About 100 MT of excess plutonium are going to be originated from warheads dismantling under the START II agreements (50 MT by each side US and former Soviet Union), and another about 200 MT are already stockpiled from commercial spent fuel reprocessing. The civilian or reactor grade plutonium (RG-Pu), amounted at about 1000 MT total world inventory at the end of 1995, and is forecasted to attain some 1500 MT by the year 2000. Therefore, there is a pressing need in finding novel and ever more safe methods to deal with all kind of excess plutonium in the aim of rendering it ultimately unusable for proliferation purposes.As to weapons Pu, one leading option (US and Russia) is to burn it in LWRs after having converted it to MOX fuel. However, among the possible types of fuel which can be envisaged to burn plutonium in LWRs, innovative U-free fuels such as inert matrix and thoria fuel are novel conceptd that find justification since, especially for weapons Pu transmutation, the precisely required fuel is not immediately available and even for the LWR weapon-MOX, processes and facilities have to be set-up before reaching the operational stage.From calculations related to inert matrix U-free fuel in a commercial PWR, in a once-through cycle mode, emerges that IMF has the highest Pu burning capability: >93% of fissile plutonium and 74/85% of total WG-Pu and RG-Pu, is burnt at end of fuel life. The fabrication tests on simulate fuel demonstrate that the nuclear-grade specifications can be met and a very limited solubility under the current fuel reprocessing techniques, coupled to the quality-poor residual Pu in the spent fuel, will make the proposed fuel a potentially strong anti-proliferation product.

Innovative Uranium-free Fuels for Weapons Plutonium Disposition in Current LWRs

Padoani, F.;Lombardi, C.
1998-07-02

Abstract

About 100 MT of excess plutonium are going to be originated from warheads dismantling under the START II agreements (50 MT by each side US and former Soviet Union), and another about 200 MT are already stockpiled from commercial spent fuel reprocessing. The civilian or reactor grade plutonium (RG-Pu), amounted at about 1000 MT total world inventory at the end of 1995, and is forecasted to attain some 1500 MT by the year 2000. Therefore, there is a pressing need in finding novel and ever more safe methods to deal with all kind of excess plutonium in the aim of rendering it ultimately unusable for proliferation purposes.As to weapons Pu, one leading option (US and Russia) is to burn it in LWRs after having converted it to MOX fuel. However, among the possible types of fuel which can be envisaged to burn plutonium in LWRs, innovative U-free fuels such as inert matrix and thoria fuel are novel conceptd that find justification since, especially for weapons Pu transmutation, the precisely required fuel is not immediately available and even for the LWR weapon-MOX, processes and facilities have to be set-up before reaching the operational stage.From calculations related to inert matrix U-free fuel in a commercial PWR, in a once-through cycle mode, emerges that IMF has the highest Pu burning capability: >93% of fissile plutonium and 74/85% of total WG-Pu and RG-Pu, is burnt at end of fuel life. The fabrication tests on simulate fuel demonstrate that the nuclear-grade specifications can be met and a very limited solubility under the current fuel reprocessing techniques, coupled to the quality-poor residual Pu in the spent fuel, will make the proposed fuel a potentially strong anti-proliferation product.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12079/3681
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