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Studies on the feasibility of the LWRs waste-thorium in-core fuel cycle in the gas turbine-modular helium reactor
KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Physics.
2006 (English)In: Journal of Nuclear Science and Technology, ISSN 0022-3131, Vol. 43, no 11, 1379-1394 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The capability to operate on LWRs waste constitutes one of the major benefits of the Gas Turbine-Modular Helium Reactor; in this paper, it has been evaluated the possibility to incinerate the LWRs waste and to simultaneously breed fissile U-233 by fertile thorium. Since a mixture of pure Pu-239-thorium has shown a quite poor neutron economy, the LWRs waste-thorium fuel performance has been also tested when plutonium and thorium are allocated in different TRISO particles. More precisely, when fissile and fertile actinides share the same TRISO kernel, the resonance at 0.29 eV of the fission and capture microscopic cross sections of Pu-239 diminishes also the absorption rate of fertile Th-232 and thus it degrades the breeding process. Consequently, in the present studies, two different types of fuel have been utilized: the Driver Fuel, made of LWRs waste, and the Transmutation Fuel, made of fertile thorium. Since, in the thermal neutron energy range, the microscopic capture cross section of Th-232 is about 80-100 times smaller than the fission one of Pu-239, setting thorium in particles with a large kernel and LWRs waste in particles with a small one makes the volume integrated reaction rates better equilibrated. At the light of the above consideration, which drives to load as much thorium as possible, for the Transmutation Fuel they have been selected the JAERI TRISO particles packed 40%; whereas, for the Driver Fuel they have been tested different packing fractions and kernel radii. Since no configuration allowed the reactor to work, the above procedure has been repeated when fertile particles are packed 20%; the latter choice permits over one year of operation, but the build op of U-233 represents only a small fraction of the depleted Pu-239. Finally, the previous configuration has been also investigated when the fertile and fissile fuels share the same kernel or when the fertile fuel axially alternates with the fissile one.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 43, no 11, 1379-1394 p.
Keyword [en]
GT-MHR, TRISO, waste, thorium, fertile, MCB, gas-cooled, graphite-moderated
National Category
Physical Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-37654DOI: 10.3327/jnst.43.1379ISI: 000243712500010ScopusID: 2-s2.0-33846503796OAI: diva2:434656
Available from: 2011-08-16 Created: 2011-08-16 Last updated: 2011-08-16Bibliographically approved

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