Evaluation of alternative fuel cycle strategies for nuclear power generation in the 21st century /
Abstract (Summary)The deployment of fuel recycling through either CONFU (COmbined Non-Fertile and UO2 fuel) thermal watercooled reactors (LWRs) or fast ABR (Actinide Burner Reactor) reactors is compared to the Once-Through LWR reactor system in terms of accumulation of actinides over the next 100 years under the assumption of a growing worldwide demand for nuclear energy. It is assumed that the growth rate is about 2.1% per year up to 2053, with alternative scenarios after that date. The transuranics (TRU) stored in temporary repositories, the TRU sent to permanent repositories, the system cost and a vulnerability index toward proliferation are calculated by the CAFCA code and taken as key figures of merit. Deployment of the ABRs is assumed to occur later (2028) than the CONFU LWRs (2015), whose technology requires less extensive additional R&D. Through 2050 the CONFU strategy performs better than the ABR strategy. The CONFU LWRs in our model yield zero net TRU incineration while the ABRs have a net consumption of TRU. Compared to the Once-Through strategy, by 2050 the CONFU (respectively ABR) strategy reduces by about 22% (respectively 16%) the total inventory of TRU in the system. This reduction corresponds to the TRU production being avoided by CONFU LWRs or being incinerated in ABRs compared to the TRU produced in the traditional LWRs used in the Once-Through strategy.
School Location:USA - Massachusetts
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Date of Publication: