Minimization of actinide waste by multi-recycling of thoriated fuels in the EPR reactor
University of Oslo, Department of Physics, P.O. Box 1048, Blindern 0316 Oslo, Norway
2 Institut de Physique Nucléaire d'Orsay, Bât 100, 15 rue G. Clémenceau, 91406 Orsay cedex, France
3 Laboratoire de Physique Subatomique et Cosmologie, 53 rue des Martyrs, 38026 Grenoble, France
4 Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté ; Nucléaire 31, ave. de la Division Leclerc, 92260 Fontenay-aux-Roses, France
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The multi-recycling of innovative uranium/thorium oxide fuels for use in the European Pressurized water Reactor (EPR) has been investigated. If increasing quantities of 238U, the fertile isotope in standard UO2 fuel, are replaced by 232Th, then a greater yield of new fissile material (233U) is produced during the cycle than would otherwise be the case. This leads to economies of natural uranium of around 45% if the uranium in the spent fuel is multi-recycled. In addition we show that minor actinide and plutonium waste inventories are reduced and hence waste radio-toxicities and decay heats are up to a factor of 20 lower after 103 years. Two innovative fuel types named S90 and S20, ThO2 mixed with 90% and 20% enriched UO2 respectively, are compared as an alternative to standard uranium oxide (UOX) and uranium/plutonium mixed oxide (MOX) fuels at the longest EPR fuel discharge burn-ups of 65 GWd/t. Fissile and waste inventories are examined, waste radio-toxicities and decay heats are extracted and safety feedback coefficients are calculated.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2012