Prospects of VVER-SKD in a closed fuel cycle
IAEA supervised a research project (from early in 2005 till late in 2007) on innovative nuclear reactors and fuel cycles (International Project on Innovative Nuclear Reactors and Fuel Cycles – INPRO), 8 countries with developed atomic power taking part in it. The aim of the project was to evaluate a nuclear power system based on a closed fuel cycle (CFC) with fast reactors in terms of its evolution, specification of implementation stages and duration, providing a basis and a field for joint R&D work. The countries agreed to use the commercial system CNFC-FR (Commercial Nuclear Fuel Cycles-Fast Reactors) as a standard in evaluation. The system is ready for wide application in the upcoming 2-3 decades and is based on proven technologies such as sodium coolant, pelletized mixed oxide (МОХ) fuel and advanced technology for aquatic processing.
Despite the common fundamentals of the CNFC-FR system, there are significant differences between the nuclear power systems existing in the countries participating in the joint studies and between the strategies for their development, which is the reason for the differences in the implementation of closed fuel cycle. In some countries it is proposed that, besides sodium, gas and lead should be used. In addition to МОХ fuel, consideration is given to a denser nitride and metal fuel, together with different U-Pu, U-Th fuel cycles.
Since 2000 many countries have been supporting development of G4 supercritical water-cooled thermal and fast neutron reactors (Supercritical Water-Cooled Reactors – SCWR). It is planned to have built demonstration reactors followed by commercial NPPs by 2025. Development of SCWR reactors will bring about changes in working out AE strategy as well as CFC process in some countries.
The report examines peculiarities of implementing closed fuel cycle in Russia, implementation stages and duration, associated problems and possible ways of dealing with them; it also proposes solutions for optimizing fuel cycle.
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