A team at the Budker Institute of Nuclear Physics has been working for several years to develop the Gas Dynamic Trap Mirror Neutron Source (GDT-NS) for fusion materials irradiation. In 2010 they optimized the design for a transmutation mission forecasting a 16 meter DT plasma with a fusion power of 15 MW and neutrons preferentially emitted into blankets placed around the mirror turning points. While this remains to be demonstrated experimentally, it is intriguing to explore what could be done with a low fusion power neutron source.

The GDT-NS team has previously modeled the burning of minor actinides. The work presented here builds on this by examining the burning of plutonium starting with transuranics recovered from spent nuclear fuel. It was found that a GDT plutonium burner with two blankets could eliminate nearly the plutonium produced in a single light water reactor core per full power year, 249 kg. By increasing the average blanket power with regular refueling, this quantity was increased to 381 kg per full power year. Next followed a preliminary overview of a GDT disposition blanket to meet US treaty commitments in burning surplus military plutonium.