Fuel cycle of Russian nuclear power with involvement of thorium resources and thermonuclear neutron source with Th-blanket
UDC: 621.039.1, 621.039.6
The possible role of existing thorium reserves in Russia on engaging thorium in being currently closed (U-Pu)-fuel cycle of nuclear power of the country is considered. The application efficiency of thermonuclear neutron sources with thorium blanket for the economical use of existing thorium reserves is demonstrated.
The aim of the work is to find solutions of such major tasks as the reduction of both front-end and back-end of nuclear fuel cycle and an enhancing its protection against the uncontrolled proliferation of fissile materials by means of the smallest changes in the fuel cycle.
During implementation of the work we analyzed the results obtained earlier by the authors, brought new information on the number of thorium available in Russia and made further assessments.
On the basis of proposal on the inclusion of hybrid reactors with Th-blanket into the future NP for the production of light uranium fraction 232+233+234U, and 231Pa, we obtained the following results:
- The fuel cycle will shift from fissile 235U to 233U which is more attractive for thermal power reactors.
- The light uranium fraction is the most “protected” in the uranium component of fuel, and mixed with regenerated uranium will in addition become a low enriched uranium fuel, that will weaken the problem of uncontrolled proliferation of fissile materials.
- 231Pa doping into the fuel stabilizes its multiplying properties that will allow us to implement long-term fuel residence time and eventually to increase the export potential of all nuclear power technologies.
- The thorium reserves being near city Krasnoufimsk are enough for operation of large-scale NP of the RF of 70 GW (e.) capacity during more than a quarter century. The general conclusion: the inclusion of a small number of hybrid reactors with Th-blanket into the future NP will allow us substantially to solve its problems, as well as to increase its export potential.
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hybrid «FUSION-FISSION» reactor with Th-blanket light uranium fraction protactinium-231 multi-isotope uranium fuel the stabilization of multiplication properties the protection of fissile materials against uncontrolled proliferation
Link for citing the article: Kulikov G.G., Shmelev A.N., Geraskin N.I., Kulikov E.G., Apse V.A. Fuel cycle of Russian nuclear power with involvement of thorium resources and thermonuclear neutron source with Th-blanket. Izvestiya vuzov. Yadernaya Energetika. 2016, no. 1, pp. 111-118; DOI: https://doi.org/10.26583/npe.2016.1.12 (in Russian).