, Volume 55, Issue 9, pp 1746-1751

Resourceability on nuclear fuel cycle by transmutation approach

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Abstract

A resourceability on nuclear fuel cycle by transmutation of fission products in the spent fuel of nuclear reactors is discussed in this paper to investigate the feasibility of “creation and utilization” of Après ORIENT from Adv.-ORIENT cycle, in which chemical “separation and utilization” of nuclear rare metals (platinum group metals, Mo, Tc, rare earth, etc.) has been proposed since FY2006. Après ORIENT research program was newly initiated in FY2011 for nuclear transmutation of fission products into stable or short-lived highly-valuable elements. In the resourceability of rare earth metals from fission products, non-radioactive Nd and Dy can be created from Pr and Tb, respectively, by transmutation. Especially, the Dy creation has a relatively high feasibility of about 10–20 %/y in creation rate. A proper moderation of neutrons in blanket of fast reactors may be required to provide a high creation rate of La from Ba. In light platinum group metals, non-radioactive Ru can be created from Tc by transmutation, of which creation rate is about 4–5 %/y in blanket of fast reactors. Pd created from Rh is almost non-radioactively depending on the isotope fraction of 107Pd. Rh creation from Ru is not feasible under the neutron irradiation of typical nuclear reactors.