skip to main content

Title: Plutonium and minor actinide utilisation in a pebble-bed high temperature reactor

This paper contains results of the analysis of the pebble-bed high temperature gas-cooled PUMA reactor loaded with plutonium and minor actinide (Pu/MA) fuel. Starting from knowledge and experience gained in the Euratom FP5 projects HTR-N and HTR-N1, this study aims at demonstrating the potential of high temperature reactors to utilize or transmute Pu/MA fuel. The work has been performed within the Euratom FP6 project PUMA. A number of different fuel types and fuel configurations have been analyzed and compared with respect to incineration performance and safety-related reactor parameters. The results show the excellent plutonium and minor actinide burning capabilities of the high temperature reactor. The largest degree of incineration is attained in the case of an HTR fuelled by pure plutonium fuel as it remains critical at very deep burnup of the discharged pebbles. Addition of minor actinides to the fuel leads to decrease of the achievable discharge burnup and therefore smaller fraction of actinides incinerated during reactor operation. The inert-matrix fuel design improves the transmutation performance of the reactor, while the 'wallpaper' fuel does not have advantage over the standard fuel design in this respect. After 100 years of decay following the fuel discharge, the total amount of actinidesmore » remains almost unchanged for all of the fuel types considered. Among the plutonium isotopes, only the amount of Pu-241 is reduced significantly due to its relatively short half-life. (authors)« less
Authors:
; ; ;  [1]
  1. Nuclear Research and Consultancy Group, Westerduinweg 3, 1755 ZG Petten (Netherlands)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22105702
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: PHYSOR 2012: Conference on Advances in Reactor Physics - Linking Research, Industry, and Education, Knoxville, TN (United States), 15-20 Apr 2012; Other Information: Country of input: France; 12 refs.
Publisher:
American Nuclear Society - ANS; La Grange Park, IL (United States)
Research Org:
American Nuclear Society, Inc., 555 N. Kensington Avenue, La Grange Park, Illinois 60526 (United States)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
21 SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS; BURNUP; COMBUSTION; CONFIGURATION; DESIGN; EURATOM; HTGR TYPE REACTORS; NEUTRON DETECTORS; NUCLEAR FUELS; PEBBLE BED REACTORS; PLUTONIUM; PLUTONIUM 241; RARE EARTH COMPOUNDS; REACTOR OPERATION; REACTOR SAFETY; TRANSMUTATION