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Investigation of the Nuclear Inventories of High-Exposure PWR Mixed-Oxide Fuels with Multiple Recycling of Self-Generated Plutonium

Hans-Werner Wiese

Nuclear Technology

Volume 102 / Number 1 / April 1993 / Pages 68-80


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Based on the use of the Joint Evaluated File (JEF-1) with the KARBUS burnup code system and subsequent KORIGEN code calculations, the characteristics of spent pressurized water reactor mixed-oxide (MOX) fuels are analyzed. Actinide masses, decay heat, radioactivities, and radiation are discussed for burnups of 40 to 55 GWd/tonne HM for MOX fuels based on natural uranium and on uranium tailings. Multiple plutonium recycling is considered at a burnup of 50 GWd/tonne HM. The results are compared with earlier data at a burnup of 33 GWd/tonne HM. The high-exposure MOX fuels are found to contain large amounts of the heat-releasing and radiating nuclides, 238Pu and 244Cm. The 238Pu in the plutonium, which is to be used for the fabrication of fuel elements from recycled MOX, requires special shielding or a change from glove box techniques to an automated treatment.

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