Small nuclear power plants for power supply to the arctic regions: spent nuclear fuel radioactivity assessment
The article presents the analysis of the projects’ materials about small nuclear power plants (SNPP) with the reactors cooled by pressurized water (LWR reactors) and Pb-Bi eutectics (SVBR reactors). There have been developed mathematical models of fuel cycles of the cores in the reactor types ABV, KLT-40S, RITM-200M, UNITERM, SVBR-10 and SVBR-100 on the basis of the information prescribed about the parameters of the fuel cycle, design and materials of the cores, thermodynamic characteristics of coolants of the primary circuit of various reactor facilities. The KRATER software was applied for mathematical modeling of the fuel cycles where spatial-energy distribution of neutron flux density is determined within multi-group diffusion approximation and heterogeneity of the cores is taken into account by the albedo method in a model of a reactor cell. The computational studies have been carried out of the kinetics of the isotopes’ burn-up in the starting fuel charge (235U, 238U) and the accumulation of long-lived fission products (85Kr, 90Sr, 137Cs, 151Sm) and the actinides (238,239,240,241,242Pu, 236U, 237Np, 241Am, 244Cm) in the cores of the SNPP’s considered reactor facilities. The information obtained has allowed estimating the radiation characteristics of spent nuclear fuel (SNF) and comparing the long-lived radioactivity of irradiated fuel from SNPP reactors and their prototypes (transport reactors). The mass isotopic compositions of the cores have been determined and on the basis there were estimated α and βactivities of long-lived fission products and actinides which characterize long-lived radioactivity of SNF. The analysis of information about the specific radioactivity has shown the radiation characteristics of SNF in the SNPP reactors and their prototypes (transport reactors) to have similar in magnitude values. This allows the conclusion about applicability of management technologies of irradiated fuel used for ship reactor facilities for the SNF from the SNPP reactors.
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