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Report No.
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Material attractiveness evaluation of fuel assembly of accelerator-driven system for nuclear security and non-proliferation

Oizumi, Akito   ; Sugawara, Takanori  ; Sagara, Hiroshi*

Research and development of the partitioning and transmutation (P&T) cycle with accelerator-drive systems (ADSs) transmuting minor actinides separated from the commercial cycles have been continuously conducted to reduce the amount of high-level radioactive waste contained in spent fuel discharged from nuclear power plants. Because the chemical form and composition of the fuels are different from those of the current commercial cycles, it is necessary to examine the inspection goal of the safeguards (SGs) and the design level of physical protections (PPs) that are required for the P&T cycle. In this study, the material attractiveness was evaluated assuming the theft or diversion of fuel assemblies from the fuel storage pool of the ADS facility in terms of nuclear security and non-proliferation. According to the results, quantitative components based on the fundamental fuel property were created as an important factor to decide the inspection goal for SGs and the design level for PPs required for the ADS facility. Additionally, the attractiveness of mixed oxide (MOX) fuel assemblies stored in the commercial boiling water reactor (BWR) facility was compared with that of the ADS. With regard to nuclear security, the ADS fuel was less attractive than the BWR MOX in every cycle. Regarding nuclear non-proliferation, the ADS fuel assembly had less attractive plutonium (Pu) than the BWR MOX, and the uranium (U) in the ADS fuel assembly was as attractive as (or slightly more attractive than) that of the BWR MOX owing to low spontaneous fission neutron. Furthermore, new issues were identified through this evaluation. With the current regulations, it was difficult to decide whether the ADS fuel before irradiation should be treated as fresh or spent, because the ADS fresh fuel contained more transuranium and rare earth than U and contained U whose main component was U-234 instead of U-238.

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