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Research Papers

Transmutation Study of Minor Actinides in Mixed Oxide Fueled Typical Pressurized Water Reactor Assembly

[+] Author and Article Information
Shengli Chen

Sino-French Institute of Nuclear Engineering
and Technology,
Sun Yat-Sen University,
Zhuhai 519082, Guangdong, China
e-mail: chenshl8@mail2.sysu.edu.cn

Cenxi Yuan

Sino-French Institute of Nuclear Engineering
and Technology,
Sun Yat-Sen University,
Zhuhai 519082, Guangdong, China
e-mail: yuancx@mail.sysu.edu.cn

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received October 8, 2017; final manuscript received May 21, 2018; published online September 10, 2018. Editor: Igor Pioro.

ASME J of Nuclear Rad Sci 4(4), 041017 (Sep 10, 2018) (9 pages) Paper No: NERS-17-1142; 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 postprocessing 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 semihomogeneous loading of 237Np in MOX fuels are studied. The results indicate an overall nice efficiency of transmutation in PWR with MOX fuel, especially for 237Np and 241Am, which are primarily generated in the current uranium oxide fuel. In addition, the transmutation efficiency of 237Np is excellent, while its inclusion has no much influence on other MAs. The flattening of power and burnup are achieved by semihomogeneous 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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Figures

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Fig. 1

17 × 17 PWR lattice configuration

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Fig. 2

Relative power distribution in the high plutonium concentration MOX fuel assembly at the BOL

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Fig. 3

Configuration of the 17 × 17 PWR fuel assembly with 32 (left) and 92 (right) MAs loaded pins

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Fig. 4

Actinide concentration in the high plutonium concentration MOX fuel without MA loading

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Fig. 5

Actinide concentration in the low plutonium concentration MOX fuel without MA loading

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Fig. 6

Minor actinide concentration in the high (left) and low (right) plutonium concentration MOX fuels with 1% mixed MAs loading

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Fig. 7

Minor actinide concentration in the high (left) and low (right) plutonium concentration MOX fuels with 1% 237Np loading

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Fig. 8

kinf for no MA loading, homogeneous 1% mixed MAs loading, and homogeneous 1% 237Np loading cases in the high (left) and low (right) plutonium concentration MOX fuels

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Fig. 9

kinf for no MA loading, 32 0.5% 237Np loaded pins, 92 0.5% 237Np loaded pins, and all 0.5% 237Np loaded pins in the high (left) and low (right) plutonium concentration MOX fuels

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