Scoping Study of a Thorium Reactor Driven by PWR-Derived Plutonium
32nd Annual CNS Conference - 2011 June 05-08

Presented at:
32nd Annual CNS Conference
2011 June 05-08
Niagara Falls, Canada
Session Title:
Advanced Reactors and Fuel Cycles

Yonni Friedlander (McMaster University)
Bronwyn Hyland (Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd.)
Geoff Edwards (Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd)
John C. Luxat (McMaster University)


This paper investigates the potential uranium savings from operating thorium-fuelled CANDU© reactors driven by PWR-derived plutonium and recycled 233U. Because 233U production in the thorium fuels is optimized at lower exit burnups, less external fissile driver material is required for the operation of the thorium reactors and natural uranium savings of the overall fuel cycle are increased.  Assuming the same exit burnup is achieved by reactors with Pu+Th fuel and reactors with 233U+Pu+Th fuel, it was determined that a 40 MWd/kg exit burnup yielded a 52% savings of natural uranium, compared to a scenario in which all power came from PWRs, while a 20 MWd/kg exit burnup increased the savings to 75%. 

 CANDU© is a registered trademark of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL).

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