Study of the Efficiency of MA Transmutation in a Fast Reactor Loaded with Mixed Uranium-Torium Fuel
From the point of view of availability of nuclear fertile materials, the question of the involvement of thorium in the fuel cycle is not extremely urgent. However, with large-scale development of nuclear power generation turning to the use of thorium appears to be quite natural. The use of uranium-thorium fuel in a fast neutron reactor to replace conventional uranium-plutonium fuel will significantly reduce the yield of minor actinides, which makes such reactors attractive for transmutation and incineration of already accumulated and constantly increasing quantities of long-lived radioactive isotopes of americium, curium, and neptunium.
Due to the absence of uranium-233 in nature, the use of thorium in power engineering requires a closed fuel cycle. At the initial stage of the implementation of the uranium-thorium cycle, it is suggested to use uranium-235 instead of uranium-233 as nuclear fuel.
Transmutation and incineration of minor actinides in a fast neutron reactor operated in uranium-thorium fuel cycle were investigated in the present study. Several options of the structure of the cores of such a reactor were examined. It was demonstrated that heterogeneous distribution of americium in the reactor core allows obtaining higher rates of its incineration and transmutation than the homogeneous one.
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