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High Conversion Th–U233 fuel for current generation of PWRs: Part III – Fuel availability and utilization considerations

Baldova, D.; Fridman, E.; Shwageraus, E.


In the previous studies, reported in Parts I and II of the paper, the high conversion (HC) Th-U233 fuel design for current generation of PWRs was proposed and investigated in details on single fuel assembly and 3D full core levels. One of the important limitations of the previous studies was the reliance on the availability of pure U233 as a fissile driver. In reality, however, U233 will always be accompanied by other U isotopes. Part III of the paper deals with a number of fuel cycle aspects associated with the use of HC Th-U fuel in PWRs including: (1) more realistic estimation of neutronic properties and conversion performance of HC Th-U fuel by accounting for the evolution of U isotopic composition with a number of recycle stages; (2) reassessment of the HC Th-U PWR core performance through 3D full core coupled neutronic and T-H analysis; (3) demonstration of a feasible way of generating U233; and finally (4) evaluation of potential savings in available resources that can be achieved by using HC Th-U fuel cycle as compared to the current fuel cycle practices.

Keywords: High conversion; PWR; Th-U233 fuel; seed-blanket; DYN3D


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