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Development of nitride fuel cycle technology for transmutation of minor actinides

MA核変換用窒化物燃料サイクル技術の開発

林 博和; 西 剛史*; 佐藤 匠; 倉田 正輝

Hayashi, Hirokazu; Nishi, Tsuyoshi*; Sato, Takumi; Kurata, Masaki

原子力機構では、マイナーアクチノイド(MA: Np, Am, Cm)など長寿命核種の核変換に関する研究を実施している。階層型燃料サイクル概念に基づき、核変換専用の加速器駆動システム(ADS)を用いてMA核変換を行う方法については、ウランを含まない窒化物燃料を用いることが検討されている。MAの核変換率を向上させるためには、使用済燃料を処理し、残存するMAを回収して再利用することが必要であり、その燃料サイクル技術の研究開発は重要である。本論文では、原子力機構で実施している窒化物燃料と乾式再処理法を用いた燃料サイクルに関する研究の現状及び今後の予定を紹介する。

Transmutation of long-lived radioactive nuclides including minor actinides (MA: Np, Am, Cm) has been studied in Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA). Accelerator-driven system (ADS) is regarded as one of the powerful tools for transmutation of MA under the double strata fuel cycle concept. Uranium-free nitride fuel was chosen as the first candidate fuel for MA transmutation using ADS. To improve the transmutation ratio of MA, reprocessing of spent fuel and reusing MA recovered from the spent fuels is necessary. Our target is to transmute 99% of MA arisen from commercial power reactor fuel cycle, with which the period until the radiotoxicity drops below that of natural uranium can be shorten from about 5000 years to about 300 years. A pyrochemical process has been proposed as the first candidate for reprocessing of the spent nitride fuel. This paper overviews the current status of the nitride fuel cycle technology. Our recent study on fuel fabrication, fuel property measurements, reprocessing of spent fuel, development of the property database of MA nitride fuel, and fuel behavior simulation code are introduced. Our research and development (R&D) plan based on the roadmap of the development is also introduced.

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