Lindley, BA and Parks, GT (2012) The performance of closed reactor grade plutonium-thorium fuel cycles in reduced-moderation pressurised water reactors. Annals of Nuclear Energy, 47. pp. 192-203. ISSN 0306-4549Full text not available from this repository.
The production of long-lived transuranic (TRU) waste is a major disadvantage of fission-based nuclear power. Previous work has indicated that TRU waste can be virtually eliminated in a pressurised water reactor (PWR) fuelled with a mixture of thorium and TRU waste, when all actinides are returned to the reactor after reprocessing. However, the optimal configuration for a fuel assembly operating this fuel cycle is likely to differ from the current configuration. In this paper, the differences in performance obtained in a reduced-moderation PWR operating this fuel cycle were investigated using WIMS. The chosen configuration allowed an increase of at least 20% in attainable burn-up for a given TRU enrichment. This will be especially important if the practical limit on TRU enrichment is low. The moderator reactivity coefficients limit the enrichment possible in the reactor, and this limit is particularly severe if a negative void coefficient is required for a fully voided core. Several strategies have been identified to mitigate this. Specifically, the control system should be designed to avoid a detrimental effect on moderator reactivity coefficients. The economic viability of this concept is likely to be dependent on the achievable thermal-hydraulic operating conditions. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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