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Fuel Cycle & Waste Management
Devoted to all aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle including waste management, worldwide. Division specific areas of interest and involvement include uranium conversion and enrichment; fuel fabrication, management (in-core and ex-core) and recycle; transportation; safeguards; high-level, low-level and mixed waste management and disposal; public policy and program management; decontamination and decommissioning environmental restoration; and excess weapons materials disposition.
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Nuclear Science and Engineering
Fusion Science and Technology
What is involved in radiation protection at accelerator facilities?
Particle accelerators have evolved from exotic machines probing hadron interactions to understand the fundamentals of our world to widely used instruments in research and for medical and industrial use. For research purposes, high-power machines are employed, often producing secondary particle beams through primary beam interaction with a target material involving many meters of shielding. The charged beam interacts with the surrounding structures, producing both prompt radiation and secondary radiation from activated materials. After beam termination, some parts of the facility remain radioactive and potentially can become radiation hazards over time. Radiation protection for accelerator facilities involves a range of actions for operation within safe boundaries (an accelerator safety envelope). Each facility establishes fundamental safety principles, requirements, and measures to control radiation exposure to people and the release of radioactive material in the environment.
Tetsuya Mouri, Masayuki Naganuma, Shigeo Ohki
Nuclear Technology | Volume 209 | Number 4 | April 2023 | Pages 532-548
Technical Paper | doi.org/10.1080/00295450.2022.2133514
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
This paper deals with a conceptual study on a plutonium (Pu) and minor actinide (MA) burning fast reactor core for the distant future phaseout of a fast reactor fuel cycle after it is commercialized and used for a long time. This burning core aims to reduce the Pu and MA inventories contained in the fuel cycle through multiple recycling. A key point for the core design is the degradation of Pu and MAs during multiple recycling. This degradation affects the feasibility of the nuclear design by increasing the sodium void reactivity and decreasing the absolute value of the Doppler constant. A feasible core concept was found by incorporating the following three factors to improve the reactivity coefficients: core geometry flattening, fuel burnup reduction, and use of silicon carbide (SiC) in the cladding and wrapper tubes. Notably, softening the neutron spectrum using the SiC structural material not only improved the reactivity coefficients but also indirectly mitigated the degradation of Pu and MAs. Consequently, the designed core allowed for multiple recycling to continue until the Pu and MAs reduced significantly, particularly by about 99% in a phaseout scenario starting from a fast reactor fleet of 30-GWe nuclear power capacity. Fast reactors were found to have the potential to become self-contained energy systems that can minimize the inventories of Pu they produced themselves, as well as long-lived MAs. Fast reactors can be among the important options for environmental burden reduction in the future.