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Title: Incorporation of a risk analysis approach for the nuclear fuel cycle advanced transparency framework.

Abstract

Proliferation resistance features that reduce the likelihood of diversion of nuclear materials from the civilian nuclear power fuel cycle are critical for a global nuclear future. A framework that monitors process information continuously can demonstrate the ability to resist proliferation by measuring and reducing diversion risk, thus ensuring the legitimate use of the nuclear fuel cycle. The automation of new nuclear facilities requiring minimal manual operation makes this possible by generating instantaneous system state data that can be used to track and measure the status of the process and material at any given time. Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) and the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) are working in cooperation to develop an advanced transparency framework capable of assessing diversion risk in support of overall plant transparency. The ''diversion risk'' quantifies the probability and consequence of a host nation diverting nuclear materials from a civilian fuel cycle facility. This document introduces the details of the diversion risk quantification approach to be demonstrated in the fuel handling training model of the MONJU Fast Reactor.

Authors:
 [1]; ;  [2];  [2]; ; ; ;
  1. (Sociotecnia Solutions, LLC)
  2. (Japan Atomic Energy Agency)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Sandia National Laboratories
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
912653
Report Number(s):
SAND2007-3166
TRN: US0800480
DOE Contract Number:
AC04-94AL85000
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; 21 SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS; 29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY AND ECONOMY; AUTOMATION; FAST REACTORS; FUEL CYCLE; JAEA; MONITORS; NUCLEAR FACILITIES; NUCLEAR FUELS; NUCLEAR POWER; PROBABILITY; PROLIFERATION; RISK ASSESSMENT; SANDIA NATIONAL LABORATORIES; TRAINING; Proliferation.; Nuclear proliferation-Risk assessment.

Citation Formats

Mendez, Carmen Margarita, York, David L., Inoue, Naoko, Kitabata, Takuya, Vugrin, Eric D., Vugrin, Kay White, Rochau, Gary Eugene, and Cleary, Virginia D. Incorporation of a risk analysis approach for the nuclear fuel cycle advanced transparency framework.. United States: N. p., 2007. Web. doi:10.2172/912653.
Mendez, Carmen Margarita, York, David L., Inoue, Naoko, Kitabata, Takuya, Vugrin, Eric D., Vugrin, Kay White, Rochau, Gary Eugene, & Cleary, Virginia D. Incorporation of a risk analysis approach for the nuclear fuel cycle advanced transparency framework.. United States. doi:10.2172/912653.
Mendez, Carmen Margarita, York, David L., Inoue, Naoko, Kitabata, Takuya, Vugrin, Eric D., Vugrin, Kay White, Rochau, Gary Eugene, and Cleary, Virginia D. Tue . "Incorporation of a risk analysis approach for the nuclear fuel cycle advanced transparency framework.". United States. doi:10.2172/912653. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/912653.
@article{osti_912653,
title = {Incorporation of a risk analysis approach for the nuclear fuel cycle advanced transparency framework.},
author = {Mendez, Carmen Margarita and York, David L. and Inoue, Naoko and Kitabata, Takuya and Vugrin, Eric D. and Vugrin, Kay White and Rochau, Gary Eugene and Cleary, Virginia D.},
abstractNote = {Proliferation resistance features that reduce the likelihood of diversion of nuclear materials from the civilian nuclear power fuel cycle are critical for a global nuclear future. A framework that monitors process information continuously can demonstrate the ability to resist proliferation by measuring and reducing diversion risk, thus ensuring the legitimate use of the nuclear fuel cycle. The automation of new nuclear facilities requiring minimal manual operation makes this possible by generating instantaneous system state data that can be used to track and measure the status of the process and material at any given time. Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) and the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) are working in cooperation to develop an advanced transparency framework capable of assessing diversion risk in support of overall plant transparency. The ''diversion risk'' quantifies the probability and consequence of a host nation diverting nuclear materials from a civilian fuel cycle facility. This document introduces the details of the diversion risk quantification approach to be demonstrated in the fuel handling training model of the MONJU Fast Reactor.},
doi = {10.2172/912653},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Tue May 01 00:00:00 EDT 2007},
month = {Tue May 01 00:00:00 EDT 2007}
}

