Fissile fuel breeding with peaceful nuclear explosives


Sahin S., Yalcin S., Yildiz K.

FUSION ENGINEERING AND DESIGN, vol.65, no.4, pp.643-656, 2003 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 65 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2003
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/s0920-3796(03)00397-1
  • Title of Journal : FUSION ENGINEERING AND DESIGN
  • Page Numbers: pp.643-656

Abstract

Neutron physics analysis of a dual purpose modified PACER concept has been conducted. A protective liquid droplet jet zone of 2 m thickness is considered as coolant, energy carrier, and fusile and fissile breeder. Flibe as the main constituent is mixed with increased mole-fractions of heavy metal salt (ThF4 and UF4) starting by 2 up to 12 mol.%. The neutronic model assumed a 30 m radius underground spherical geometry cavity with a 1 cm thick SS-304 stainless steel liner attached to the excavated rock wall. By a self-sufficient tritium breeding of 1.05 with 5 mol.% ThF4, or 9 mol.% UF4 an excess nuclear fuel breeding rate of 1900 kg/year of U-233 or 3000 kg/year Pu-239 of extremely high isotopic purity can be realized. This precious fuel can be considered for special applications, such as spacecraft reactors or other compact reactors. The heavy metal constituents in jet zone acts as an energy amplifier, leading to an energy multiplication of M = 1.27 or 1.65 for 5 mol.% ThF4, or 9 mol.% UF4, respectively. As an immediate result of the strong neutron attenuation in the jet zone, radiation damage with dpa < 1.4 and He < 7 ppm after a plant operation period of 30 years will be well below the damage limit values. The site could essentially be abandoned, or the cavity could be used as a shallow burial site for other qualified materials upon decommissioning. Finally, the totality of the site with all nuclear peripheral sections must be internationally safeguarded carefully, (C) 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.