B R Bergelson
Articles written in Pramana – Journal of Physics
Volume 68 Issue 2 February 2007 pp 143-150
This paper presents the results of calculations for CANDU reactor operation in thorium fuel cycle. Calculations are performed to estimate the feasibility of operation of heavy-water thermal neutron power reactor in self-sufficient thorium cycle. Parameters of active core and scheme of fuel reloading were considered to be the same as for standard operation in uranium cycle. Two modes of operations are discussed in the paper: mode of preliminary accumulation of 233U and mode of operation in self-sufficient cycle. For the mode of accumulation of 233U it was assumed for calculations that plutonium can be used as additional fissile material to provide neutrons for 233U production. Plutonium was placed in fuel channels, while 232Th was located in target channels. Maximum content of 233U in target channels was estimated to be $\sim 13$ kg/t of ThO2. This was achieved by irradiation for six years. The start of the reactor operation in the self-sufficient mode requires 233U content to be not less than 12 kg/t. For the mode of operation in self-sufficient cycle, it was assumed that all channels were loaded with identical fuel assemblies containing ThO2 and certain amount of 233U. It is shown that nonuniform distribution of 233U in fuel assembly is preferable.
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