A neutronic analysis is presented of three incinerator subcritical lattices, driven by accelerated protons and designed to transmute the minor actinides, the 99Tc and the 129I, of light water reactor (LWR) waste. A calculational methodology must first be established to enable a neutronic burnup analysis of fission cores driven by high-energy protons. The methodology is based on the following codes: HERMES, the Forschungszentrum Jülich adaptation of HETC, for high-energy interactions; MCNP3, for neutron interactions below 20 MeV of neutron energy; and KORIGEN, the Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe adaptation of ORIGEN, for burnup analysis. A result of applying the methodology is that the minor actinides, the 99Tc, and the 129I, of LWR waste may be transmuted in subcritical cores, driven by the spallation neutrons emanating from the bombardment of the cores with 1600-MeV protons. Three core types are required. Core type I is fueled by the minor actinides and is a modification of the Brookhaven National Laboratory PHOENIX. With a proton current of 20 mA, the core incinerates the minor actinide waste of 14 LWRs. Core type II contains the 99Tc, 129I, and plutonium waste of 19 LWRs. With a proton beam of 130 mA, the core incinerates the technetium and 60% of the iodine. With a fraction of the plutonium coming out of this core, the remaining 40% of 129I is incinerated in core type III. All three cores run to 100000 MWd/tonne or slightly higher; on the average, no core is a net consumer of grid electricity; all are cooled by sodium but remain subcritical with the loss of coolant.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Nuclear Energy and Engineering