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Title: Enhancing BWR Proliferation Resistance Fuel with Minor Actinides

To reduce spent fuel for storage and enhance the proliferation resistance for the intermediate-term, there are two major approaches (a) increase the discharged spent fuel burnup in the advanced light water reactor- LWR (Gen-III Plus), which not only can reduce the spent fuel for storage, but also increase the 238Pu isotopes ratio to enhance the proliferation resistance, and (b) use of transuranic nuclides (237Np and 241Am) in the high burnup fuel, which can drastically increase the proliferation resistance isotope ratio of 238Pu/Pu. For future advanced nuclear systems, minor actinides (MA) are viewed more as a resource to be recycled, and transmuted to less hazardous and possibly more useful forms, rather than simply disposed of as a waste stream in an expensive repository facility. As a result, MAs play a much larger part in the design of advanced systems and fuel cycles, not only as additional sources of useful energy, but also as direct contributors to the reactivity control of the systems into which they are incorporated. In the study, a typical boiling water reactor (BWR) fuel unit lattice cell model with UO2 fuel pins will be used to investigate the effectiveness of minor actinide reduction approach (MARA) for enhancing proliferationmore » resistance and improving the fuel cycle performance in the intermediate-term goal for future nuclear energy systems. To account for the water coolant density variation from the bottom (0.76 g/cm3) to the top (0.35 g/cm3) of the core, the axial coolant channel and fuel pin were divided to 24 nodes. The MA transmutation characteristics at different elevations were compared and their impact on neutronics criticality discussed. The concept of MARA, which involves the use of transuranic nuclides (237Np and/or 241Am), significantly increases the 238Pu/Pu ratio for proliferation resistance, as well as serves as a burnable absorber to hold-down the initial excess reactivity. It is believed that MARA can play an important role in atoms for peace and the intermediate-term of nuclear energy reconnaissance.« less
Authors:
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
948876
Report Number(s):
INL/JOU-09-15533
Journal ID: ISSN 0022-3115; JNUMAM; TRN: US0901765
DOE Contract Number:
DE-AC07-99ID-13727
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Nuclear Materials; Journal Volume: 385; Journal Issue: 1
Research Org:
Idaho National Laboratory (INL)
Sponsoring Org:
DOE - NE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; ACTINIDES; ATOMS; BOILING; BURNUP; COOLANTS; CRITICALITY; FUEL CYCLE; FUEL PINS; ISOTOPE RATIO; ISOTOPES; NUCLEAR ENERGY; PROLIFERATION; SPENT FUELS; STORAGE; TRANSMUTATION; WASTES; WATER minor actinides; resistance fuel