Izvestia Vysshikh Uchebnykh Zawedeniy. 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.

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 nonproliferation 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 neutronphysical 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 steadystate 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 neutronphysical properties are calculated.

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