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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 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] 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] The main body of the Program is centered around the CNEN-USAEC contract for the utilization of Pu in light water reactor. This contract includes: a) A series of criticality, power distribution and control rod worths measurements with PuO2 - UO2 and/or UO2 fuel in the Plutonium Recycle Critical Facility at Pacific Northwest Laboratory in USA. b) A follow-up of the Plutonium core of the Experimental Boiling Water Reactor in Argonne and a series of γ scanning and post irradiations measurements at PNL. In Casaccia (Italy) a systematic check was made of the calculation models. c) A series of measurements of power, flux and spectral indexes distribution in the RITMO Facility (Casaccia) with 1.5% Pu enriched rods.
[en] The presentation provides information about the removal of submarine spent nuclear fuel from Gremikha site, a former Russian Navy base, as of 2011. The fuel would be removed to the Mayak plant for reprocessing. Technologies of handling, packing in casks and transporting of spent fuel assemblies were presented. Special focus was made on repairs and handling of damaged spent fuel assemblies and manufacturing of specific equipment for safe handling of damaged fuel. The assessment of various forms of damage to spent fuel assemblies was provided.
[en] In 2002, the United States Congress approved the development of a deep geological repository for SNF and other HLW at Yucca Mountain. In 2009, the project was deemed unworkable by the Administration such that no further funding was appropriated in Congress. This decision was followed by the instalment of a Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future in 2010. The Commission was tasked with conducting a comprehensive review of policies for managing the back end of the nuclear fuel cycle and to recommend a new plan. The Commission published its recommendations in 2012. It concluded that geologic disposal in a mined repository is the most promising and technically accepted option available for safely isolating HLW for very long periods of time. The Commission however also acknowledged several possible advantages of the deep borehole disposal concept, stating: “These [advantages] include the potential to achieve (compared to mined geologic repositories) reduced mobility of radionuclides and greater isolation of waste, greater tolerance for waste heat generation, modularity and flexibility in terms of expanding disposal capacity, and compatibility with a larger number and variety of possible sites. On the other hand, deep boreholes may also have some disadvantages in terms of the difficulty and cost of retrieving waste (if retrievability is desired) after a borehole is sealed, relatively high costs per volume of waste capacity, and constraints on the form or packaging of the waste to be emplaced.”