Izvestiya vuzov. Yadernaya Energetika

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

Some Economic Aspects of Reducing Americium Production in a Two-Component System of Thermal and Fast Reactors

9/25/2023 2023 - #03 Fuel cycle and nuclear waste management

Gulevich A.V. Usanov V.I. Dekusar V.M. Eliseev V.A. Moseev A.L. Khnykina E.S.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.26583/npe.2023.3.04

UDC: 621.039.59

The article analyzes the economic aspects of reducing the production of americium during the transition from a single-component nuclear power system (NES) based on thermal reactors in an open fuel cycle to a two-component system with thermal and fast reactors in a closed nuclear fuel cycle. Scenarios for the development of these systems in Russia up to the end of the century are modeled. Two methods are considered for reducing the production of americium in a two-component NES with fast sodium reactors. The first method, closing the fuel cycle for plutonium in BN reactors of SFR type, is based on the use of plutonium separated from spent nuclear fuel of thermal reactors with the shortest possible (according to technical specifications) time for MOX fuel preparation and use thus preventing the main part of plutonium-241 from decay into americium. The second way is transmutation of americium. The study was carried out by using the mathematical code CYCLE design for modeling of the NES with closed nuclear fuel cycle (NFC). The technical and economic data used in the paper was taken from published studies of Russian specialists and materials of European Union specialists presented in the IAEA/INPRO SYNERGIES project. The results of the research show that the efficiency of closing the NFC by using plutonium from thermal reactors in MOX fuel of fast sodium reactors is comparable to the efficiency of the homogeneous transmutation considered in the paper. The combination of the americium accumulation prevention method and transmutation method might significantly reduce the rate of the americium accumulation in a nuclear energy system, but the estimated costs of the considered homogeneous transmutation can significantly worsen the economic performance of fast sodium reactors.


  1. Bergelson B., Gerasimov A., Zaritskaya T., Kiselev G., Volovik A. Decay Heat Power and Radiotoxicity of Spent Uranium, Plutonium and Thorium Fuel at Long-term Storage.18th International Conference on Structural Mechanics in Reactor Technology. Beijing, SMiRT18 (2005).
  2. International Atomic Energy Agency, Spent Fuel Reprocessing Options. IAEA-TECDOC-1587. IAEA. Vienna, 2018. 144 p.
  3. Salvatores M., Slessarev I., Uematsu M. A Global Physics Approach to Transmutation of Radioactive Nuclei. Nuclear Science and Engineering. 1994, Vol.116, no 1, pp. 1–18.
  4. Adamov E.O., Ganev I.Kh., Lopatkin A.V., Muratov V.G., Orlov V.V. Transmutation fuel cycle in Russia’s large-scale nuclear power industry. Moscow. NIKIET, 1999. 273 p. (in Russian).
  5. Strategy for the development of nuclear energy in Russia in the first half of 21st century. Illustration of the main points. Moscow. FGUP «TsNIIATOMINFORM», 2001. 65 p. (in Russian).
  6. International Atomic Energy Agency. Enhancing Benefits of Nuclear Energy Technology Innovation Through Cooperation Among Countries: Final Report of the INPRO Collaborative Project SYNERGIES. Nuclear Energy Series No. NF-T-4.9, 2018.
  7. Kutkov V.A., Polenov B.V., Cherkashin V.A. Radiation safety and radiation control. Obninsk. NOU TsIPK, 2008. 244 p. (in Russian).
  8. Divide the Indivisible. Available at: https://atomicexpert.com/divide_indivisible/ (accessed 19.01.2023) (in Russian).
  9. Gusev N.G., Dmitriev P.P. Radioactive Chains. Directory. Moscow. Energoatomizdat, 1998. 112 p. (in Russian).
  10. Decay schemes of radionuclides. Energy and intensity of radiation. Part 2, book 2. Moscow. Energoizdat, 1987. 480 p. (in Russian).
  11. Korobeynikov V.V., Kolesov V.V., Karazhelevskaya Yu.E., Terekhova A.M. Research on the possibility of burning and transmutation of Am-241 in a reactor with americium fuel. Scope statement: Preprint IPPE-3284. Obninsk, 2014 (in Russian).
  12. At Atomexpo about the raw material supply of the nuclear fuel cycle. Available at: http://www.atominfo.ru/newsz05/a0788.htm (accessed: 21.01.2023) (in Russian).
  13. CEA Nuclear Energy Division. Report on sustainable radioactive waste management. Saclay Centre, France, December 2012. 31 p.
  14. Dekusar V.M., Zrodnikov A.V., Eliseev V.A., Moseev A.L. On the issue of accumulation and reactor utilization of americium in nuclear power engineering. Voprosy atomnoj nauki i tehniki. Series: Nuclear Reactor Constants. 2019, no. 1, pp. 215-223 (in Russian).
  15. Gulevich A.V., Eliseev A.V., Klinov D.A., Korobeynikova L.V., Krychko M.V., Pershukov V.A., Troyanov V.M. Possibility of burning americium in fast reactors. Atomic Energy. 2020, v. 128, no. 2, pp. 88–94. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10512-020-00656-w
  16. Larionov I.A., Lopatkin A.V., Lukasevich I.B., Moroko B.I., Popov V.E. Homogenous transmutation of 237Np, 241Am, 243Am in a lead-cooled fast reactor. Atomic Energy. 2020, v. 129, no. 6, pp. 326-330. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s1051-021-00756-1
  17. Alekseev P.N., Alekseev C.V., Andrianova E.A. Two-component nuclear power system with thermal and fast reactors in the closed nuclear fuel cycle. Ed. By the academician of RAS Ponomarev-Stepnoy N.N. Moscow. Tekhnosphera Pabl., 2016. 160 p. (in Russian).
  18. Tuzov A.A., Troyanov V.M., Gulevich A.V., Gurskaya O.S., Dekusar V.M., Moseev A.L., Simonenko V.A. To the question of the initial stage of the two component nuclear power industry of Russia. Atomic Energy. 2022, v. 133, no. 2, pp. 72–78. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10512-023-00975-8
  19. Dekusar V.M., Moseev A.L., Pupko L.P. Model of the fuel cycle of a fast reactor implemented in the CYCLE code. Scope statement: Preprint IPPE-3298. Obninsk, 2022 (in Russian).
  20. Kalashnikov A.G., Moseev A.L., Dekusar V.M., Korobeynikov V.V., Moseev P.A. Development of the CYCLE software package for system analyses of the nuclear fuel cycle // Izvestia vuzov. Yadernaya Energetika. 2016, no. 1, pp. 91-99; DOI: https://doi.org/10.26583/npe.2016.1.10 (in Russian).

minor actinides thermal reactors fast reactors closed nuclear fuel cycle MOX fuel transmutation economics

Link for citing the article: Gulevich A.V., Usanov V.I., Dekusar V.M., Eliseev V.A., Moseev A.L., Khnykina E.S. Some Economic Aspects of Reducing Americium Production in a Two-Component System of Thermal and Fast Reactors. Izvestiya vuzov. Yadernaya Energetika. 2023, no. 3, pp. 45-56; DOI: https://doi.org/10.26583/npe.2023.3.04 (in Russian).