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Title: Ab Initio Enhanced calphad Modeling of Actinide-Rich Nuclear Fuels

The process of fuel recycling is central to the Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative (AFCI), where plutonium and the minor actinides (MA) Am, Np, and Cm are extracted from spent fuel and fabricated into new fuel for a fast reactor. Metallic alloys of U-Pu-Zr-MA are leading candidates for fast reactor fuels and are the current basis for fast spectrum metal fuels in a fully recycled closed fuel cycle. Safe and optimal use of these fuels will require knowledge of their multicomponent phase stability and thermodynamics (Gibbs free energies). In additional to their use as nuclear fuels, U-Pu-Zr-MA contain elements and alloy phases that pose fundamental questions about electronic structure and energetics at the forefront of modern many-body electron theory. This project will validate state-of-the-art electronic structure approaches for these alloys and use the resulting energetics to model U-Pu-Zr-MA phase stability. In order to keep the work scope practical, researchers will focus on only U-Pu-Zr-{Np,Am}, leaving Cm for later study. The overall objectives of this project are to: Provide a thermodynamic model for U-Pu-Zr-MA for improving and controlling reactor fuels; and, Develop and validate an ab initio approach for predicting actinide alloy energetics for thermodynamic modeling.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [1]
  1. Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1097462
Report Number(s):
NEUP--09-787
TRN: US1400002
DOE Contract Number:
AC07-05ID14517
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Battelle Energy Alliance, LLC (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE (United States). NNSA
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS