Izvestiya vuzov. Yadernaya Energetika

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

Assessment of the possibility for large-scale 238Pu production in a VVER-1000 power reactor

9/25/2023 2023 - #03 Modelling processes at nuclear facilities

Shmelev A.N. Geraskin N.I. Apse V.A. Kulikov G.G. Kulikov E.G. Glebov V.B.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.26583/npe.2023.3.10

UDC: 621.039.8

The paper presents the estimates for the possibility for large-scale production of 238Pu in the core of a VVER-1000 power reactor. The Np-fraction of minor actinides extracted from transuranic radioactive waste is proposed to be used as the starting material. The irradiation device with NpO 2 fuel elements is installed at the reactor core center. The NpO 2 fuel lattice pitch is varied and the irradiation device is surrounded by a heavy moderator layer to create the best possible spectral conditions for large-scale production (~ 3 kg/year) of conditioned plutonium with the required isotopic composition (not less than 85% of 238Pu and not more than 2 ppm of 236Pu). Plutonium with such isotopic composition can be used as the thermal source in thermoelectric radioisotope generators and in cardiac pacemakers. It has been demonstrated that the estimated scale of the 238Pu production in a VVER-type power reactor exceeds considerably the existing scale of its production in research reactors.


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238Pu thermoelectric radioisotope generators irradiation device VVER-1000 reactors

Link for citing the article: Shmelev A.N., Geraskin N.I., Apse V.A., Kulikov G.G., Kulikov E.G., Glebov V.B. Assessment of the possibility for large-scale 238Pu production in a VVER-1000 power reactor. Izvestiya vuzov. Yadernaya Energetika. 2023, no. 3, pp. 118-126; DOI: https://doi.org/10.26583/npe.2023.3.10 (in Russian).