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°: JRC68074
ISSN: 0149-1970
URI: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0149197011000540
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 due to potential advantages such as high conversion ratio and low minor actinide generation. The current neutronics assessments indicate that the thorium fuel cycle could supplement the current uranium eplutonium fuel cycle to improve operational performance and spent fuel consideration in current PWRs without core and subassembly modifications. Neutronics safety parameters in the PWR cores with the thorium fuels are within the range of current PWRs. The PWR cores with thorium fuels have significantly higher conversion ratios which could enable efficient fuel utilization. Further, it is shown that the use of thorium as a fertile material can reduce minor actinide generation and the radio-toxicity of spent fuels. In considerations related to proliferation resistance, the results of the current analyses show no significant difference between the studied thorium fuels and the standard oxide fuel for the assumed characteristics and burnup levels.
JRC Directorate:Nuclear Safety and Security

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