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Title: Study of plutonium disposition using the GE Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR)

The end of the cold war and the resulting dismantlement of nuclear weapons has resulted in the need for the U.S. to disposition 50 to 100 metric tons of excess of plutonium in parallel with a similar program in Russia. A number of studies, including the recently released National Academy of Sciences (NAS) study, have recommended conversion of plutonium into spent nuclear fuel with its high radiation barrier as the best means of providing long-term diversion resistance to this material. The NAS study {open_quotes}Management and Disposition of Excess Weapons Plutonium{close_quotes} identified light water reactor spent fuel as the most readily achievable and proven form for the disposition of excess weapons plutonium. The study also stressed the need for a U.S. disposition program which would enhance the prospects for a timely reciprocal program agreement with Russia. This summary provides the key findings of a GE study where plutonium is converted into Mixed Oxide (MOX) fuel and a 1350 MWe GE Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR) is utilized to convert the plutonium to spent fuel. The ABWR represents the integration of over 30 years of experience gained worldwide in the design, construction and operation of BWRs. It incorporates advanced features to enhancemore » reliability and safety, minimize waste and reduce worker exposure. For example, the core is never uncovered nor is any operator action required for 72 hours after any design basis accident. Phase 1 of this study was documented in a GE report dated May 13, 1993. DOE`s Phase 1 evaluations cited the ABWR as a proven technical approach for the disposition of plutonium. This Phase 2 study addresses specific areas which the DOE authorized as appropriate for more in-depth evaluations. A separate report addresses the findings relative to the use of existing BWRs to achieve the same goal.« less
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
562610
Report Number(s):
NEDO--32351
ON: DE98001804; TRN: 98:000432
DOE Contract Number:
AC03-93SF19681
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Resource Relation:
Other Information: PBD: 30 Apr 1994
Research Org:
General Electric Co., San Jose, CA (United States). Atomic Power Equipment Dept.
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy, Washington, DC (United States)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
05 NUCLEAR FUELS; 21 NUCLEAR POWER REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS; PLUTONIUM; NUCLEAR MATERIALS MANAGEMENT; NUCLEAR WEAPONS DISMANTLEMENT; BWR TYPE REACTORS; MIXED OXIDE FUELS