Title: Neutronics Assessment of the Use of Thorium Fuels in Current Pressurized Water Reactors
Authors: TSIGE-TAMIRAT Haileyesus
Citation: PROGRESS IN NUCLEAR ENERGY vol. 53 no. 6 p. 717 - 721
Publication Year: 2011
JRC N°: JRC62079
ISSN: 0149-1970
URI: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/pnucene
DOI: 10.1016/j.pnucene.2011.04.005
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: The use of thorium fuel in current PWRs in a once-through fuel cycle is an attractive option dueto potential advantages such as high conversion ratio and low minor actinidegeneration. Thecurrent neutronics assessments indicate that the thorium fuel cycle could supplement the currenturanium-plutonium fuel cycle to improve operational performance and spent fuel considerationin current PWRs without core and subassembly modifications. Neutronics safety parameters inthe PWR cores with the thorium fuels are within the range of current PWRs. The PWR cores with thorium fuels have significantly higher conversation ratios which couldenable efficient fuel utilization. Further, it is shown that the use of thorium as a fertile materialcan reduce minor actinide generation and the radio-toxicity of spent fuels. In considerationsrelated to proliferation resistance, the results of the current analyses show no significantdifference between the studied thorium fuels and the standard oxide fuel for the assumedcharacteristics and burnup levels.
JRC Directorate:Nuclear Safety and Security

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