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Report No.
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Development of nitride fuel cycle technology for transmutation of minor actinides

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

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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