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Americium transmutation in a scenario of progressive SFR deployment

Abstract : After the studies carried out in the frame of the 2006 French act for waste management, the CEA, EDF and AREVA decided to work together on potential progressive transition scenarios from the current French nuclear fleet to a SFR fleet which does not require natural uranium to operate. This paper describes one of these scenarios.The first part of the paper focuses on the presentation and results of this transition scenario, with no minor actinides (MA) transmutation taken into account. The scenario starts with the current French fleet and its replacement by an EPR reactor fleet in which plutonium keeps on being monorecycled. MOX PWR spent fuel (SF) reprocessing begins in 2040 in order to feed three breakeven SFR, commissioned between 2050 and 2059. To prepare for a larger SFR deployment, three more SFRs are commissioned between 2075 and 2085 and small-scale SFR SF reprocessing starts in 2060. In 2090, additional SFR are deployed in order to stabilize total plutonium and used fuels inventories, with a fleet composed of 16 breeder SFR and 22 EPR reactors. Finally, between 2150 and 2185, this EPR/SFR reactor fleet is progressively renewed by a new one composed of 41 breakeven SFR. At the end of the scenario, the total Pu inventory is stabilized at 1260t (mostly present in SF and reactor cores) but the MA inventory in the waste is still increasing at a rate of 2.5tHM/y.The following parts of the paper focus on the impact of americium (Am) transmutation in Am bearing blankets (AmBB) loaded in the SFR commissioned in the scenario. Two cases are described, one considering the Am transmutation in the fleet ultimately composed only of SFR, and the other one considering the Am transmutation starting with the mixed SFR/EPR fleet. Finally, one row of AmBB containing 10wt% of Am is enough to stabilize the Am inventory (in both cycle and waste) if the fleet is only composed only of SFR. In the case of a mixed fleet composed of 16 SFRs and 22 moxed EPRs, two rows of AmBB containing 15wt% of Am are required in each SFR core in order to recycle all of the separated Am. However, in that case the total Am inventory is not stabilized as it is still increasing in the spent fuel and blankets. It is noteworthy that, compared to a scenario with Pu multirecycling but without transmutation, Am transmutation in AmBB can lead to a 30% reduction of the radiotoxicity of the waste accumulated all over the scenario.
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  • HAL Id : cea-02438350, version 1

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M. Tiphine, C. Coquelet-Pascal, R. Eschbach, C. Chabert-Koralews, B. Carlier, et al.. Americium transmutation in a scenario of progressive SFR deployment. 14th Information Exchange Meeting on Actinide and Fission Product Partitioning and Transmutation (IEMPT - 2016), Oct 2016, San Diego, United States. ⟨cea-02438350⟩

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