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Transmutation of All German Transuranium under Nuclear Phase Out Conditions - Is This Feasible from Neutronic Point of View?

Merk B, Litskevich D - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: A basic insight for the optimization of the time duration of the deep burn phase is given.Further on, a detailed balance of different isotopic inventories is given to allow a deeper understanding of the processes during transmutation in the molten salt fast reactor.The effect of modeling and simulation is investigated based on three different modeling strategies and two different code versions.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute of Resource Ecology, Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden - Rossendorf, Dresden, Germany.

ABSTRACT
The German government has decided for the nuclear phase out, but a decision on a strategy for the management of the highly radioactive waste is not defined yet. Partitioning and Transmutation (P&T) could be considered as a technological option for the management of highly radioactive waste, therefore a wide study has been conducted. In the study group objectives for P&T and the boundary conditions of the phase out have been discussed. The fulfillment of the given objectives is analyzed from neutronics point of view using simulations of a molten salt reactor with fast neutron spectrum. It is shown that the efficient transmutation of all existing transuranium isotopes would be possible from neutronic point of view in a time frame of about 60 years. For this task three reactors of a mostly new technology would have to be developed and a twofold life cycle consisting of a transmuter operation and a deep burn phase would be required. A basic insight for the optimization of the time duration of the deep burn phase is given. Further on, a detailed balance of different isotopic inventories is given to allow a deeper understanding of the processes during transmutation in the molten salt fast reactor. The effect of modeling and simulation is investigated based on three different modeling strategies and two different code versions.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Comparison of the, into the core inserted, Cf-249 mass and the, in the core resident, Cf-249 mass over the operation time.
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pone.0145652.g012: Comparison of the, into the core inserted, Cf-249 mass and the, in the core resident, Cf-249 mass over the operation time.

Mentions: Transmutation is a process which is generally driven by different nuclear reactions. To illustrate the process, a detailed analysis of the, into the system inserted and the in core resident masses of the, TRUs are given in Figs 9–12. The figures and the detailed discussion are given to deepen the understanding of the processes driving the transmuter operation and the deep burn phase. The major nuclear reactions are the fission reactions and the capture reactions. On the one hand, there are the fission reactions which lead immediately to a reduction of the TRU inventory in the core. On the other hand, there are the capture reactions which lead to breeding processes. In both processes the observed isotope disappears, but as long as no fission takes place the isotope only forms a higher TRU isotope. Thus, the TRU mass is not reduced and often the radiotoxicity of the unwanted higher isotope is even higher than the one of the precursor. Even a net built up of a specific isotope can appear, if the capture processes leading to an isotope predominates over the fission and the capture processes in the special isotope.


Transmutation of All German Transuranium under Nuclear Phase Out Conditions - Is This Feasible from Neutronic Point of View?

Merk B, Litskevich D - PLoS ONE (2015)

Comparison of the, into the core inserted, Cf-249 mass and the, in the core resident, Cf-249 mass over the operation time.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4696651&req=5

pone.0145652.g012: Comparison of the, into the core inserted, Cf-249 mass and the, in the core resident, Cf-249 mass over the operation time.
Mentions: Transmutation is a process which is generally driven by different nuclear reactions. To illustrate the process, a detailed analysis of the, into the system inserted and the in core resident masses of the, TRUs are given in Figs 9–12. The figures and the detailed discussion are given to deepen the understanding of the processes driving the transmuter operation and the deep burn phase. The major nuclear reactions are the fission reactions and the capture reactions. On the one hand, there are the fission reactions which lead immediately to a reduction of the TRU inventory in the core. On the other hand, there are the capture reactions which lead to breeding processes. In both processes the observed isotope disappears, but as long as no fission takes place the isotope only forms a higher TRU isotope. Thus, the TRU mass is not reduced and often the radiotoxicity of the unwanted higher isotope is even higher than the one of the precursor. Even a net built up of a specific isotope can appear, if the capture processes leading to an isotope predominates over the fission and the capture processes in the special isotope.

Bottom Line: A basic insight for the optimization of the time duration of the deep burn phase is given.Further on, a detailed balance of different isotopic inventories is given to allow a deeper understanding of the processes during transmutation in the molten salt fast reactor.The effect of modeling and simulation is investigated based on three different modeling strategies and two different code versions.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute of Resource Ecology, Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden - Rossendorf, Dresden, Germany.

ABSTRACT
The German government has decided for the nuclear phase out, but a decision on a strategy for the management of the highly radioactive waste is not defined yet. Partitioning and Transmutation (P&T) could be considered as a technological option for the management of highly radioactive waste, therefore a wide study has been conducted. In the study group objectives for P&T and the boundary conditions of the phase out have been discussed. The fulfillment of the given objectives is analyzed from neutronics point of view using simulations of a molten salt reactor with fast neutron spectrum. It is shown that the efficient transmutation of all existing transuranium isotopes would be possible from neutronic point of view in a time frame of about 60 years. For this task three reactors of a mostly new technology would have to be developed and a twofold life cycle consisting of a transmuter operation and a deep burn phase would be required. A basic insight for the optimization of the time duration of the deep burn phase is given. Further on, a detailed balance of different isotopic inventories is given to allow a deeper understanding of the processes during transmutation in the molten salt fast reactor. The effect of modeling and simulation is investigated based on three different modeling strategies and two different code versions.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus