Izvestiya vuzov. Yadernaya Energetika

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

On Plutonium-241 and Americium in the Two-Component Nuclear Energy System

6/05/2024 2024 - #02 Current issues in nuclear energy

Troyanov V.M. Gulevich A.V. Gurskaya O.S. Dekusar V.M. Eliseev V.A. Moseev A.L.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.26583/npe.2024.2.01

UDC: 621.039.5

The article concerns the influence of the strategy for using released plutonium from spent fuel of thermal and fast reactors, as well as homogeneous burning of americium in the core of a BN reactor on the balance of americium in the Russian nuclear fuel cycle throughout the 21st century. The assessment is carried out using mathematical modelling of nuclear materials movement including nuclide changes throughout nuclear power system by computer code CYCLE.

Modelling of the americium and Pu-241 accumulation in the two-component nuclear power system with thermal (VVER) and fast (BN) reactors was carried out. In so doing, SNF reprocessing was modeled in 2 options: as priority reprocessing of SNF from VVER reactors or SNF from BN reactors. In addition to the accumulation of americium in the system without burning, the accumulation of this actinide was studied taking into account its homogeneous burning in the MOX-fuel of fast reactors at the level of its equilibrium content of ~1%.

It has been shown that priority reprocessing of VVER spent fuel makes it possible to reduce the americium accumulation by ~8 tons by the end of the century, and the effect is achieved by using freshly separated plutonium with short cooling, thereby priority destroying the americium source – Pu-241 without directly handling it.

To prevent the americium accumulation, the option of its homogeneous addition to the core fuel of fast reactors of the BN-1200 type at the level of its equilibrium content was also considered. This makes it possible to stop the accumulation of americium in the two-component nuclear system by 2070, stabilizing it at the level of ~40 tons in the scenario with priority reprocessing of VVER SNF and ~50 tons in the scenario with priority reprocessing of BN SNF.


  1. Dekusar V.M., Zrodnikov A.V., Eliseev V.A., Moseev A.L. On the issue of accumulation and reactor utilization of americium in nuclear energy. VANT. Seriya: Yaderno-reaktornyye konstanty. 2019, no 1, pp. 215 – 223. DOI: https://doi.org/10.55176/2414-1038-2019-1-215-223 (in Russian).
  2. Gulevich A.V., Eliseev V.A., Klinov D.A., Korobeynikova L.V., Kryachko M.V., Pershukov V.A., Troyanov V.M. Possibility of burning americium in fast reactors. Atomic energy. 2020, v. 128, iss. 2, pp. 88 – 94. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10512-020-00656-w
  3. Camarcat N., Garzenne C., Mer J., Leroyer H., Desroches E., Delbecq J.-M. Industrial research for transmutation scenarios. Comptes Rendus Mecanique. 2011, v. 339, iss. 4, pp. 209 – 218. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.crme.2011.01.006
  4. Homogeneous versus Heterogeneous Recycling of Transuranics in Fast Nuclear Reactors. — Nuclear Science, ISBN 978-92-64-99177-4, OECD 2012. NEA. No. 7077, p. 52. Available at: https://www.oecdnea.org/upload/docs/application/pdf/2019-12/7077-hvh-recycling-transuranics-fnr.pdf (accessed Mar.15, 2024).
  5. Actinide and Fission Product Partitioning and Transmutation, Status and Assessment Report, OECD- NEA, 1999. Available at: https://www.oecd-nea.org/trw/docs/neastatus99/ (accessed Mar.15, 2024).
  6. Status of Minor Actinide Fuel Development. IAEA Nuclear Energy Series Technical Reports No. NF-T-4.6. International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna, 2009, Available at: https://www.iaea.org/publications/8224/ status-of-minor-actinide-fuel-development (accessed Mar.15, 2024).
  7. Rabotnov N.S. Transmutation of transuranics: neutronics, actinides balance, safety and fuel provision aspects. Fourth International Information Exchange meeting, Mito. 1996. Available at: https://oecd-nea.org/ pt/docs/iem/mito96/session-2/RabotnovS2.pdf (accessed Mar.15, 2024).
  8. Kalashnikov A.G., Moseev A.L., Dekusar V.M., Korobeinikov V.V., Moseev P.A. Development of the CYCLE software package for system analysis of the nuclear fuel cycle. Izvestiya vuzov. Yadernaya Energetika, 2016, no 1, pp. 91 – 99. DOI: https://doi.org/10.26583/npe.2016.1.10 (in Russian).
  9. The White Paper of Nuclear Energy. Closed-loop NFC with fast reactors. Under the general editorship of E.O. Adamov. Moscow, JSC NIKIET Publ., 2020, 496 p. (in Russian).
  10. Alekseev P.N., Alekseev S.V., Andrianova E.A., Asmolov V.G., Dekusar V.M., Zrodnikov A.V., Kagramanyan V.S., Koltun O.V., Pavlov A.S., Ponomarev-Stepnoy N.N., Subbotin S.A., Temishev R.R., Teplov P.S., Usanov V.I., Tsibulskii V.F. Two-component Nuclear Energy System with Thermal and Fast Reactors in a Closed Nuclear Fuel Cycle. Ed. by N.N. Ponomarev-Stepnoy. Moscow, Tehnosfera, 2016, 160 p. Available at: https://elib.biblioatom.ru/text/dvuhkomponentnaya-yadernaya-systema_2016 (accessed Mar.15, 2024) (in Russian).
  11. Tuzov A.A., Troyanov V.M., Gulevich A.V., Gurskaya O.S., Dekusar V.M., Moseev A.L., Simonenko V.A. The Initial Stage of Closing the NFC of the Russian Two-Component Nuclear Power Engineering System. Atomic energy. 2022, v. 133, iss. 2, pp. 72 – 78. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10512-023-00975-8
  12. Tuzov A.A., Gulevich A.V., Gurskaya O.S., Dekusar V.M., Eliseev V.A., Zarapina E.M., Troyanov V.M. Features of Americium transmutation in Fast Reactor of the Type BN-1200M. Atomic energy. 2023, v. 134, iss. 5–6, pp. 230–238. Available at: https://j-atomicenergy.ru/index.php/ae/article/view/5303 (accessed Mar.25, 2024) (in Russian).
  13. Troyanov V.M., Gulevich A.V., Gurskaya О.S., Dekusar V.M., Eliseev V.A., Korobeynikov V.V., Moseev A.L. System Features of Fast Sodium Reactors in a Two-Component Structure of Nuclear Power Generating. Izvestiya vuzov. Yadernaya Energetika. 2024, no. 1, pp. 5 – 17. DOI: https://doi.org/10.26583/ npe.2024.1.01 (in Russian).

two-component nuclear power system modelling fast neutron reactor spent nuclear fuel plutonium americium homogeneous burning

Link for citing the article: Troyanov V.M., Gulevich A.V., Gurskaya O.S., Dekusar V.M., Eliseev V.A., Moseev A.L. On Plutonium-241 and Americium in the Two-Component Nuclear Energy System. Izvestiya vuzov. Yadernaya Energetika. 2024, no. 2, pp. 8-18; DOI: https://doi.org/10.26583/npe.2024.2.01 (in Russian).