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Session Overview
9.02: Fuel Management and Recycling
Tuesday, 17/Mar/2020:
11:15am - 12:45pm

Session Chair: Ayodeji Babatunde Alajo, Missouri University of Science & Technology, United States of America
Location: L-2012

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Burning of minor actinides in two-component nuclear energy system

Yuriy Khomyakov1, Mikhail Skupov2, Andrei Shadrin1, Yuriy Mochalov1

1ITCP "PRORYV"; 2Bochvar Institute

The transfer from nuclear energy based on thermal reactors (TR) to the energy system with fast reactors (FR) will be done through the coexistence of both reactor types. Advanced energy system with FR will use the mixed uranium-plutonium oxide (MOX) or nitride (MNIT) fuel.

It is planned to involve Np and Am in the FR fuel cycle together with plutonium from TR spent nuclear fuel (SNF). The storage is proposed for Cm for decay into Pu and involving of Pu to the fuel cycle.

The fuel cycle of TR also suggests the use of mixed uranium-plutonium fuel (MOX, REMIX), but without involving minor actinides (MA). There is operating plant for all SNF type reprocessing and under constriction plant for VVER-1000 SNF reprocessing in RUSSIA. The production of MOX fuel for FR BN-800 is being processed at MCC and “Mayak”. The development of REMIX fuel fabrication technology is started.

The production of MNIT fuel for the BREST-300 FR should be started in 2022 on SCC (Seversk) site.

This fabrication plant of the experimental demonstration energy complex (ODEK) being created at the SCC site. ODEK will also include reactor BREST with lead coolant and SNF reprocessing plant.

The technology of carbothermal synthesis of MNIT fuel containing MA will be implemented in ODEC fuel fabrication plan. The safe operation of the MNIT fuel till burnup of 6 % h.a. is justified.

The combined (pyro + hydro) and hydrometallurgy technologies for SNF reprocessing are under development. Technologies includes the joint recovery of U-Pu-Np and separation of Am and Cm.

The infrastructure for use of mixed uranium-plutonium fuel is being created in RUSSIA. Intensive research is underway to develop a nuclear cycle based on TR and FR as a transition to FR fuel cycle. The prototype of FR fuel cycle is developing under PRORYV project.

Light water reactors with the thorium-uranium heterogeneous fuel in a nuclear energy system with fusion and fission reactors

Evgeniy Anatolievich Bobrov, Victor Yurievich Blandinskiy, Olga Vladimirovna Davidenko, Timofey Yurievich Karpushkin, Sergey Victorovich Tsybulskiy

NRC "Kurchatov institute"

The fuel of modern light-water reactors contains a large amount of uranium-238. On the one hand, it makes it possible to breed a certain amount of fuel even in a thermal reactor. On the other hand, it absorbs neutrons and is a source of minor actinides generation. This work focuses on the concept of heterogeneous fuel. According to this concept fissile and fertile materials are placed in different fuel pellets which are arranged inside the same fuel pin of a conventional reactor. With this approach, a large number of fuel nuclides will be concentrated in fuel pellets of high enrichment. When usingfuel pellets containing microfuel in graphite matrix, it will be possible to achieve high burnups, which will allow them to be unloaded from the core and sent for direct disposal without reprocessing. At the same time, the amount of fission products will be reduced in pellets with raw materials, which will facilitate the process of their reprocessing. On the one hand, this approach will allow production of a certain amount of fissile material and will allow using a simplified reprocessing technology for its extraction. On the other hand, within the framework of this concept, it is possible to significantly reduce the risks of radiation exposure to the environment due to the practical complete burning of fissile material in fuel pellets and the refusal to reprocess them.

The work presents the nuclide balances for the fuel lifetime in the uranium-plutonium and thorium-uranium fuel cycles of the LWR reactor with heterogeneous fuel.

The study is being carried out with the financial support of the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR) within the framework of the scientific project No. 19-29-02015.

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