Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

 

Hard spectrum reactor design criterion for actinide utilization Public Deposited

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https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/4f16c5503

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  • The United States nuclear industry is under significant public pressure to close the nuclear fuel cycle. Closing the fuel cycle will require that nuclear waste, fission products and transuranics, except plutonium (actinides), be disposed of by permanent burial. The actinides can be buried with the fission products, but this will increase the time that nuclear waste must be isolated from the environment. This paper will describe criteria for design of special reactors to fission actinides as well as new reactors that do not produce actinides. This paper concluded that the single most important consideration when designing a reactor to burn actinides, or not produce, actinides is to maintain as hard a neutron spectrum (mostly high energy neutrons) as possible to fission the actinides and not produce new actinides. To maintain a hard neutron spectrum, the use of U-238 and the use of non-fuel nuclides (oxygen, carbon, molybdenum, sodium, steel) should be minimized. An actinide burning reactor should minimize the use of driver fissile nuclides (U-235 and Pu-239) so that most of the fissions occur in the actinides.
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