Technical Report:

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  • A key objective to the global deployment of nuclear technology is maintaining transparency among nation-states and international communities. By providing an environment in which to exchange scientific and technological information regarding nuclear technology, the safe and legitimate use of nuclear material and technology can be assured. Many nations are considering closed or multiple-application nuclear fuel cycles and are subsequently developing advanced reactors in an effort to obtain some degree of energy self-sufficiency. Proliferation resistance features that prevent theft or diversion of nuclear material and reduce the likelihood of diversion from the civilian nuclear power fuel cycle are critical for amore » global nuclear future. IAEA Safeguards have been effective in minimizing opportunities for diversion; however, recent changes in the global political climate suggest implementation of additional technology and methods to ensure the prompt detection of proliferation. For a variety of reasons, nuclear facilities are becoming increasingly automated and will require minimum manual operation. This trend provides an opportunity to utilize the abundance of process information for monitoring proliferation risk, especially in future facilities. A framework that monitors process information continuously can lead to greater transparency of nuclear fuel cycle activities and can demonstrate the ability to resist proliferation associated with these activities. Additionally, a framework designed to monitor processes will ensure the legitimate use of nuclear material. This report describes recent efforts to develop a methodology capable of assessing proliferation risk in support of overall plant transparency. The framework may be tested at the candidate site located in Japan: the Fuel Handling Training Model designed for the Monju Fast Reactor at the International Cooperation and Development Training Center of the Japan Atomic Energy Agency.« less
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  • The research described in this report was performed under a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to describe and compare the merits of two advanced alternative nuclear fuel cycles -- named by this study as the “UREX+3c fuel cycle” and the “Alternative Fuel Cycle” (AFC). Both fuel cycles were assumed to support 100 1,000 MWe light water reactor (LWR) nuclear power plants operating over the period 2020 through 2100, and the fast reactors (FRs) necessary to burn the plutonium and minor actinides generated by the LWRs. Reprocessing in both fuel cycles is assumed to be based on themore » UREX+3c process reported in earlier work by the DOE. Conceptually, the UREX+3c process provides nearly complete separation of the various components of spent nuclear fuel in order to enable recycle of reusable nuclear materials, and the storage, conversion, transmutation and/or disposal of other recovered components. Output of the process contains substantially all of the plutonium, which is recovered as a 5:1 uranium/plutonium mixture, in order to discourage plutonium diversion. Mixed oxide (MOX) fuel for recycle in LWRs is made using this 5:1 U/Pu mixture plus appropriate makeup uranium. A second process output contains all of the recovered uranium except the uranium in the 5:1 U/Pu mixture. The several other process outputs are various waste streams, including a stream of minor actinides that are stored until they are consumed in future FRs. For this study, the UREX+3c fuel cycle is assumed to recycle only the 5:1 U/Pu mixture to be used in LWR MOX fuel and to use depleted uranium (tails) for the makeup uranium. This fuel cycle is assumed not to use the recovered uranium output stream but to discard it instead. On the other hand, the AFC is assumed to recycle both the 5:1 U/Pu mixture and all of the recovered uranium. In this case, the recovered uranium is reenriched with the level of enrichment being determined by the amount of recovered plutonium and the combined amount of the resulting MOX. The study considered two sub-cases within each of the two fuel cycles in which the uranium and plutonium from the first generation of MOX spent fuel (i) would not be recycled to produce a second generation of MOX for use in LWRs or (ii) would be recycled to produce a second generation of MOX fuel for use in LWRs. The study also investigated the effects of recycling MOX spent fuel multiple times in LWRs. The study assumed that both fuel cycles would store and then reprocess spent MOX fuel that is not recycled to produce a next generation of LWR MOX fuel and would use the recovered products to produce FR fuel. The study further assumed that FRs would begin to be brought on-line in 2043, eleven years after recycle begins in LWRs, when products from 5-year cooled spent MOX fuel would be