A disruptive approach to eliminating weapongrade plutonium - Pu burning in a molten salt fast reactor



Merk, Bruno and Litskevich, Dzianis ORCID: 0000-0002-3207-3058
(2018) A disruptive approach to eliminating weapongrade plutonium - Pu burning in a molten salt fast reactor. PLOS ONE, 13 (8). e0201757-.

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Abstract

The successful implementation of disarmament treaties of the last centuries has led to significant amounts of weapon-grade Plutonium which are currently stored in high security storage facilities. Disposing this Plutonium should be seen as 'good housekeeping' avoiding unnecessary costs and the hazards of storing this material indefinitely. In addition, the disarmament is only brought to a successful end when the Plutonium isn't available for the production of new weapons anymore. We propose a disruptive approach for Plutonium disposition and demonstrate the feasibility in a neutronic study. Burning of weapon-grade Plutonium in a molten salt fast reactor is significantly more efficient than in the studied other reactors, while efficient process design has the potential to reduce the security concerns significantly. The proposed system could turn about 1.25 tons of weapon-grade Plutonium into electric energy worth £ 0.5 to 1 billion/year, depending on the electricity price while avoiding the hassle and eliminating the risk of high security Plutonium storage. In conclusion, burning of the weapon-grade Plutonium resulting from disarmament could be an economically very attractive approach to reduce the nuclear threat.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Plutonium, Salts, Radioactive Waste, Incineration, Power Plants, Models, Theoretical, Computer Simulation, Weapons
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 17 Sep 2018 09:54
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2023 01:17
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0201757
Related URLs:
URI: https://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/3026381