Izvestiya vuzov. Yadernaya Energetika

The peer-reviewed scientific and technology journal. ISSN: 0204-3327

Analyses of the attractiveness of materials as applied to the fuel cycle of large capacity fast reactor of BN-type

3/28/2016 2016 - #02 Nuclear materials

L’vova E.M. Chebeskov A.N.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.26583/npe.2016.2.04

UDC: 621.039.51

Nuclear fuel cycle of fast reactors contains material which is directly or with some additional processing can potentially be used to manufacture a primitive nuclear explosive device or even for the production of powerful nuclear weapons. When considering the problem of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and nuclear terrorism it is customary to apply to such materials the notion of attractiveness, in other words, to evaluate the potential use of these materials in undeclared activities. The attractiveness of nuclear materials in the first turn is estimated according to their intrinsic neutron-physical properties. The value of critical mass is a key characteristic in the choice of nuclear material that can be used to manufacture nuclear explosive devices. In addition to critical mass, important characteristics of nuclear materials are neutron background and heat generation. The high neutron background will inevitably lead to the premature start of the chain fission reaction – predetonation, which practically excludes the possibility of nominal energy yield. Significant level of heat generation of nuclear material complicates its treatment, but the main factor is the influence of high temperature on the degradation of chemical explosives, which is directly adjacent nuclear material and at a sufficiently high temperature of nuclear material the chemical explosive loses its properties and breaks the performance of a nuclear charge.

This paper presents the results of the study of the attractiveness of different types of fuel compositions according to their neutron-physical properties as applied to the fuel cycle of sodium fast reactor of high capacity (BN-1200 type) for different options of the reactor start loading and reaching steady-state conditions. The objects of the study are the simplest systems in the form of spherical assemblies containing the fuel compositions of the fast reactor BN-1200 type without reflectors and surrounded by elementary neutron reflectors. Critical state is defined for each such a system and for this state main neutron-physical properties are calculated.


  1. Available at: http://nuclear.ru/news/98344 от 10.02.2016 (Na Beloyarskoj AES zavershilsya etap energeticheskogo puska bloka №4 s RU BN-800) First power program completed at Beloyarsk-4 with BN-800 reactor.
  2. Poplavskiy V.M., Chebeskov A.N., Matveev V.I. Reaktor BN-800 kak novyj etap v razvitii tehnologii bystryh natrievyh reaktorov [BN-800 as a new stage in the development of technology of fast neutron reactors]. Atomnaya energiya. 2004, v. 96, no. 6, pp. 426-432 (in Russian).
  3. Avrorin E.N., Chebeskov A.N. Fast Reactors and Nuclear Nonproliferation. International Conference on Fast Reactors and Related Fuel Cycles (FR13), Paris, France, 4-7 March 2013.
  4. Chebeskov A.N., Poplavsky V.M. State of the Art and Trends of Development of Fast Reactor Technology. Proceedings of GLOBAL 2011, Makuhari, Japan, 11-16 December 2011, Paper No. 357127.
  5. Chebeskov A.N. An Approach to Proliferation Risk Assessment for Research Nuclear Reactors. Proceeding of the Russian-American Symposium on the Conversion of Research Reactors to Low Enriched Uranium Fuel, Moscow, Russia, 6-10 June, 2011.
  6. Hassberger James A., Isaacs Tom, Schock Robert N. A Strategic Framework for Proliferation Resistance: A Systematic Approach for the Identification and Evaluation of Technology Opportunities to Enhance the Proliferation Resistance of Civilian Nuclear Energy Systems. Global 2001 International Conference, Paris, France, 10-13 September 2001.
  7. Chebeskov A.N, Decusar V.M. Evaluation of the Scenario for Innovative Russian Nuclear Power development. Proceeding of the 2007 ANS/ENS International Meeting «Making the Renaissance Real», US, Washington DC, 11-15 September, 2007.
  8. Chebeskov A.N., Butler J., Dyer J., Edmunds T., Jia J., Oussanov V. Advances in Decision Analysis, Cambridge University Press 2007, pp. 489-513.
  9. Chebeskov A.N, Whitlock J., Bari R. Status of the Gen-IV Proliferation Resistance and Physical Protection (PRPP) Evaluation Methodology. The IAEA International Safeguards Symposium, 20-24 October, 2014.
  10. Chebeskov A.N, Kagramanyan V.S. Role of the International Fuel Centers with Fast Reactors in Minimization of Proliferation Risk. Proceeding of the 16th Pacific Basin Nuclear Conference (16PBNC). Oct. 13-18, 2008. Aomori, Japan.
  11. Chebeskov A.N, Kagramanyan V.S. International Nuclear Fuel Centers in Global Nuclear Power Infrastructure. Int. Workshop on Non-Proliferation Embedded at The XI International Conference «Nuclear Safety&Nuclear Education» Central Institute for Continuing Education&Training, Obninsk, Russian Federation, September 30 – October 2, 2009.
  12. Chebeskov A.N. New Technological Platform of Nuclear Power. Int. Workshop: «Multilateral Concepts of Nuclear Fuel Cycle in Asia Pacific», The University of Tokyo, 26-27 October, 2009.
  13. Chebeskov A.N, Kagramanyan V.S. «Role of the International Fuel Centers with Fast Reactors in Minimization of Proliferation Risk». Proceedings of Global 2009, Paris, France, September 6-11, 2009.
  14. Chebeskov A.N, Poplavskaya E.V. International nuclear fuel cycle centers in the global infrastructure of nuclear power (Technological aspects of the problem). Reactors and Related Fuel Cycles: Challenges and Opportunities (FR09), December 7-11, 2009, Kyoto, Japan.
  15. Chebeskov A.N., Poplavsky V.M. Status and Tends of Development of Fast Reactor Technology in the Russian Federation. Proceeding of the 7th Tsuruga Int. Energy Forum, November 19-20, 2010, Tsuruga, Fukui, Japan.
  16. Chebeskov A.N., Korobeynikov V.V., Kudryavtsev E.G., Tikhomirov B.B. Quantitative Approach to Evaluate Attractiveness of Nuclear Fuel Cycle Materials. International Conference, Moscow, 13-15 July, 2005.
  17. Carson Mark J.. Explosive Properties of Reactor-Grade Plutonium. Science&Global Security. 1993, no. 4, pp. 111-128, 1993.
  18. Kessler G. Proliferation-Proof Uranium/Plutonium Fuel Cycles. Safeguards and Non-Proliferation. KIT Scientific Publishing, ISBN 978-3-86644-614-4, p. 372, 2011.
  19. Waltar A.E., Todd D.R., Tsvetkov P.V. Editors Fast Spectrum Reactors. ISBN 978-1-4419-9571-1 e-ISBN 978-1-4419-9572-8, DOI 10.1007978-1-4419-9572-8.
  20. Glesston S., Edlund М. Osnovy teorii jadernyh reaktorov [Foundations of the theory of nuclear reactors]. Moscow. Inostrannaya Literatura Publ., 1954 (in Russian).

non-proliferation of nuclear weapons attractiveness of nuclear materials fast sodium reactor of large capacity uranium oxide uranium nitride mixed oxide uranium-plutonium fuel mixed nitride uranium-plutonium fuel critical assemblies neutron reflector critical mass beryllium tungsten