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Utilization of Reactor Grade Plutonium as Energy Multiplier in the LIFE Engine

Sümer Sahin, Haci Mehmet sahin, Adem Acir

Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 61 / Number 1T / January 2012 / Pages 216-221

Fusion-Fission Hybrids and Transmutation / Proceedings of the Fifteenth International Conference on Emerging Nuclear Energy Systems

The accumulated reactor grade (RG)-plutonium as nuclear waste of conventional reactors is estimated to exceed 1700 tonnes. Laser Inertial Confinement Fusion Fission Energy (LIFE) engine is considered to incinerate RG-plutonium in stockpiles. Calculations have been conducted for a constant fusion driver power of 500 MWth in S8-P3 approximation using 238-neutron groups. RG-plutonium out of the nuclear waste of LWRs is used in form of fissile carbide fuel in TRISO particles with volume fractions of 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 %, homogenously dispersed in the Flibe coolant. Respective tritium breeding ratio (TBR) values per incident fusion neutron are calculated as TBR = 1.35, 1.52, 1.73, 2.02 and 2.47 at start-up. With the burn up of fissionable RG-Pu isotopes in the coolant, TBR decreases gradually. Similarly, blanket energy multiplications are calculated as M0 = 3.8, 5.5, 7.7, 10.8 and 15.4 at start-up, respectively. Calculations have indicated prospects of achievability of very high burn up values (> 400 000 MD.D/MT).

 
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