify four approaches that would increase our ability to pilot the fuel cycle system: (1) have a recycle strategy that could be implemented before the 2030-2050 approximate period when current reactors retire so that replacement reactors fit into the strategy, (2) establish an option such as multi-pass blended-core IMF as a downward plutonium control knob and accumulate waste management benefits early, (3) establish fast reactors with flexible conversion ratio as a future control knob that slowly becomes available if/when fast reactors are added to the fleet, and (4) expand exploration of blended assemblies and cores, which appear to have advantages and agility. Initial results suggest multi-pass full-core MOX appears to be a less effective way than multi-pass blended core IMF to manage the fuel cycle system because it requires higher TRU throughput while more slowly accruing waste management benefits. Single-pass recycle approaches for LWRs (we did not study the VHTR) do not meet AFCI program objectives and could be considered a "dead end". Fast reactors appear to be effective options but a significant number of fast reactors must be deployed before the benefit of such strategies can be observed.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Idaho National Laboratory (INL)
Sponsoring Org.:
DOE - NE
OSTI Identifier:
911563
Report Number(s):
INL/EXT-06-11683
TRN: US0800009
DOE Contract Number:  
DE-AC07-99ID-13727
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
11 - NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; CAPACITY; CESIUM; CONVERSION RATIO; ENERGY RECOVERY; EXPLORATION; FABRICATION; FAST REACTORS; FUEL CYCLE; IODINE; MANAGEMENT; METRICS; OXIDES; PERSONNEL; PLUTONIUM; PROLIFERATION; RECYCLING; STRONTIUM; TECHNETIUM; TRANSMUTATION; WASTE MANAGEMENT; Fuel cycle, AFCI, GNEP, recycle, reprocessing

Citation Formats

Piet, Steven J, Matthern, Gretchen E, Jacobson, Jacob J, Laws, Christopher T, Cadwallader, Lee C, Yacout, Abdellatif M, Hill, Robert N, Smith, J D, Goldmann, Andrew S, and Bailey, George. Fuel Cycle Scenario Definition, Evaluation, and Trade-offs. United States: N. p., 2006. Web. doi:10.2172/911563.
Piet, Steven J, Matthern, Gretchen E, Jacobson, Jacob J, Laws, Christopher T, Cadwallader, Lee C, Yacout, Abdellatif M, Hill, Robert N, Smith, J D, Goldmann, Andrew S, & Bailey, George. Fuel Cycle Scenario Definition, Evaluation, and Trade-offs. United States. https://doi.org/10.2172/911563
Piet, Steven J, Matthern, Gretchen E, Jacobson, Jacob J, Laws, Christopher T, Cadwallader, Lee C, Yacout, Abdellatif M, Hill, Robert N, Smith, J D, Goldmann, Andrew S, and Bailey, George. Tue . "Fuel Cycle Scenario Definition, Evaluation, and Trade-offs". United States. https://doi.org/10.2172/911563. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/911563.
@article{osti_911563,
title = {Fuel Cycle Scenario Definition, Evaluation, and Trade-offs},
author = {Piet, Steven J and Matthern, Gretchen E and Jacobson, Jacob J and Laws, Christopher T and Cadwallader, Lee C and Yacout, Abdellatif M and Hill, Robert N and Smith, J D and Goldmann, Andrew S and Bailey, George},
abstractNote = {This report aims to clarify many of the issues being discussed within the AFCI program, including Inert Matrix Fuel (IMF) versus Mixed Oxide (MOX) fuel, single-pass versus multi-pass recycling, thermal versus fast reactors, potential need for transmutation of technetium and iodine, and the value of separating cesium and strontium. It documents most of the work produced by INL, ANL, and SNL personnel under their Simulation, Evaluation, and Trade Study (SETS) work packages during FY2005 and the first half of FY2006. This report represents the first attempt to calculate a full range of metrics, covering all four AFCI program objectives - waste management, proliferation resistance, energy recovery, and systematic management/economics/safety - using a combination of "static" calculations and a system dynamic model, DYMOND. In many cases, we examine the same issue both dynamically and statically to determine the robustness of the observations. All analyses are for the U.S. reactor fleet. This is a technical report, not aimed at a policy-level audience. A wide range of options are studied to provide the technical basis for identifying the most attractive options and potential improvements. Option improvement could be vital to accomplish before the AFCI program publishes definitive cost estimates. Information from this report will be extracted and summarized in future policy-level reports. Many dynamic simulations of deploying those options are included. There are few "control knobs" for flying or piloting the fuel cycle system into the future, even though it is dark (uncertain) and controls are sluggish with slow time response: what types of reactors are built, what types of fuels are used, and the capacity of separation and fabrication plants. Piloting responsibilities are distributed among utilities, government, and regulators, compounding the challenge of making the entire system work and respond to changing circumstances. We identify four approaches that would increase our ability to pilot the fuel cycle system: (1) have a recycle strategy that could be implemented before the 2030-2050 approximate period when current reactors retire so that replacement reactors fit into the strategy, (2) establish an option such as multi-pass blended-core IMF as a downward plutonium control knob and accumulate waste management benefits early, (3) establish fast reactors with flexible conversion ratio as a future control knob that slowly becomes available if/when fast reactors are added to the fleet, and (4) expand exploration of blended assemblies and cores, which appear to have advantages and agility. Initial results suggest multi-pass full-core MOX appears to be a less effective way than multi-pass blended core IMF to manage the fuel cycle system because it requires higher TRU throughput while more slowly accruing waste management benefits. Single-pass recycle approaches for LWRs (we did not study the VHTR) do not meet AFCI program objectives and could be considered a "dead end". Fast reactors appear to be effective options but a significant number of fast reactors must be deployed before the benefit of such strategies can be observed.},
doi = {10.2172/911563},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/911563}, journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2006},
month = {8}
}