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Polonium Issue in Fast Reactor Lead Coolants and One of the Ways of Its Solution

[+] Author Affiliations
G. L. Khorasanov, A. P. Ivanov, A. I. Blokhin

State Scientific Center of Russian Federation, Obninsk, Kaluga, Russia

Paper No. ICONE10-22330, pp. 711-717; 7 pages
  • 10th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering
  • 10th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering, Volume 2
  • Arlington, Virginia, USA, April 14–18, 2002
  • Conference Sponsors: Nuclear Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-3596-0 | eISBN: 0-7918-3589-8
  • Copyright © 2002 by ASME


One of the main issues in using materials for nuclear facilities is to minimize the production of the most hazardous radionuclides. In the ideal case, all nuclear reactor materials, except a fuel, should be low-activation. The term “low-activation material” means that this one loses its induced activity in a short time after removal from irradiation. Proposals for building a fusion reactor using low-activation materials are given in Ref.1, 2. For this purpose, low-activation structural materials based on V-Ti-Cr alloys are in the stage of R&D in several countries [3,4]. Another technique to avoid the hazardous activity is in using isotopically enriched materials [5–7]. Although isotopical tailoring option requires tremendous technical efforts and it is too expensive, its application can be first of all assumed for those structural and functional materials which generate very hazardous radionuclides under irradiation. In modern projects of next generation NPPs the preference is given to fast reactors (FRs) with a lead coolant [8]. As it known, the coolant circulating through a FR core is activated, and in the future we should have problems with handling a completed coolant after FR decommissioning or at realization of repair or emergency activities. There, it is desirable to have a low-activation coolant with the low contents of hazardous radionuclides. In papers [9,10] presented at the previous ICONE conferences it was proposed to use lead isotope, Pb-206, as a coolant instead of lead natural, Pb-nat. This paper is devoted to more detailed calculations of accumulating stable bismuth, Bi-209, and polonium radioisotopes, Po-209 (T1/2 = 102 y) and Po-210 (T1/2 = 138 d), in 1 kg of Pb-nat or Pb-206 placed in the core of the BOR-60 type FR.

Copyright © 2002 by ASME



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