NUCLEARE INNOVATIVO

F. Parozzi, F. Polidoro: FEASIBILITY OF FUEL CYCLE BASED ON Th-MOX IN SMALL MODULAR REACTORS

Abstract. Uranium resources are secure for a long time, but prices are likely to be substantially higher after 2020. Nowadays, conventional industry, built on uranium, is watching with interest to thorium that could represent an alternative to uranium as fuel. Moreover, Thorium-MOX fuels, designed to be used in conventional LWRs, can utilize plutonium from spent fuel and weapons dismantling in order to provide a new option for reducing civil and military plutonium stocks. In this context, the sustainability of a fuel cycle based on thorium-plutonium mixed oxides in a Small Modular Reactor, is analyzed by using state-of-art neutronic numerical models. The work, in particular, analyzes the behavior of a SMR core fueled with Th-MOX fuel assemblies, and compares it with the analogous behavior of a SMR core fueled with conventional MOX. Main advantages and drawbacks of this option are also highlighted.

Th-MOX fuel for SMRs

 

F. Polidoro: PROLIFERATION RESISTANCE OF NUCLEAR FUELS FOR SMALL MODULAR REACTORS

Abstract. Proliferation resistance has become one of the primary topics to be addressed if new nuclear energy systems are being developed as any nuclear system presents potential proliferation risks. In a near future, the diffusion of a nuclear fleet of Small Modular Reactors (SMRs), with inherent safety characteristics and with low level of attractiveness to the proliferation, could further enhance the capability to utilize plutonium from spent fuel and weapons dismantling, so providing a new option for reducing civil and military plutonium stocks. In this context, the objective of the present study is to identify the level of proliferation attractiveness of fuel loaded in SMR cores based on pressurized light water technology (PWR). In order to face the proliferation risk, a core designed to use MOX (Mixed Oxide) fuel is proposed, its performance investigated and the level of usability of the plutonium for non-peaceful applications assessed.

MOX fuel for SMRs