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Deep Burn Strategy for Pure Reactor-Grade Plutonium in Pebble Bed High Temperature Gas-Cooled Reactors

[+] Author Affiliations
Eben Mulder

North West University, North-West, South Africa

Dawid Serfontein

North-West University, North-West, South Africa

Eberhard Teuchert

Nuclear Technical Consultants (Pty.) Ltd., Leverkusen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Paper No. HTR2008-58082, pp. 263-278; 16 pages
doi:10.1115/HTR2008-58082
From:
  • Fourth International Topical Meeting on High Temperature Reactor Technology
  • Fourth International Topical Meeting on High Temperature Reactor Technology, Volume 1
  • Washington, DC, USA, September 28–October 1, 2008
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4854-8 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3834-1
  • Copyright © 2008 by ASME

abstract

In this article an advanced fuel cycle for pebble bed reactors is introduced that can safely and efficiently incinerate pure reactor-grade Pu [Pu(LWR)], thereby fulfilling the bulk of the GNEP waste incineration requirements. It is shown below that the very high fissile content of the Pu(LWR)-fuel enables it to convert practically all of the 240 Pu to 241 Pu and incinerate it. Since the fuel contains no 238 U, no fresh 239 Pu is produced. The 239 Pu is reduced in-situ by 99.5% and the 240 Pu by 97.6%. The only significant fissile isotope remaining is 241 Pu, however, it will decay with a half life of 14.4 years to the fertile 241 Am by β-decay.

Copyright © 2008 by ASME

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