available. Fuel for the FRs would be made using the uranium, plutonium, and minor actinides recovered from MOX. For the cases where LWR fuel was assumed to be recycled one time, the 1st generation of MOX spent fuel was used to provide nuclear materials for production of FR fuel. For the cases where the LWR fuel was assumed to be recycled two times, the 2nd generation of MOX spent fuel was used to provide nuclear materials for production of FR fuel. The number of FRs in operation was assumed to increase in successive years until the rate that actinides were recovered from permanently discharged spent MOX fuel equaled the rate the actinides were consumed by the operating fleet of FRs. To compare the two fuel cycles, the study analyzed recycle of nuclear fuel in LWRs and FRs and determined the radiological characteristics of irradiated nuclear fuel, nuclear waste products, and recycle nuclear fuels. It also developed a model to simulate the flows of nuclear materials that could occur in the two advanced nuclear fuel cycles over 81 years beginning in 2020 and ending in 2100. Simulations projected the flows of uranium, plutonium, and minor actinides as these nuclear fuel materials were produced and consumed in a fleet of 100 1,000 MWe LWRs and in FRs. The model also included recycle and reuse of extant inventories of spent LWR fuel. The results of the simulations allowed comparisons of the two fuel cycles from the standpoints of cost, non-proliferation, radiological health, wastes generated, and sustainability. Results of the research also provide insights regarding (i) multiple recycling of uranium and plutonium from spent MOX fuel in LWRs, (ii) costs and benefits of reenriching and reusing uranium from spent LWR fuel; (iii) effects of using uranium, plutonium, and minor actinides from LWR spent fuels to produce fuel for FRs; (iv) net rates of consumption (burning) in FRs of actinide elements produced in LWRs, and (v) ependencies of and interactions among the different systems of an advanced nuclear fuel cycle -- and the flows of nuclear materials between these systems.« less
  • Representatives of the Department of Energy, the national laboratories, the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), and others gathered to initiate the development of broad-based concepts and strategies for transparency monitoring of nuclear materials at the back end of the fuel/weapons cycle, including both geologic disposal and monitored retrievable storage. The workshop focused on two key questions: ''Why should we monitor?'' and ''What should we monitor?'' These questions were addressed by identifying the range of potential stakeholders, concerns that stakeholders may have, and the information needed to address those concerns. The group constructed a strategic framework for repository transparency implementation, organizedmore » around the issues of safety (both operational and environmental), diversion (assuring legitimate use and security), and viability (both political and economic). Potential concerns of the international community were recognized as the possibility of material diversion, the multinational impacts of potential radionuclide releases, and public and political perceptions of unsafe repositories. The workshop participants also identified potential roles that the WIPP may play as a monitoring technology development and demonstration test-bed facility. Concepts for WIPP'S potential test-bed role include serving as (1) an international monitoring technology and development testing facility, (2) an international demonstration facility, and (3) an education and technology exchange center on repository transparency technologies.« less
  • The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission has initiated the Fuel Cycle Risk Assessment Program to provide risk assessment methods for assistance in the regulatory process for nuclear fuel cycle facilities other than reactors. Both the once-through cycle and plutonium recycle are being considered. A previous report generated by this program defines and describes fuel cycle facilities, or elements, considered in the program. This report, the second from the program, describes the survey and computer compilation of fuel cycle risk-related literature. Sources of available information on the design, safety, and risk associated with the defined set of fuel cycle elements were searchedmore » and documents obtained were catalogued and characterized with respect to fuel cycle elements and specific risk/safety information. Both US and foreign surveys were conducted. Battelle's computer-based BASIS information management system was used to facilitate the establishment of the literature compilation. A complete listing of the literature compilation and several useful indexes are included. Future updates of the literature compilation will be published periodically. 760 annotated citations are included.« less