Izvestiya vuzov. Yadernaya Energetika

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

Study of the Efficiency of MA Transmutation in a Fast Reactor Loaded with Mixed Uranium-Torium Fuel

12/08/2021 2021 - #04 Fuel cycle and nuclear waste management

Korobeynikov V.V. Kolesov V.V. Mihalev A.V.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.26583/npe.2021.4.04

UDC: 621.039.54(04)

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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transmutation minor actinides spent fuel uranium-thorium fuel cycle radioactivity biological hazard spent fuel storage