Izvestiya vuzov. Yadernaya Energetika

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

Modeling of Closed Internal Fuel Cycle of a Nuclear Reactor

3/18/2021 2021 - #01 Fuel cycle and nuclear waste management

Drobyshevsky Yu.V. Stolbov S.N. Anfimov I.M. Varlachev V.A. Kobeleva S.P. Nekrasov S.A. Korzhenevsky A.V.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.26583/npe.2021.1.10

UDC: 621.039, 53.05, 53.043

Existing nuclear reactors generate up to 15% of the world’s electricity. The reactors operate in the open fuel cycle mode with the initial enrichment of natural uranium in 235U up to 5% and higher.

Enrichment of the fuel in 235U leads to the fact that a large amount of depleted uranium waste is generated in the form of UF6, and the bulk of the uranium mined goes to waste in the form of dump depleted uranium, and then in the form of spent nuclear fuel.

After the loss of 1.5 neutrons for the full cycle of the reactor operation, there are not enough neutrons to produce 239Pu from 238U and efficiently burn the energy of the entire series of formed actinides.

The results of field experimental studies which have proved the possibility of effective control of thermal neutron fluxes are presented and their quantitative evaluation is obtained. A theoretical model is developed which allows quantitative estimation of the effects obtained.

The effect of selective separation of thermal neutrons by means of a moderating-focusing structure fixed on a reactor is important for the development and design of new generation reactors with deep fuel burn-up. The possibility of forming steady-state compositions (operation modes) with positive reactivity and the fullest possible depth of fissile material burnup during operation in a wide range of initial fuel compositions for reactors with circulating fuel in the presence of thermal and fast active zones and a cooling zone for fuel composition curing has been investigated. The possibility of operating such reactors without the need for chemical separation of intermediate actinides, such as 233U and 239Pu, has been instrumentally evaluated. Thus, it is shown that a reactor with a completely closed internal fuel cycle and deep fuel burnup is possible.

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closed internal fuel cycle neutron flux control thermal neutron separation effect SFC – slowing-focusing structure deep fuel burn-up