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Fast Accelerator Driven Subcritical System for Energy Production Using Burned Fuel

Graiciany de Paula Barros, Claubia Pereira, Maria A. F. Veloso, Renan Cunha, Antonella L. Costa

Fusion Science and Technology

Volume 61 / Number 1T / January 2012 / Pages 256-261


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Accelerators Driven Systems (ADS) are an innovative type of nuclear system, which is useful for long-lived fission product transmutation and fuel regeneration. The ADS consist of a coupling of a sub-critical nuclear core reactor and a proton beam produced by a particle accelerator. These particles are injected into a target for neutrons production by spallation reactions. The neutrons are then used to maintain the fission chain in the subcritical core.

The aim of this study is to investigate the nuclear fuel evolution of a lead cooled accelerator driven system used for energy production and high-level waste transmutation. The fuel studied is a mixture based upon 232Th-233U and Pu-MA extracted from PWR spent. The target is a lead spallation target and the core is filled with a hexagonal lattice. In order to reduce the negative reactivity caused by the presence of protactinium, moderator is not used.

In this work is used the Monte Carlo code MCNPX 2.6.0, that presents the depletion/burnup capability, combining a ADS source and kcode-mode. The keff evolution, the neutron energy spectra in the core and the nuclear fuel depletion during the burnup are evaluated. Keywords: ADS, thorium, MCNPX.

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