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[en] The Plutonium Utilization Program (PUP) of the USAEC is being carried out by the Pacific Northwest Laboratory of Battelle Memorial Institute. The basic mission of the program has been to develop the- base technology necessary for the implementation of plutonium recycle in commercial power reactors. Hie program scope has been quite broad in the past, including plutonium fuels development, chemical reprocessing studies, physics of plutonium-enriched systems, and technical and economic optimization studies of plutonium-enriched reactors. More recently, the major efforts have been directed toward solving the immediate problems of utilizing plutonium as enrichment in refueling cycles in the present generation of H2O moderated and cooled power reactors. This report summarizes the current and planned program activities. Another report prepared for the panel meeting ''Results from USAEC Plutonium Utilization Program Conducted by Battelle-Northwest'' presents detailed results and conclusions from the programs and therefore these will not be presented here. The major emphasis of the program are on physics and fuels developments.
[en] Activities of research and development carried out in Italy on the Thorium Cycle concern: A. Technical-economic evaluations; B. Irradiation Experiments; C. Reactor physics measurements; D. Technological research on fuel fabrication and reprocessing
[en] The need to develop plutonium as a thermal reactor fuel has long been recognized. The AEC has supported extensive development programs at the National Laboratories since 19S6. However, certain integrated engineering tests and commercial fabrication facilities were lacking. Recognizing this lack, Westinghouse, in cooperation with the AEC, EEI, ESADA, Euratom and others has taken the lead in correcting this situation by implementing a long-range integrated Plutonium Recycle Demonstration Program. Key elements in the program are: • Saxton Plutonium Program • EEI Plutonium Utilization Study • ESADA Critical Experiment Program #bullet# Initial Assembly Demonstration #bullet# Region Demonstration • Facilities Program.
[en] An exact assessment of the economics of uranium recycling in the LWR fuel cycle is a complex matter as it depends on many parameters and boundary conditions. However, the recycling of reprocessed uranium (REPU) can allow for substantial savings of natural uranium (NATU) and separative work as compared to a reactor refuelling scheme which only uses freshly enriched natural uranium. Commercial and financial impacts are partly subject to factors which cannot be influenced by users, and must be assessed by interested parties as a function of their specific conditions. For this reason, they are not further examined within the scope of this paper. There are several possibilities for the recycling of REPU, the most important being via re-enrichment, and the second by using it as a carrier for MOX fuel ((U-Pu)02 fuel). A third possibility is that of blending with enriched NATU. In the case of re-enrichment, the savings depend upon the quality of the REPU, mainly the residual enrichment and the 236U content. The latter is very important as 236U is a neutron poison, and for this reason, the REPU must be enriched to a higher degree than NATU fuel of equivalent reactivity. Based upon a 1300 MWe PWR power plant, the range of possible savings through the recycling of uranium and plutonium is assessed. The production of electric power by one tonne of NATU is calculated as a function of burnup as well as the corresponding productivity increase due to recycling. This shows to be within a range of about 30 to 40%. It will be up to the involved industry to ensure conditions which will allow for lower fuel cycle costs per kWh through recycling, as compared to the open cycle. (author). 8 figs
[en] This paper makes an estimate of the cost to Egypt of the programme of plutonium recycle described in INFCE/DEP./WG-4/133 and 134. This was done by estimating the spent fuel arisings that might be anticipated from the Egyptian programme and the costs related to spent fuel transport, reprocessing, waste transport and disposal, based on the unit fuel cycle costs summarised in INFCE/DEP./WG--4/85. The paper concludes that the cost to Egypt of plutonium recycle would appear to exceed the savings described in INFCE/DEP./WG-4/134. The paper goes on to perform a simple cost benefit analysis of storing the spent fuel arising from Egypt's nuclear programme and concludes that the once-through cycle could save a small nuclear programme like Egypt's several hundred million dollars by the turn of the century
[en] The importance for Pu-recycle for Germany lies in the specific fuel supply-situation. Pu-containing fuel is still made under relatively severe cost penalties. By optimisation of fuel distribution in light water lattices and by optimised fabrication technique this problem can be solved. Different fabrication routes are compared in their relative merits. The present status of the recycle Program in Germany is outlined. (author)
