Optimisation of composite metallic fuel for minor actinide transmutation in an accelerator-driven system

Wim Uyttenhove, Vitaly Sobolev, Werner Maschek

    Research outputpeer-review


    A potential option for neutralization of minor actinides (MA) accumulated in spent nuclear fuel of light water reactors (LWRs) is their transmutation in dedicated accelerator-driven systems (ADS). A promising fuel candidate dedicated to MA transmutation is a CERMET composite with Mo metal matrix and (Pu, Np, Am, Cm)O_2x fuel particles. Results of optimisation studies of the CERMET fuel targeting to increasing the MA transmutation efficiency of the EFIT (European Facility for Industrial Transmutation) core are presented. In the adopted strategy of MA burning the plutonium (Pu) balance of the core is minimized, allowing a reduction in the reactivity swing and the peak power form-factor deviation and an extension of the cycle duration. The MA/Pu ratio is used as a variable for the fuel optimisation studies. The efficiency of MA transmutation is close to the foreseen theoretical value of 42 kg TW1 h1 when level of Pu in the actinide mixture is about 40 wt.%. The obtained results are compared with the reference case of the EFIT core loaded with the composite CERCER fuel, where fuel particles are incorporated in a ceramic magnesia matrix. The results of this study offer additional information for the EFIT fuel selection.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)192-199
    JournalJournal of Nuclear Materials
    Issue number1-2
    StatePublished - Sep 2011
    EventEuropean Material Research Society Conference - EMRS, Strasbourg
    Duration: 7 Jun 201011 Jun 2010

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