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On the influence of the americium isotopic vector on the cooling time of minor actinides bearing blankets in fast reactors

Abstract : In the heterogeneous minor actinides transmutation approach, the nuclei to be transmuted are loaded in dedicated targets often located at the core periphery, so that long-lived heavy nuclides are turned into shorter-lived fission products by fission. To compensate for low flux level at the core periphery, the minor actinides content in the targets is set relatively high (around 20 at.%), which has a negative impact on the reprocessing of the targets due to their important decay heat level. After a complete analysis of the main contributors to the heat load of the irradiated targets, it is shown here that the choice of the reprocessing order of the various feeds of americium from the fuel cycle depends on the actual limit for fuel reprocessing. If reprocessing of hot targets is possible, it is more interesting to reprocess first the americium feed with a high $^{243}$Am content in order to limit the total cooling time of the targets, while if reprocessing of targets is limited by their decay heat, it is more interesting to wait for an increase in the $^{241}$Am content before loading the americium in the core. An optimization of the reprocessing order appears to lead to a decrease of the total cooling time by 15 years compared to a situation where all the americium feeds are mixed together when two feeds from SFR are considered with a high reprocessing limit.
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Timothée Kooyman, Laurent Buiron, G. Rimpault. On the influence of the americium isotopic vector on the cooling time of minor actinides bearing blankets in fast reactors. EPJ N - Nuclear Sciences & Technologies, EDP Sciences, 2018, 4, pp.11. ⟨10.1051/epjn/2018007⟩. ⟨cea-02305651⟩



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