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[en] This paper summarises the work done in India in the field of physics and economics of plutonium utilization. Plutonium recycle was considered in Tarapur Atomic Power Project and Rajasthan Atomic Power Project and the results obtained are presented in this paper. A short description of the plutonium laboratory being constructed in India i s also presented. (author)
[en] The investigation of the thorium fuel cycle (ThFC) is a collaborative INPRO (International Project on Innovative Nuclear Reactors and Fuel Cycles) activity within its main area on global vision on sustainable nuclear energy for the 21st century. The current publication reports on the sustainability of nuclear power by re-examining the potential of thorium-based fuel cycles to support future large scale deployment of nuclear energy systems by increasing the availability of nuclear material. Special attention is paid to the thorium fuel cycle from the point of view of economics and proliferation resistance.
[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] 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] 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 presents recent results from the USAEC's Plutonium Utilization Program conducted by Battelle-Northwest. The information will be presented at the Panel on Plutonium Utilization to be held by the International Atomic Energy Agency, September 2-6, 1968. A second paper ''United States Programs on Plutonium Utilization in Thermal Reactors'' presents a review of the plans of the program being conducted and, therefore, this paper will be primarily a status report on the technology of plutonium. The large number of water reactors purchased by U.S. utilities in the past few years will be put in operation in the late 1960's and early 1970's. These reactors will produce large quantities of plutonium and a plutonium excess for the United States is predicted for around 1973. Today it appears unlikely that fast reactors will develop soon enough to use this plutonium. Storing of the plutonium until fast reactors are developed does not appear economically feasible. Since the fuel cycle cost of the water reactors reflect a plutonium credit of 0.2 to 0.4 mils/Kwh, economic utilization of plutonium must be realized in order to effect this fuel cycle cost reduction. In the United States, water reactors will probably be the only reactors available in the 1970's in sufficient numbers to utilize the large quantities of plutonium available. Some plutonium will be required in the development of fast reactors and for loadings of the prototypes, but this is projected to be a small fraction of the total plutonium available in the 1970's. On this basis, the AEC's Plutonium Utilization Program objective is to develop by 1973 the base technology for safe and economic recycle of plutonium in thermal reactors, and more specifically in light water power reactors. The remaining technical uncertainties for plutonium recycle are primarily in the areas of fuels and physics. Consequently, these are the areas where the major research and development effort is being applied. These programs receive input from utilization studies which identify potential problem areas and incentives. The following sections of the report present recent results in fuels and physics development and plutonium utilization studies.
[en] It is currently accepted that plutonium must be recycled on a large scale in thermal power reactors in the period starting in 1974 even though the ultimate long term market for plutonium will be in breeder reactors. To meet this schedule, the economics and technology of plutonium recycle must be demonstrated on a commercial basis by 1971-1972 if fuel suppliers are to be in a position to supply warranted plutonium recycle assemblies for delivery in 1974. United Nuclear Corporation is conducting a research and development program to provide the base of analytical and experimental data, necessary for supplying plutoniumbearing reload assemblies in light water reactors. This program includes activities in the following areas: 1. Evaluations of plutonium recycle utilization strategy and core design. 2. Critical experiments on PuO2-UO2 lattices. 3. Demonstration of plutonium recycle in a utility power reactor. A summary of progress and plans in these areas is given in the following sections.
[en] A brief review is presented of the plutonium supply and demand position in the early 1970s. The possible range of requirements for thermal burning is considered in relation to the available supply of plutonium and in comparison with the alternative of storage for fast reactor fuelling. The scope for international trading is noted. Consideration is then given to the alternative processing, storage and fabrication routes which are likely to be available, taking account of the international trading involved. The facilities which will have to be created for the various processing, storage and fabrication operations are described, and the investment in plant and in plutonium hold-up is evaluated. Finally, consideration is given to the different ways in which the various aspects of plutonium trading can be handled, taking account of the serious financing problems involved. (author)
[en] The paper is subdivided into four parts: the first considers the exploitation of the energy potential of nuclear fuel in proven-type reactors and in advanced converters; the second describes ENEL's program for plutonium recycle in thermal reactors; the third discusses the availability of plutonium from ENEL's reactors; and the fourth provides a few comments on the economics of plutonium utilization. The main interest in recycling plutonium in thermal reactors pending commercial operation of fast reactors undoubtedly lies in the possibility of using plutonium as an alternate fuel in lieu of enriched uranium and of increasing exploitation of the source material. The paper gives the natural uranium exploitation indexes expressed in MWYe/ton of Unat for a few proven-type reactors and converter reactors. The comparison of these indexes indicates that if plutonium recycling in thermal reactors is applied on a large scale, it will reduce natural uranium requirements for enriched uranium production by 30-40%. ENEL's program for the utilization of plutonium in thermal reactors is based on a research contract executed with EURATOM in 1966.
[en] In many countries, uranium is a major energy resource, fueling nuclear power plants that collectively generate about 17% of the world's electricity. With global demand for energy especially electricity projected to grow rapidly over the coming decades, the price and availability of all energy sources, including uranium, are key components in the process of energy planning and decision-making. Particularly affecting the uranium market were changing projections about nuclear power's growth and the consequent demand for nuclear fuel; the emergence of a more integrated free market system including former centrally planned economies; and the emergence into the civilian market of uranium released from dismantled nuclear weapons. All these factors contributed to uncertainties in the commercial uranium market that raised questions about future fuel supplies for nuclear power plants. Signs today indicate that the situation is changing. The world uranium market is moving towards a more balanced relationship between supply and demand