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Sodium Fast Reactor: an Asset for a PWR UOX/MOX Fleet

Abstract : The industrial program on used fuel reprocessing was launched in France in order to close the cycle of plutonium. In the 90s, the stoppage of Fast Reactors programs led to recycle plutonium into LWR MOX fuels instead of FR MOX fuels. The first MOX fuel assemblies were introduced in a French LWR in 1987. Since, recycling has been continued in France as 24 out of 58 PWRs operated can be currently loaded with MOX fuels.Due to its low fissile content, Pu from spent MOX fuels is sometimes regarded as not recyclable in LWR. Based on the existing French nuclear infrastructure (La Hague reprocessing plant and MELOX MOX manufacturing plant), AREVA and the CEA have evaluated the conditions of Pu multirecycling in a 100% LWR fleet. As France is currently supporting a Fast Reactor prototype project, scenario studies have also been conducted to evaluate the contribution of a 600 MWe SFR in the LWR fleet.These scenario studies consider a nuclear fleet composed of 8 PWR 900MWe, with or without the contribution of a SFR, and aim at evaluating the following points- the feasibility of Pu multi-recycling in PWR;- the impact on the spent fuels storage;- the reduction of the stored separated Pu;- the impact on waste management and final disposal.The studies have been conducted with the COSI6 code, developed by the CEA Nuclear Energy Direction since 1985, that simulates the evolution over time of a nuclear power plants fleet and of its associated fuel cycle facilities and provides material flux and isotopic compositions at each point of the scenario.To multi-recycle Pu into LWR MOX and to ensure flexibility, different reprocessing strategies were evaluated by adjusting the reprocessing order, the choice of used fuel assemblies according to their burn-up and the UOX/MOX proportions.The improvement of the Pu fissile quality and the kinetic of Pu multi-recycling in SFR depending on the initial Pu quality were also evaluated and led to a reintroduction of Pu in PWR MOX after a single irradiation in SFR, still in dilution with Pu from UOX to maintain a sufficient fissile quality.
Keywords : Scenario COSI SFR plutonium
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M. Tiphine, C. Coquelet, R. Girieud, R. Eschbach, C. Chabert-Koralews, et al.. Sodium Fast Reactor: an Asset for a PWR UOX/MOX Fleet. GLOBAL 2015 - 21st International Conference and Exhibition " Nuclear Fuel Cycle for a Low-Carbon Future", Sep 2015, Paris, France. ⟨cea-02509683⟩

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