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Minimization of actinide waste by multi-recycling of thoriated fuels in the EPR reactor

Abstract : The multi‐recycling of innovative uranium/thorium oxide fuels for use in the European Pressurized water Reactor (EPR) has been investigated, using the Monte‐Carlo based simulation code MURE (MCNP Utilities for Reactor Evolution), based on MCNP5. If increasing quantities of 238U, the fertile isotope in standard UO2 fuel, are replaced by 232Th, then a greater yield of new fissile material (233U) is produced during the cycle than would otherwise be the case. This leads to economies of natural uranium of around 30% if the uranium in the spent fuel is multi‐recycled. In addition we show that minor actinide and plutonium waste inventories are reduced and hence waste radio‐toxicities are up to a factor of 20 lower after 103 years. Two innovative fuel types named S90 and S20, ThO2 mixed with 90% and 20% enriched UO2 respectively, are compared as an alternative to standard uranium oxide (UOX) and uranium/plutonium mixed oxide (MOX) fuels at the longest EPR fuel discharge burn‐ups of 65 GWd/t. Fissile and waste inventories are examined, waste radio‐toxicities and decay heats are extracted and safety feedback coefficients are calculated. Finally, we discuss the economics of such strategies.
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Submitted on : Friday, September 23, 2011 - 10:36:13 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, February 3, 2021 - 9:12:31 AM

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S.J. Rose, J.N. Wilson, N. Capellan, S. David, P. Guillemin, et al.. Minimization of actinide waste by multi-recycling of thoriated fuels in the EPR reactor. Third International Workshop on Compound Nuclear Reactions and Related Topics (CNR11), Sep 2011, Prague, Czech Republic. pp.08010, ⟨10.1051/epjconf/20122108010⟩. ⟨in2p3-00625989⟩



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