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 Interstellar seeds could create oases of life
28.08.2015 | Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

nachricht Draw out of the predicted interatomic force
28.08.2015 | Hiroshima 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: OU astrophysicist and collaborators find supermassive black holes in quasar nearest Earth

A University of Oklahoma astrophysicist and his Chinese collaborator have found two supermassive black holes in Markarian 231, the nearest quasar to Earth, using observations from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.

The discovery of two supermassive black holes--one larger one and a second, smaller one--are evidence of a binary black hole and suggests that supermassive...

Im Focus: What would a tsunami in the Mediterranean look like?

A team of European researchers have developed a model to simulate the impact of tsunamis generated by earthquakes and applied it to the Eastern Mediterranean. The results show how tsunami waves could hit and inundate coastal areas in southern Italy and Greece. The study is published today (27 August) in Ocean Science, an open access journal of the European Geosciences Union (EGU).

Though not as frequent as in the Pacific and Indian oceans, tsunamis also occur in the Mediterranean, mainly due to earthquakes generated when the African...

Im Focus: Self-healing landscape: landslides after earthquake

In mountainous regions earthquakes often cause strong landslides, which can be exacerbated by heavy rain. However, after an initial increase, the frequency of these mass wasting events, often enormous and dangerous, declines, in fact independently of meteorological events and aftershocks.

These new findings are presented by a German-Franco-Japanese team of geoscientists in the current issue of the journal Geology, under the lead of the GFZ...

Im Focus: FIC Proteins Send Bacteria Into Hibernation

Bacteria do not cease to amaze us with their survival strategies. A research team from the University of Basel's Biozentrum has now discovered how bacteria enter a sleep mode using a so-called FIC toxin. In the current issue of “Cell Reports”, the scientists describe the mechanism of action and also explain why their discovery provides new insights into the evolution of pathogens.

For many poisons there are antidotes which neutralize their toxic effect. Toxin-antitoxin systems in bacteria work in a similar manner: As long as a cell...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer IPA develops prototype of intelligent care cart

It comes when called, bringing care utensils with it and recording how they are used: Fraunhofer IPA is developing an intelligent care cart that provides care staff with physical and informational support in their day-to-day work. The scientists at Fraunhofer IPA have now completed a first prototype. In doing so, they are continuing in their efforts to improve working conditions in the care sector and are developing solutions designed to address the challenges of demographic change.

Technical assistance systems can improve the difficult working conditions in residential nursing homes and hospitals by helping the staff in their work and...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Networking conference in Heidelberg for outstanding mathematicians and computer scientists

20.08.2015 | Event News

Scientists meet in Münster for the world’s largest Chitin und Chitosan Conference

20.08.2015 | Event News

Large agribusiness management strategies

19.08.2015 | Event News

 
Latest News

Interstellar seeds could create oases of life

28.08.2015 | Physics and Astronomy

An ounce of prevention: Research advances on 'scourge' of transplant wards

28.08.2015 | Health and Medicine

Fish Oil-Diet Benefits May be Mediated by Gut Microbes

28.08.2015 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>