Commercial utilization of weapon grade plutonium as TRISO fuel in conventional CANDU reactors

ŞAHİN, Sümer
ŞAHİN, Hacı Mehmet
ACIR, Adem
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Energy Conversion and Management
Large quantities of weapon grade (WG) plutonium have been accumulated in the nuclear warheads. Plutonium and heavy water moderator can give a good combination with respect to neutron economy. TRISO type fuel can withstand very high fuel burn up levels. The paper investigates the prospects of uti lization of TRISO fuel made of WG-plutonium in CANDU reactors. Three different fuel compositions have been investigated: (1): 90% ThC + 10% PuC, (2): 70% ThC + 30% PuC and (3): 50% ThC + 50% PuC. The temporal variation of the criticality k1 and the burn-up values of the reactor have been calculated by full power operation up to 17 years. Calculated startup criticalities for these fuel modes are k1,0 = 1.6403, 1.7228 and 1.7662, respectively. Attainable burn up values and reactor operation times without new fuel charge will be 94 700, 265 000 and 425 000 MW.D/MT and along with continuous operation periods of 3.5, 10 and 17 years, respec tively, for the corresponding modes. These high burn ups would reduce fuel fabrication costs and nuclear waste mass for final disposal per unit energy drastically.
energy systems engineering