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Key Physical Parameters and Temperature Reactivity Coefficients of the Deep Burn Modular Helium Reactor Fueled with LWRs Waste
KTH, Superseded Departments, Physics.
KTH, Superseded Departments, Physics.
2004 (English)In: Annals of Nuclear Energy, ISSN 0306-4549, E-ISSN 1873-2100, Vol. 31, 1913-1931 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We investigated some important neutronic features of the deep burn modular helium reactor (DB-MHR) using the MCNP/MCB codes. Our attention was focused on the neutron flux and its spectrum, capture to fission ratio of Pu-239 and the temperature coefficient of fuel and moderator. The DB-MHR is a graphite-moderated helium-cooled reactor proposed by General Atomic to address the need for a fast and efficient incineration of plutonium for nonproliferation purposes as well as the management of light water reactors (LWRs) waste. In fact, recent studies have shown that the use of the DB-MHR coupled to ordinary LWRs would keep constant the world inventory of plutonium for a reactor fleet producing 400 TWe/y. In the present studies, the DB-MHR is loaded with Np-Pu driver fuel (DF) with an isotopic composition corresponding to LWRs spent fuel waste. DF uses fissile isotopes (e.g. Pu-239 and Pu-241), previously generated in the LWRs, and maintains criticality conditions in the DB-MHR. After an irradiation of three years, the spent DF is reprocessed and its remaining actinides are manufactured into fresh transmutation fuel (TF). TF mainly contains non-fissile actinides which undergo neutron capture and transmutation during the subsequent three-year irradiation in the DB-MHR. At the same time, TF provides control and negative reactivity feedback to the reactor. After extraction of the spent TF, irradiated for three years, over 94% of Pu-239 and 53% of all actinides coming from LWRs waste will have been destroyed in the DB-MHR. In this paper we look at the operation conditions at equilibrium for the DB-MHR and evaluate fluxes and reactivity responses using state of the art 3-D Monte Carlo simulations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2004. Vol. 31, 1913-1931 p.
Keyword [en]
coated particle fuel, gas-cooled reactors, nuclear-waste, monte-carlo, behavior, htgr, transmutation, elements, release, safety
National Category
Atom and Molecular Physics and Optics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-5544DOI: 10.1016/j.anucene.2004.05.006ISI: 000224257800006Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-4444238018OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-5544DiVA: diva2:9944
Note
QC 20100922 QC 20110915Available from: 2006-04-05 Created: 2006-04-05 Last updated: 2017-11-21Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Advanced In-Core Fuel Cycles for the Gas Turbine-Modular Helium Reactor
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Advanced In-Core Fuel Cycles for the Gas Turbine-Modular Helium Reactor
2006 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

In 1789 a German chemist, Martin Heinrich Klaproth, announced the discovery of a new element: uranium; few years later, the head of father of the modern chemistry, Antoine Lavoisier, was swept away by guillotine: a new era was destined to be opened, either where energy would have been produced in large scale by nuclear processes delivering hundreds of times the energy of chemical processes or where a mass of people, revolutionary or not, would have been melted down into a couple of seconds. After a quite long time, on the 2nd December 1942, the first nuclear reactor has been put into operation by Enrico Fermi in Chicago; few years later, came also the dark side utilization of fissile materials in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Since those moments, three power plants generations succeeded, until the current one which is the generation IV of nuclear reactors. The latter has the goal of generating electricity in a safe manner, for the core is designed to provide an effective passive cooling of the decay heat. Amid generation IV of nuclear power plants, the Gas Turbine – Modular Helium Reactor, designed by General Atomics, is the only core with an energy conversion efficiency of 50%; the above consideration, coupled to construction and operation costs lower than ordinary Light Water Reactors, renders the Gas Turbine – Modular Helium reactor rather unequaled.

In the present studies we investigated the possibility to operate the GT-MHR with two types of fuels: LWRs waste and thorium; since thorium is made of only fertile 232Th, we tried to mix it with pure 233U, 235U or 239Pu; ex post facto, only uranium isotopes allow the reactor operation, that induced us to examine the possibility to use a mixture of uranium, enriched 20% in 235U, and thorium. We performed all calculations by the MCNP and MCB codes, which allowed to model the reactor in a very detailed threedimensional geometry and to describe the nuclides transmutation in a continuous energy approach; finally, we completed our studies by verifying the influence of the major nuclear data libraries, JEFF, JENDL and ENDF/B, on the obtained results.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH, 2006. x,60 p.
Series
TRITA-FYS, ISSN 0280-316X ; 2006.25
National Category
Atom and Molecular Physics and Optics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-3901 (URN)91-7178-328-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2006-04-21, Sal FA31, AlvaNova, Roslagstullsbacken 21, Stockholm, 14:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20100922

Available from: 2006-04-05 Created: 2006-04-05 Last updated: 2014-12-17Bibliographically approved

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