The Path to Sustainable Nuclear Energy. Basic and Applied Research Opportunities for Advanced Fuel Cycles [electronic resource].
- Washington, D.C. : United States. Dept. of Energy. Office of Basic Energy Sciences, 2005.
Oak Ridge, Tenn. : Distributed by the Office of Scientific and Technical Information, U.S. Dept. of Energy.
- Additional Creators:
- United States. Department of Energy. Office of Science, United States. Department of Energy. Office of Basic Energy Sciences, and United States. Department of Energy. Office of Scientific and Technical Information
- Restrictions on Access:
- Free-to-read Unrestricted online access
- The objective of this report is to identify new basic science that will be the foundation for advances in nuclear fuel-cycle technology in the near term, and for changing the nature of fuel cycles and of the nuclear energy industry in the long term. The goals are to enhance the development of nuclear energy, to maximize energy production in nuclear reactor parks, and to minimize radioactive wastes, other environmental impacts, and proliferation risks. The limitations of the once-through fuel cycle can be overcome by adopting a closed fuel cycle, in which the irradiated fuel is reprocessed and its components are separated into streams that are recycled into a reactor or disposed of in appropriate waste forms. The recycled fuel is irradiated in a reactor, where certain constituents are partially transmuted into heavier isotopes via neutron capture or into lighter isotopes via fission. Fast reactors are required to complete the transmutation of long-lived isotopes. Closed fuel cycles are encompassed by the Department of Energy?s Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative (AFCI), to which basic scientific research can contribute. Two nuclear reactor system architectures can meet the AFCI objectives: a ?single-tier? system or a ?dual-tier? system. Both begin with light water reactors and incorporate fast reactors. The ?dual-tier? systems transmute some plutonium and neptunium in light water reactors and all remaining transuranic elements (TRUs) in a closed-cycle fast reactor. Basic science initiatives are needed in two broad areas: ? Near-term impacts that can enhance the development of either ?single-tier? or ?dual-tier? AFCI systems, primarily within the next 20 years, through basic research. Examples: Dissolution of spent fuel, separations of elements for TRU recycling and transmutation Design, synthesis, and testing of inert matrix nuclear fuels and non-oxide fuels Invention and development of accurate on-line monitoring systems for chemical and nuclear species in the nuclear fuel cycle Development of advanced tools for designing reactors with reduced margins and lower costs ? Long-term nuclear reactor development requires basic science breakthroughs: Understanding of materials behavior under extreme environmental conditions Creation of new, efficient, environmentally benign chemical separations methods Modeling and simulation to improve nuclear reaction cross-section data, design new materials and separation system, and propagate uncertainties within the fuel cycle Improvement of proliferation resistance by strengthening safeguards technologies and decreasing the attractiveness of nuclear materials A series of translational tools is proposed to advance the AFCI objectives and to bring the basic science concepts and processes promptly into the technological sphere. These tools have the potential to revolutionize the approach to nuclear engineering R&D by replacing lengthy experimental campaigns with a rigorous approach based on modeling, key fundamental experiments, and advanced simulations.
- Report Numbers:
- E 1.99:899134
- Other Subject(s):
- Published through SciTech Connect.
Oblozinsky, P.; McCarthy, K.; Weber, W.; Chadwick, M.; Allen, T.; Pasamehmetoglu, K.; Dixon, D.; Finck, P.; Nash, K.; Corradini, M.; Navrotsky, A.; Peterson, P.; Edelstein, N.; Moyer, B.; Henry, G.; Burns, C.; Morss, L.; Goff, M.; Laidler, J.; Sackett, J.; Sickafus, K. E.; Tulenko, J.
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