Calculation of Enriched Uranium Products Costs in Multi&Threaded Cascades of Enrichment Process
At modern uranium enrichment facilities there are several raw materials can be used simultaneously as a feed: natural uranium, regenerated uranium obtained as a result of SNF reprocessing, or depleted uranium (all in the form of uranium hexafluoride). At the output of the separation cascade, several types of enriched uranium product with different level of enrichment can be simultaneously produced. The article suggests a method of calculating the cost of each enriched uranium product in multi-threaded separation cascades that is missing in the literature. The methodology suggests use of standard definitions of the isotopic value of feed and product and the separation potential proposed by Peierls and Dirac. Numerical calculations of the cost of enriched uranium products for three production tasks are given as examples of the effectiveness of the methodology: 1) the involvement of depleted uranium hexafluoride in the production of an enriched uranium product; 2) the simultaneous production of two enriched products; 3) the use of depleted uranium to reduce the cost of a more highly enriched product of the two (in relation to a promising tolerant fuel). It is shown that partial use of depleted uranium as a feed for a multi-product separation cascade can reduce the cost of a product with a higher level of enrichment; with the prevailing market prices for natural uranium and SWU, there is a big range of tail assay levels, in which it is more profitable to enrich depleted uranium, rather than natural uranium.
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Link for citing the article: Semenov E.V., Kharitonov V.V. Calculation of Enriched Uranium Products Costs in Multi&Threaded Cascades of Enrichment Process. Izvestiya vuzov. Yadernaya Energetika. 2022, no. 2, pp. 115-127; DOI: https://doi.org/10.26583/npe.2022.2.11 (in Russian).