Transuranic Mixed Oxide Fuel Use in CANDU
International Conference on the Future of Heavy Water Reactors - 2011 October 02-05


Presented at:
International Conference on the Future of Heavy Water Reactors
2011 October 02-05
Location:
Ottawa, Canada
Session Title:
Transmutation

Authors:
A.C. Morreale (McMaster University)
David R. Novog (McMaster University)
John Luxat (McMaster University)
  

Abstract

Advanced fuel cycles that move beyond once-through strategies are important methods of dealing with spent fuel inventories minimizing demand for long term depositories.  Fast reactor technology provides a solution to close the fuel cycle but is costly and complicated.  There is a potential for current thermal spectrum reactors, such as CANDU[1], to provide an initial step in the utilization of spent fuel and reduce the fast reactor infrastructure required.  A popular method is the extraction of actinides (e.g. Np, Pu, Am, Cm, etc.) from spent fuel and combining them with natural uranium in a mixed oxide format to be utilized in current thermal reactors.  The burning of actinide-based mixed oxide fuel in CANDU is explored herein.  The TRUMOX fuel type has actinide contents of 4.75wt% and 3.10wt% and target burnup levels of 45 and 30 MWd/kgHE.  The lattice is modeled in 2D with WIMS-AECL v3.121 and 3D super-cell calculations are performed in DRAGON v3.06.  The 2-group homogenized cross section data is then utilized for full core simulations in RFSP.  Time-average and instantaneous fuel ripple simulations were performed along with short-term refueling and an evaluation of reactor coefficients and control device worth.  The TRUMOX fuel designs were found to operate within the standard CANDU safety limits and provided a suitable level of actinide destruction (between 35-42%).  These simulations illustrate the potential for the CANDU reactor to be an initial step for the utilization of spent fuel and contributing to a more sustainable and efficient nuclear fuel cycle using proven reactor technologies.



[1] CANadian Deuterium Uranium (CANDU) is a registered trademark of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL)

Individual Conference-Paper Copies (Electronic Where Available):

  • For CNS members, the first 5 copies per calendar year are free, and additional copies are $10 each.
  • For non-members, the price is $25 for the first Conference-paper copy in a request, and $10 each for additional copies of papers in the same conference and in the same request.
  • Contact the CNS office to order reprints.