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Nuclear Science and Engineering
Fusion Science and Technology
The consequences of closure: The local cost of shutting down a nuclear power plant
When on May 7, 2013, the Kewaunee nuclear power plant in rural Wisconsin was shut down, it took with it more than 600 full-time jobs and more than $70 million in lost wages, not including temporary employment from refueling and maintenance outages. Taking into account indirect business-to-business activity, the total economic impact of the closure of the single-unit pressurized water reactor was estimated to be more than $630 million to the surrounding three-county area.
Robert A. Hall, William J. Marshall, Elmar Eidelpes, Brian M. Hom
Nuclear Science and Engineering | Volume 195 | Number 3 | March 2021 | Pages 310-319
Technical Paper | dx.doi.org/10.1080/00295639.2020.1801319
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
This work presents an assessment of the applicability of existing benchmark critical experiments to the criticality safety code validation for a large-capacity high-assay low-enriched uranium (HALEU) transportation package concept. Numerous next-generation nuclear reactor designs require HALEU fuel, which is characterized by an enrichment between 5 and 20 wt% 235U. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has proposed to recover and downblend highly enriched uranium from DOE-owned used nuclear fuel to accelerate the demonstration of commercially viable microreactor technologies. One element of the infrastructure needed to demonstrate HALEU-fueled reactors is the ability to safely transport enriched product to be used for fuel fabrication. There is uncertainty as to whether existing critical benchmark experiment data are sufficient to support criticality safety code validation for HALEU transportation applications. The anticipated chemical form of the HALEU in the proposed transportation concept is UO2 with 20 wt% 235U/U. The concept uses a combination of an existing transportation packaging design and a novel basket design, including borated aluminum flux traps. The basket provides space for 18 reusable, stainless steel canisters that contain the HALEU. In 10 CFR 71, normal conditions of transport (NCTs) and hypothetical accident conditions (HACs) are defined for fissile material transportation packages. NCT and HAC KENO-VI models of the transportation package were developed using the Standardized Computer Analyses for Licensing Evaluation (SCALE) 6.2.3 computer code package, and optimum moderation conditions were determined using the SCALE SAMPLER sequence. The SCALE Tools for Sensitivity and Uncertainty Analysis Methodology Implementation (TSUNAMI) sequences were then used to compare the neutronic characteristics of 1584 International Criticality Safety Benchmark Evaluation Project benchmark critical experiments with the NCT and HAC HALEU transportation models. The TSUNAMI integral correlation coefficient ck was the criterion used to rank neutronic similarity. Thirty-four experiments were identified as similar (ck ≥ 0.9) to the NCT model, and 55 experiments were identified as similar to the HAC model. Hundreds of experiments were also identified as at least marginally similar (ck ≥ 0.8) to both models. The results indicate that additional critical experiments are unlikely to be needed to support HALEU transportation criticality safety analyses for package concepts similar to the concept package analyzed.