Nuclear Science and Techniques

《核技术》(英文版) ISSN 1001-8042 CN 31-1559/TL     2019 Impact factor 1.556

Nuclear Science and Techniques ›› 2019, Vol. 30 ›› Issue (6): 91 doi: 10.1007/s41365-019-0623-1

• NUCLEAR ENERGY SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Physical studies of minor actinide transmutation in the accelerator-driven sub-critical system

Hai-Yan Meng1 • Yong-Wei Yang1,2 • Ze-Long Zhao1,2 • Qing-Yu Gao1,2 • Yu-Cui Gao1   

  1. 1 Institute of Modern Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China
    2 School of Nuclear Science and Technology, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2018-10-16 Revised:2019-01-10 Accepted:2019-01-31
  • Contact: Yong-Wei Yang
  • Supported by:
    This work was supported by the Strategic Priority Research Program of The Chinese Academy of Sciences (No. XDA21010202).
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Hai-Yan Meng, Yong-Wei Yang, Ze-Long Zhao, Qing-Yu Gao, Yu-Cui Gao. Physical studies of minor actinide transmutation in the accelerator-driven sub-critical system.Nuclear Science and Techniques, 2019, 30(6): 91     doi: 10.1007/s41365-019-0623-1

Abstract: The accelerator-driven subcritical system (ADS) with a hard neutron energy spectrum was used to study transmutation of minor actinides (MAs). The aim of the study was to improve the efficiency of MA transmutation while ensuring that variations in the effective multiplication factor (keff) remained within safe margins during reactor operation. All calculations were completed using code COUPLE3.0. The subcritical reactor was operated at a thermal power level of 800 MW, and a mixture of mono-nitrides of MAs and plutonium (Pu) was used as fuel. Zirconium nitride (ZrN) was used as an inert matrix in the fuel elements. The initial mass composition in terms of weight percentages in the heavy metal component (IHM) was 30.6% Pu/IHM and 69.4% MA/IHM. To verify the feasibility of this MA loading scheme, variations in keff, the amplification factor of the core, maximum power density and the content of MAs and Pu were calculated over six refueling cycles. Each cycle was of 600 days duration, and therefore, there were 3600 effective full power days. Results demonstrated that the effective transmutation support ratio of MAs was approximately 28, and the ADS was able to efficiently transmute MAs. The changes in other physical parameters were also within their normal ranges. It is concluded that the proposed MA transmutation scheme for an ADS core is reasonable.

Key words: ADS, COUPLE3.0, MA, Transmutation, Subcritical reactor