REDUCTION OF WEAPON GRADE PLUTONIUM INVENTORIES IN A THORIUM BURNER


ŞAHİN S., Sahin H. M. , ACIR A.

FUSION SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, vol.61, pp.250-255, 2012 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 61
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Doi Number: 10.13182/fst12-a13428
  • Title of Journal : FUSION SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
  • Page Numbers: pp.250-255

Abstract

Large quantities of weapon grade (WG) plutonium have been accumulated in the nuclear warheads. Plutonium and heavy water moderator can give a good combination with respect to neutron economy. TRISO type fuel can withstand very high fuel burn up levels. The paper investigates the prospects of utilization of TRISO fuel made of WG-plutonium in CANDU reactors. Three different fuel compositions have been investigated: (1): 90 % ThC + 10 % PuC, (2): 70 % ThC + 30 % PziC and (3): 50 ThC + 50 % PuC. The temporal variation of the criticality k(infinity) and the burn-up values of the reactor have been calculated by full power operation up to 17 years. Calculated startup criticalities for these fuel modes are k(infinity),(0) = 1.6403, 1.7228, 1.7662, respectively. Attainable burn up values and reactor operation times with the same fuel charge will be 94 700, 265 000, 425 000 MW.D/MT and similar to 3.5, 10, 17 years, respectively. These high burn ups would reduce fuel fabrication costs and nuclear waste mass for final disposal per unit energy drastically.