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Economic Analysis on Direct Use of Spent Pressurized Water Reactor Fuel in CANDU Reactors - II: DUPIC Fuel-Handling Cost

Hangbok Choi, Won Il Ko, Myung Seung Yang, Ihn Namgung, Bok-Gyun Na

Nuclear Technology

Volume 134 / Number 2 / May 2001 / Pages 130-148


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The Direct Use of spent Pressurized water reactor fuel In Canada deuterium uranium (CANDU) reactors (DUPIC) fuel-handling technique has been investigated through a conceptual design study to estimate the unit cost that can be used for the DUPIC fuel cycle cost calculation. The conceptual design study has shown that fresh DUPIC fuel can be transferred to the core following the existing spent-fuel discharge route, provided that new fuel-handling equipment, such as the manipulator, opening/sealing tool of shipping casks, new fuel magazine, new fuel ram, dryer, gamma-ray detector, etc., are installed. The reverse path loading option is known to minimize the number of additional pieces of equipment for fuel handling, because it utilizes the existing spent-fuel handling equipment, and the discharge of spent DUPIC fuel can be done through the existing spent-fuel handling system without any modification. However, because the decay heat of spent DUPIC fuel is much higher than that of spent natural uranium fuel, the extra cooling capacity should be supplemented in the spent-fuel storage bay. Based on the conceptual design study, the capital cost for DUPIC fuel handling and extra storage cooling capacity was estimated to be $3 750 000 (as of December 1999) per CANDU plant. The levelized unit cost of DUPIC fuel handling was then obtained by considering the amount of fuel that will be required during the lifetime of a plant, which is 5.13 $/kg heavy metal. Compared with the other unit costs of the fuel cycle components, it is expected that DUPIC fuel handling has only a minor effect on the overall fuel cycle cost.

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