The present paper compares the reactor physics and transmutation performance of sodium-cooled Fast Reactors (FRs) for TRansUranic (TRU) burning with thorium (Th) or uranium (U) as fertile materials. The 1000 MWt Toshiba-Westinghouse Advanced Recycling Reactor (ARR) conceptual core has been used as benchmark for the comparison. Both burner and breakeven configurations sustained or started with a TRU supply, and assuming full actinide homogeneous recycle strategy, have been developed. State-of-the-art core physics tools have been employed to establish fuel inventory and reactor physics performances for equilibrium and transition cycles. Results show that Th fosters large improvements in the reactivity coefficients associated with coolant expansion and voiding, which enhances safety margins and, for a burner design, can be traded for maximizing the TRU burning rate. A trade-off of Th compared to U is the significantly larger fuel inventory required to achieve a breakeven design, which entails additional blankets at the detriment of core compactness as well as fuel manufacturing and separation requirements. The gamma field generated by the progeny of U-232 in the U bred from Th challenges fuel handling and manufacturing, but in case of full recycle, the high contents of Am and Cm in the transmutation fuel impose remote fuel operations regardless of the presence of U-232.

Comparative analysis of thorium and uranium fuel for transuranic recycle in a sodium cooled Fast Reactor

FIORINA, CARLO;CAMMI, ANTONIO;RICOTTI, MARCO ENRICO;
2013-01-01

Abstract

The present paper compares the reactor physics and transmutation performance of sodium-cooled Fast Reactors (FRs) for TRansUranic (TRU) burning with thorium (Th) or uranium (U) as fertile materials. The 1000 MWt Toshiba-Westinghouse Advanced Recycling Reactor (ARR) conceptual core has been used as benchmark for the comparison. Both burner and breakeven configurations sustained or started with a TRU supply, and assuming full actinide homogeneous recycle strategy, have been developed. State-of-the-art core physics tools have been employed to establish fuel inventory and reactor physics performances for equilibrium and transition cycles. Results show that Th fosters large improvements in the reactivity coefficients associated with coolant expansion and voiding, which enhances safety margins and, for a burner design, can be traded for maximizing the TRU burning rate. A trade-off of Th compared to U is the significantly larger fuel inventory required to achieve a breakeven design, which entails additional blankets at the detriment of core compactness as well as fuel manufacturing and separation requirements. The gamma field generated by the progeny of U-232 in the U bred from Th challenges fuel handling and manufacturing, but in case of full recycle, the high contents of Am and Cm in the transmutation fuel impose remote fuel operations regardless of the presence of U-232.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11311/758249
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 19
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 15
social impact