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Assessment of proliferation resistances of aqueous reprocessing techniques using the TOPS methodology
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Applied Nuclear Physics.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Applied Nuclear Physics.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Applied Nuclear Physics.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Applied Nuclear Physics.
2013 (English)In: Annals of Nuclear Energy, ISSN 0306-4549, E-ISSN 1873-2100, Vol. 62, 390-397 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study is to assess and compare the proliferation resistances (PR) of three possible Generation IV lead-cooled fast reactor fuel cycles, involving the reprocessing techniques Purex, Ganex and a combination of Purex, Diamex and Sanex, respectively. The examined fuel cycle stages are reactor operation, reprocessing and fuel fabrication. The TOPS methodology has been chosen for the PR assessment, and the only threat studied is the case where a technically advanced state diverts nuclear material covertly.

According to the TOPS methodology, the facilities have been divided into segments, here roughly representing the different forms of nuclear material occurring in each examined fuel cycle stage. For each segment, various proliferation barriers have been assessed.

The results make it possible to pinpoint where the facilities can be improved. The results show that the proliferation resistance of a fuel cycle involving recycling of minor actinides is higher than for the traditional Purex reprocessing cycle. Furthermore, for the purpose of nuclear safeguards, group actinide extraction should be preferred over reprocessing options where pure plutonium streams occur. This is due to the fact that a solution containing minor actinides is less attractive to a proliferator than a pure Pu solution. Thus, the safeguards analysis speaks in favor of Ganex as opposed to the Purex process.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2013. Vol. 62, 390-397 p.
Keyword [en]
proliferation resistance, reprocessing, Generation IV, lead-cooled fast reactor
National Category
Other Physics Topics
Research subject
Physics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-205579DOI: 10.1016/j.anucene.2013.06.040ISI: 000327170800046OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-205579DiVA: diva2:642065
Note

Erratum in Annals of Nuclear Energy, 2014:66, pp 61-62, doi: 10.1016/j.anucene.2013.11.044

Available from: 2013-08-20 Created: 2013-08-20 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Proliferation resistances of Generation IV recycling facilities for nuclear fuel
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Proliferation resistances of Generation IV recycling facilities for nuclear fuel
2013 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The effects of global warming raise demands for reduced CO2 emissions, whereas at the same time the world’s need for energy increases. With the aim to resolve some of the difficulties facing today’s nuclear power, striving for safety, sustainability and waste minimization, a new generation of nuclear energy systems is being pursued: Generation IV.

New reactor concepts and new nuclear facilities should be at least as resistant to diversion of nuclear material for weapons production, as were the previous ones. However, the emerging generation of nuclear power will give rise to new challenges to the international safeguards community, due to new and increased flows of nuclear material in the nuclear fuel cycle. Before a wide implementation of Generation IV nuclear power facilities takes place, there lies still an opportunity to formulate safeguards requirements for the next generation of nuclear energy systems. In this context, this thesis constitutes one contribution to the global efforts to make future nuclear energy systems increasingly resistant to nuclear material diversion attempts.

This thesis comprises three papers, all of which concern safeguards and proliferation resistance in Generation IV nuclear energy systems and especially recycling facilities:

In Paper I, proliferation resistances of three fuel cycles, comprising different reprocessing techniques, are investigated. The results highlight the importance of making group actinide extraction techniques commercial, due to the inherently less vulnerable isotopic and radiological properties of the materials in such processes.

Paper II covers the schematic design and safeguards instrumentation of a Generation IV recycling facility. The identification of the safeguards needs of planned facilities can act as a guide towards the development of new instrumentation suitable for Generation IV nuclear energy systems.

Finally, Paper III describes a mode of procedure for assessing proliferation resistance of a recycling facility for fast reactor fuel. The assessments may be used, as in this case, as an aid to maintain or increase the inherent proliferation resistance when performing facility design changes and upgrades.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Uppsala universitet, 2013. 23 p.
Keyword
safeguards, proliferation resistance, Generation IV, reprocessing
National Category
Other Physics Topics
Research subject
Physics with specialization in Applied Nuclear Physics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-209098 (URN)
Presentation
(English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2014-01-21 Created: 2013-10-14 Last updated: 2014-01-21Bibliographically approved

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Åberg Lindell, MatildaGrape, SophieHåkansson, AneJacobsson Svärd, Staffan

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