Multi-recycling of transuranic elements in a PWR assembly with reduced fuel rod diameter
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This paper examines the multi-recycling of transuranic (TRU) elements (Pu-Np-Am-Cm) in standard Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) assemblies. The original feed of TRU comes from legacy spent UOX fuel. For all subsequent recycling passes, TRU elements from the previous generation are employed, supplemented by TRU from legacy UOX fuel, as needed. The design criteria include: 235U enrichment requirements to remain below 5 w/o, TRU loading limits to avoid return to criticality under voided conditions, and assembly power peaking factors. In order to carry out multiple recycling passes within the design envelope, additional neutron moderation is required and achieved by reducing the fuel pellet diameter by about 13%, thus keeping the assembly design compatible with current PWR core internals. TRU transmutation rates and long-term ingestion radiotoxicity results are presented for 15 recycling passes and compared to standard UOX and MOX once-through cycles. The results also show that TRU fuel isotopics and radiotoxicity tend towards an equilibrium, enabling further additional recycling passes. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.
author list (cited authors)
Chambers, A., & Ragusa, J. C.