Impact of PWR spent fuel variations on TRU-fueled VHTRS
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Several alternative strategies are being considered as spent nuclear fuel (SNF) management options. Transuranic nuclides (TRU) are responsible for the SNF long-term radiotoxicity beyond the first 500 years. One of the most viable approaches suggests creating new transmutation fuels containing TRUs for use in thermal and fast nuclear reactors. Irradiation of TRUs results in their transmutation and ultimate incineration by fission. The objective of this thesis is to analyze the impact of conventional PWR spent fuel variations on TRU-fueled Very High Temperature Reactor (VHTR) systems. This effort was focused on the prismatic core configuration. The 3D core models were created for use in calculations with the SCALE 5.1 code system. As part of the research effort, basic nuclear characteristics of TRUs were taken into consideration. The potential variations of PWR spent fuel compositions were modeled with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Nuclear Fuel Cycle Simulation System, VISTA. The VHTR configurations with varying TRU compositions were analyzed assuming a single-batch core operation. Their performance was compared to the VHTR cases with low enriched uranium (LEU). The analysis shows that TRUs can be effectively utilized in the VHTR systems. The TRU-fueled VHTRs exhibit favorable performance characteristics.
Alajo, Ayodeji Babatunde (2007). Impact of PWR spent fuel variations on TRU-fueled VHTRS. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from