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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.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5133-6829
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, p. 390-397Article 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, p. 390-397
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, id: 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: 2018-04-19Bibliographically 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. p. 23
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
2. Nuclear safeguards evaluation and analysis techniques for application to nuclear fuel material in Generation IV nuclear energy systems
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Nuclear safeguards evaluation and analysis techniques for application to nuclear fuel material in Generation IV nuclear energy systems
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

A new generation of nuclear energy systems called Generation IV is under development to ensure that nuclear power will be a safe, reliable and sustainable energy source for the future. This thesis addresses the challenge of making future nuclear energy systems increasingly resistant to nuclear material diversion attempts.

Several tools have been developed for structured evaluation of a system's resistance to nuclear proliferation, in order to identify areas where nuclear energy systems are the most inherently vulnerable. In this thesis, the TOPS methodology has been applied to three different fuel cycles involving a fast reactor with fuel recycling and fuel fabrication capabilities. The recycling facility, where the fuel is dissolved and undergoes chemical separation, is identified as being particularly vulnerable. Nondestructive measurements for verification of fuel assemblies in the receipt area of the recycling facility are essential, since it is the last opportunity to verify intact fuel items. Moreover, iterative evaluation of proliferation resistance by using two different assessment methodologies – TOPS and PR&PP – as suggested in this thesis, may act as an aid in facility design and for proposing safeguards implementation.

Based on the identified need to measure irradiated fuel assemblies prior to dissolution in the recycling facility, new methods used for analyzing gamma-ray spectroscopy data using multivariate analysis methods have been investigated. Fuel parameters of modeled nuclear fuel have been determined without any reliance on operator-declared data. Nonlinear classifiers, e.g. support vector machines (SVM), have successfully been used for discrimination between uranium oxide fuels and mixed oxide fuels. Cooling time, burnup and initial fissile content have been determined using decision tree and SVM regression. The results are promising and indicate that the nuclear safeguards regime may benefit from using multivariate techniques for data analysis. It must be emphasized, however, that experimental verification of the multivariate analysis techniques is necessary.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2018. p. 72
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 1617
National Category
Physical Sciences
Research subject
Physics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-337699 (URN)978-91-513-0202-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-02-23, Å4001, Ångströmlaboratoriet, Lägerhyddsvägen 1, Uppsala, 09:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-01-31 Created: 2018-01-09 Last updated: 2018-03-08

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Åberg Lindell, MatildaGrape, SophieHåkansson, AneJacobsson Svärd, Staffan

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