Title: The MARINE experiment: Irradiation of sphere-pac fuel and pellets of UO2−x for americium breading blanket concept
Citation: NUCLEAR ENGINEERING AND DESIGN vol. 311 p. 131-141
Publication Year: 2017
JRC N°: JRC98211
ISSN: 0029-5493
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC98211
DOI: 10.1016/j.nucengdes.2016.11.023
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Americium is a strong contributor to the long term radiotoxicity of high activity nuclear waste. Transmutation by irradiation in nuclear reactors of long-lived nuclides like 241Am is therefore an option for the reduction of radiotoxicity and heat production of waste packages to be stored in a repository. The MARINE irradiation experiment is the latest of a series of European experiments on americium transmutation (e.g. EFTTRA-T4, EFTTRA-T4bis, HELIOS, MARIOS, SPHERE) performed in the High Flux Reactor (HFR). The MARINE experiment is developed and carried out in the framework of the 4-year project PELGRIMM of the EURATOM 7th Framework Programme (FP7). During the past years of experimental works in the field of transmutation and tests of innovative nuclear fuels, the release or trapping of helium as well as swelling have been shown to be the key issues for the design of such kind of fuel both as drivers and more (due to the higher Am contents) as Am-bearing blanket targets. The main objective of the MARINE experiment is to study the in-pile behaviour of target containing 13 % of americium and to compare the behaviour of sphere-pac versus pellet fuel, in particular the role of microstructure and temperature on fission gas release (mainly He) and on fuel swelling. The MARINE experiment is going to be irradiated in 2016 in the HFR in Petten (The Netherlands) and is expected to be terminated in spring 2017. This paper discusses the rationale and objective of the MARINE experiment and provides a general description of its design for which some innovative features have been adopted.
JRC Directorate:Nuclear Safety and Security

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