Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

High plutonium breeding of light water cooled reactors

16.01.2013
Professor Oka and his research team at Waseda University have succeeded in developing the world's first conceptual nuclear reactor design of high plutonium breeding by light water cooling.

Professor Oka's research team succeeded to develop the conceptual nuclear reactor design of high plutonium breeding by light water cooling for the first time in the world. He devised a new fuel assembly where fuel rods are closely packed for reducing reactor coolant to fuel volume fraction for high breeding.

With computational analysis he succeeded high plutonium breeding with light water cooling. The study will open the way of commercialization of fast reactor and nuclear fuel cycle for peaceful use of nuclear energy based on the mature light water cooling technologies. The result of the study was published in January issue of "Journal of Nuclear Science and Technology" of Atomic Energy Society of Japan (AESJ) , entitled "Plutonium breeding of light water cooled fast reactors".

Introduction

Fast Breeder reactors (FBR) produce more fissile material than consuming, while producing electric power. It is a "dream of nuclear power". The main line of FBR development is the liquid metal cooled fast breeder reactor (LMFBR) . It is, however, not yet commercialized because of the complexity of the plant due to using liquid sodium as the coolant.

High plutonium breeding by light water cooling has been studied for many years, but not yet attained. Nuclear power plants and fossil fired power plant use water as the coolant. It is good to develop fast breeder reactor based on the experience of water coolant technologies.

Commercialization of nuclear fuel cycle and fast breeder reactors are important for reducing the amount of spent nuclear fuel of light water reactors (LWR) as well as the efficient utilization of uranium resources. Nuclear power utilization is in progress in many developing countries. Commercialization of spent nuclear fuel reprocessing in advanced countries enhances the nuclear security in the world.

High conversion light water reactors have been studied for many years since 1970 at research institutes and industry in Japan. The highest breeding characteristics were reported by the conceptual design study of the doubly axial heterogeneous core of a reduced moderation boiling water reactor (RMWR) . The compound system doubling time (CSDT) was, however, approximately 245 years. It is substantially longer than that of LMFBR.

New Concept

Breeding characteristics increases with decreasing the water to fuel volume ratio. Tight fuel lattice with narrow gap between fuel rods was adopted for RMWR. For further decreasing the water to fuel volume fraction, a new fuel assembly of closely packed fuel rods was devised. The new fuel assembly and its fuel lattice consisting of three fuel rods are depicted in Fig.1. The coolant flows through the central hole of fuel lattice. The integrity or the leak tightness of the fuel rod is maintained as the conventional fuel rod where both ends of the fuel cladding tube are welded by end plugs.

The reactor design was carried out by computational methods for the cores with new fuel assemblies. The highest breeding characteristics are obtained for the core layout of the fuel assemblies in Fig. 2. The comparison of the characteristics with the RMWR is given in Table 1. The compound system doubling time is 43 years. It is substantially shorter than that of RMWR, 245 years.

Goal of breeding characteristics

The energy demand increases with the gross domestic product (GDP) . The growth rate of GDP of seven advanced countries of OECD is 1.4% per year in 10 years. With this growth rate, the GDP becomes double in 50 years and the energy demand does. The breeding characteristic of Table1 is 43 years, shorter than 50 years. It means that the fast breeder reactors with the new fuel assembly meet the goal of energy demand growth of advanced countries.

Future Research and Development items

Reactor design of boiling water reactor (BWR) condition, safety design and evaluation, development of the new fuel assembly including testing, demonstration with a prototype reactor.
Social impacts

High breeding with water cooling technology will open the way of commercializing nuclear fuel cycle and fast breeder reactors. It made it possible to reduce the amount of spent LWR fuels, to enhance the deployment and the security of peaceful uses of nuclear power in developing countries.

NOTES

Compound system doubling time (CSDT) : Time required for system of identical breeder reactors to double the fissile material in the system, assuming that the number of reactors is increasing at a rate such that all of the fissile material is being utilized.

Light water: Water of natural composition of H2O and D2O. It is a technical term of nuclear technology in order to distinguish heavy water consisting of pure D2O

Journal information
Yoshiaki Oka, Takashi Inoue and Taishi Yoshida, "Plutonium breeding of light water cooled fast reactors", J. Nuclear Science and Technology, vol.50 No.1, 15-20 (2013)

Funding information

Grant in Aid for Scientific Research (B) o. 22360398, JSPS/ MEXT.
"Research and Development of Super Fast Reactor" entrusted to Waseda University by MEXT/ JST

waseda university | Research asia research news
Further information:
http://www.waseda.jp/eng/news12/130108_oka.html
http://www.researchsea.com

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Fast and Accurate 3-D Imaging Technique to Track Optically-Trapped Particles
24.04.2015 | Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology

nachricht Tau Ceti: The next Earth? Probably not
23.04.2015 | Arizona State University

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fast and Accurate 3-D Imaging Technique to Track Optically-Trapped Particles

KAIST researchers published an article on the development of a novel technique to precisely track the 3-D positions of optically-trapped particles having complicated geometry in high speed in the April 2015 issue of Optica.

Daejeon, Republic of Korea, April 23, 2015--Optical tweezers have been used as an invaluable tool for exerting micro-scale force on microscopic particles and...

Im Focus: NOAA, Tulane identify second possible specimen of 'pocket shark' ever found

Pocket sharks are among the world's rarest finds

A very small and rare species of shark is swimming its way through scientific literature. But don't worry, the chances of this inches-long vertebrate biting...

Im Focus: Drexel materials scientists putting a new spin on computing memory

Ever since computers have been small enough to be fixtures on desks and laps, their central processing has functioned something like an atomic Etch A Sketch, with electromagnetic fields pushing data bits into place to encode data.

Unfortunately, the same drawbacks and perils of the mechanical sketch board have been just as pervasive in computing: making a change often requires starting...

Im Focus: Exploding stars help to understand thunderclouds on Earth

How is lightning initiated in thunderclouds? This is difficult to answer - how do you measure electric fields inside large, dangerously charged clouds? It was discovered, more or less by coincidence, that cosmic rays provide suitable probes to measure electric fields within thunderclouds. This surprising finding is published in Physical Review Letters on April 24th. The measurements were performed with the LOFAR radio telescope located in the Netherlands.

How is lightning initiated in thunderclouds? This is difficult to answer - how do you measure electric fields inside large, dangerously charged clouds? It was...

Im Focus: On the trail of a trace gas

Max Planck researcher Buhalqem Mamtimin determines how much nitrogen oxide is released into the atmosphere from agriculturally used oases.

In order to make statements about current and future air pollution, scientists use models which simulate the Earth’s atmosphere. A lot of information such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

HHL Energy Conference on May 11/12, 2015: Students Discuss about Decentralized Energy

23.04.2015 | Event News

“Developing our cities, preserving our planet”: Nobel Laureates gather for the first time in Asia

23.04.2015 | Event News

HHL's Entrepreneurship Conference on FinTech

13.04.2015 | Event News

 
Latest News

Electrons Move Like Light in Three-Dimensional Solid

24.04.2015 | Materials Sciences

Connecting Three Atomic Layers Puts Semiconducting Science on Its Edge

24.04.2015 | Materials Sciences

Understanding the Body’s Response to Worms and Allergies

24.04.2015 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>