Modelling of Closed Fuel Cycle of the Lead-Cooled Fast Reactor
The development of nuclear power with fast reactors is inextricably associated with the implementation of a closed nuclear fuel cycle (CNFC). The concept of a closed nuclear fuel cycle provides for the complete recovery of fissile nuclides burned in the core without surrounding blanket, efficient use of uranium due to the conversion of 238U into 239Pu in the fast reactor spectrum, and the possibility of transmutation of produced minor actinides in the process of fuel recycling. With this regard, simulation of stages of the fuel cycle with investigation of the neutronics characteristics of the core becomes an important task. The design of the reactor for operation in the closed nuclear fuel cycle mode is impossible without the use in the calculations of fast reactors of verified and certified software packages capable of simulating all stages of the reactor facility operation and the fuel cycle. The FACT-BR software package was used in the calculations, which possesses all the necessary capabilities for simulating reactor operation in the closed nuclear fuel cycle mode taking into account the stages of fuel storage and refabrication. The paper presents the technique for modeling the fuel cycle suggested for the case of operation of lead-cooled fast reactors. For sake of demonstration of the methodology, a closed nuclear fuel cycle was simulated for the BREST-OD-300 and BR-1200 reactors for the designed duration of the reactor lifecycle. Scenarios under which the calculation of the reactor fuel burnup was carried out are described. It was assumed in the considered scenarios that the unloading of fuel by the end of the reactor fuel irradiation micro-campaign is undertaken after the maximum achievable burnup is reached. The ranges of changes in fuel density and enrichment, reactivity margin, breeding ratio and isotopic composition of plutonium were determined in the course of computational simulation.
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