Transmutation Study of Minor Actinides in MOX Fueled Typical PWR Assembly

[+] Author and Article Information
Shengli Chen

Sino-French Institute of Nuclear Engineering and Technology, Sun Yat-Sen University, Zhuhai, 519082, Guangdong, China

Cenxi Yuan

Sino-French Institute of Nuclear Engineering and Technology, Sun Yat-Sen University, Zhuhai, 519082, Guangdong, China

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4040423 History: Received October 08, 2017; Revised May 21, 2018


The management of long-lived radionuclides in spent fuel is a key issue to achieve the closed nuclear fuel cycle and the sustainable development of nuclear energy. The Partitioning-Transmutation method is supposed to efficiently treat the long-lived radionuclides. Accordingly, the transmutation of long-lived Minor Actinides (MAs) is significant for the post-processing of spent fuel. In the present work, the transmutations in Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) Mixed OXide (MOX) fuel are investigated through the Monte Carlo neutron transport method. Two types of MAs are homogeneously incorporated into MOX fuel assembly with different mixing ratios. In addition, two types of design of semi-homogeneous loading of $^{237}$Np in MOX fuels are studied. The results indicate an overall nice efficiency of transmutation in PWR with MOX fuel, especially for $^{237}$Np and $^{241}$Am, which are primarily generated in the current UOX fuel. In addition, the transmutation efficiency of $^{237}$Np is excellent, while its inclusion has no much influence on other MAs. The flattening of power and burnup are achieved by semi-homogeneous loading of MAs. The uncertainties of Monte Carlo method are negligible, while those due to nuclear data change little the conclusions of the transmutation of MAs. The transmutation of MAs in MOX fuel is expected to be an efficient method for spent fuel management.

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