Modeling services of international nuclear fuel cycle facility for commonwealth of independent states
The country starting its own nuclear program faces the the problem of obtaining information about the issues that accompany all stages of the nuclear fuel cycle. A clearly-scheduled long-term national program of nuclear power engineering will allow to determine the requirements for nuclear fuel cycle (NFC) and, accordingly, to identify the most necessary components of the nuclear energy system. Lacking experience in nuclear materials management, countries starting development of nuclear power are forced to rely heavily on the technology supplier. Using the experience of advanced nuclear energy countries by newcomers allows not only to reduce the existing technological gap between them, but also to reduce the uncertainty of start-up costs estimates for developing a NPP of one’s own. Much more difficult is the problem of spent nuclear fuel (SNF), the volume of which during the operation of nuclear power plants is likely to be accumulated in great amount. Solving this problem will have a major impact on both the environmental assessment of the nation’s nuclear fuel cycle and its economy.
In this paper a simulation of an international nuclear fuel cycle center (NFCC) has been done. Russia, Ukraine, Armenia and Belarus (CIS countries) were selected as the NFCC potential participants. The energy system planning code MESSAGE (developed by IAEA) and the software tool NFC CYCLE (developed by IPPE) were chosen for implementing the simulation. To analyze the benefits which Russia and countries participating in the creation of NFCC are going to get two scenarios of nuclear power development in Russia, Ukraine, Armenia and Belarus were calculated: the case of their independent development and the case of their cooperation.
The research results for the selected scenarios showed that:
– starting-up a FR using plutonium obtained by reprocessing SNF of VVER-1000-typereactors allows to optimize currently operated reactors by gradual replacement of thermal reactors by fast ones, thus saving natural uranium;
– joint development of nuclear power plantsby NFCC participant-countries allows to reprocess all SNF, which will amount to about 124,000 tons. This will raise the possibility to avoid construction of storage capacity equal to two storages of Yucca Mountain type.
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