Demand driven salt clean-up in a molten salt fast reactor - Defining a priority list

Merk, B, Litskevich, D ORCID: 0000-0002-3207-3058, Gregg, R and Mount, AR
(2018) Demand driven salt clean-up in a molten salt fast reactor - Defining a priority list. PLOS ONE, 13 (3). e0192020-.

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The PUREX technology based on aqueous processes is currently the leading reprocessing technology in nuclear energy systems. It seems to be the most developed and established process for light water reactor fuel and the use of solid fuel. However, demand driven development of the nuclear system opens the way to liquid fuelled reactors, and disruptive technology development through the application of an integrated fuel cycle with a direct link to reactor operation. The possibilities of this new concept for innovative reprocessing technology development are analysed, the boundary conditions are discussed, and the economic as well as the neutron physical optimization parameters of the process are elucidated. Reactor physical knowledge of the influence of different elements on the neutron economy of the reactor is required. Using an innovative study approach, an element priority list for the salt clean-up is developed, which indicates that separation of Neodymium and Caesium is desirable, as they contribute almost 50% to the loss of criticality. Separating Zirconium and Samarium in addition from the fuel salt would remove nearly 80% of the loss of criticality due to fission products. The theoretical study is followed by a qualitative discussion of the different, demand driven optimization strategies which could satisfy the conflicting interests of sustainable reactor operation, efficient chemical processing for the salt clean-up, and the related economic as well as chemical engineering consequences. A new, innovative approach of balancing the throughput through salt processing based on a low number of separation process steps is developed. Next steps for the development of an economically viable salt clean-up process are identified.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Neodymium, Samarium, Cesium, Zirconium, Water, Salts, Equipment Design, Nuclear Energy, Neutrons, Nuclear Reactors, Models, Chemical, Computer Simulation
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 01 Mar 2018 15:24
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2023 06:38
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0192020
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