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Method to reduce long-lived fission products by nuclear transmutations with fast spectrum reactors

Chiba, Satoshi*; Wakabayashi, Toshio*; Tachi, Yoshiaki  ; Takaki, Naoyuki*; Terashima, Atsunori*; Okumura, Shin*; Yoshida, Tadashi*

Transmutation of long-lived fission products (LLFPs: $$^{79}$$Se, $$^{93}$$Zr, $$^{99}$$Tc, $$^{107}$$Pd, $$^{129}$$I, and $$^{135}$$Cs) into short-lived or non-radioactive nuclides by fast neutron spectrum reactors without isotope separation has been proposed as a solution to the problem of radioactive wastes disposal. Despite investigation of many methods, such transmutation remains technologically difficult. To establish an effective and efficient transmutation system, we propose a novel neutron moderator material, yttrium deuteride (YD$$_{2}$$), to soften the neutron spectrum leaking from the reactor core. Neutron energy spectra and effective half-lives of LLFPs, transmutation rates, and support ratios were evaluated with the continuous-energy Monte Carlo code MVP-II/MVP-BURN and the JENDL-4.0 cross section library. With the YD$$_{2}$$ moderator in the radial blanket and shield regions, effective half-lives drastically decreased from 10$$^{6}$$ to 10$$^{2}$$ years and the support ratios reached 1.0 for all six LLFPs. This successful development and implementation of a transmutation system for LLFPs without isotope separation contribute to developing a self-consuming cycle of LLFPs using fast spectrum reactors to reduce radioactive waste.

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Category:Multidisciplinary Sciences

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