[en] This paper gives reference information on BWR and PWR 1,000 MW(e) reactors which might be used for plutonium recycle. The self-generating plutonium recycle system, explained in the text, is used. The information, in textual, tabular and diagrammatic form, is divided into 10 headings: Definition of the plant, core fuel load, annual fuel load, design burn-up, physics design characteristics, fuel assembly size and weight, discharge fuel energy generation rate after 90 days cooling, utilities and services required, plant layout, safety analysis and impact on the environment
[en] This paper augments the information given in INFCE/DEP./WG-4/48 by giving annual fuel cycle requirements for near-equilibrium cycles and by showing the isotopic composition of Pu in different cycles together with the specific acitivity, dose rates and neutron yields of these mixtures
[en] This paper presents an economic evaluation of plutonium recycle in LWR's using published estimates of the cost of the various fuel cycle operations. Total, discounted and levelized fuel cycle costs are computed for four national nuclear power growth pattern scenarios; ''super large'' (>100GW(e) by 2000), ''large'' (60-70GW(e) by 2000) ''medium'' (20-25 GW(e) by 2000) and ''small'' (5-10GW(e) by 2000). It is concluded that in the ''super-large'' and ''large'' cases recycle of uranium and plutonium would have a slight economic advantage over the once-through cycle. In the ''medium'' and ''small'' cases there would be no economic advantage up to the year 2000. The uncertainty in unit fuel cycle costs is large compared with the differences between the two fuel cycles and different conclusions can easily be drawn based on different unit cost assumptions
[en] Taking as their starting point the various power reactor construction programmes, the authors estimate in the first part of the paper the production of plutonium in the non-socialist world for the period up to 1980. They also estimate the plutonium requirements of the various fast reactor programmes. For the period up to 1970-71, it is found that United States requirements will be satisfied only by drawing on the United States Atomic Energy Commission's stocks and through the exchange agreement with the United Kingdom. For the rest of the world, resources and requirements will be more or less in equilibrium. From 1971 onwards production will greatly exceed the requirements of fast reactors, which will still only be at the prototype stage. If it is assumed that the large-scale construction of fast reactors will not begin until ten years later, the only outlet for plutonium, for which there will no longer be a guarantee of repurchase by the USAEC in the case of enriched uranium reactors, will consist of recycling in thermal reactors. Storage with a view to re-use in breeders at a more remote and indeterminate date would impose an intolerable financial burden on power reactor operators. The question thus arises whether a collapse in the price of plutonium will occur after 1970. In the second part of the paper the authors attempt to predict the course of such a price collapse, followed by a rise as breeders enter service on a commercial basis. They discuss the effects that the absence of plutonium stocks and die competition of recycling in thermal reactors might have on the commercial introduction of breeders. Finally, an attempt is made to determine by what mechanisms a harmonious market for plutonium could be assured during the next fifteen years. (author)
[fr]Dans une première partie on procède - î partir des programmes de construction de centrales nucléaires - à une estimation de la production de plutonium dans le monde non socialiste jusqu'en 1980. On estime par ailleurs les besoins de plutonium des divers programmes de réacteurs de la filière rapide. On constate que dans une première période allant jusqu'en 1970 ou 1971 les besoins américains ne seront satisfaits que grâce aux stocks de la Commission de l'énergie atomique et au contrat de troc avec le Royaume-Uni. Pour le reste du monde, ressources et besoins sont à peu près équilibrés. A partir de 1971, la production dépassera très largement les besoins des réacteurs rapides, qui ne seront encore qu'à l'état de prototypes. Si l'on admet que leur construction en série ne commencera que 10 ans plus tard, le plutonium, qui pour les réacteurs a uranium enrichi ne bénéficiera plus de la garantie de rachat de la CEA des Etats-Unis, n'aura d'autre débouché que le recyclage dans les réacteurs thermiques. Le stockage en vue d'une réutilisation dans les surgénérateurs à une date lointaine et indéterminée constituerait en effet pour les exploitants de centrales une charge financière intolérable. Assistera-t-on à partir de 1970 à un effondrement du prix du plutonium? Dans la deuxième partie, on essaie de prévoir comment s'opérerait un tel effondrement, puis la remontée du prix lors du démarrage industriel des surgénérateurs et quelles conséquences pourraient avoir sur ce démarrage l'absence de stock de plutonium et la concurrence du recyclage dans les réacteurs thermiques. En conclusion, on essaie de définir les mécanismes qui pourraient permettre un fonctionnement harmonieux du marché du plutonium dans les 15 prochaines années. (author)