Optimized fissile and fusile breeding in a laser-fusion fissile-enrichment flux trap blanket

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Optimization of fissile and fusile production in the SOLASE-H laser-fusion fissile-enrichment fuel-factory blanket is carried out. The objective is maximizing fissile breeding with the constraints of maintaining self-sufficiency in tritium production, and realistically accounting in the modeling for structural and coolant compositions and configurations imposed by the thermal-hydraulic and mechanical designs. The effect of radial and axial blanket zone thicknesses on fusile and fissile breeding is studied using a procedure which modifies the zones' effective optical thicknesses, rather than the actual three-dimensional geometrical configurations. A tritium yield per source neutron of 1.08 and a Th (n, γ) reaction yield per source neutron of 0.43 can be obtained in such a concept, where ThO2 Zircaloy-clad fuel assemblies for light water reactors (LWRs) are enriched in the233U isotope by irradiating them in a lead flux trap. This corresponds to 0.77 kg/[MW(th)-year] of fissile fuel production, and 1.94 years of irradiation in the fusion reactor to attain an average 3 w/o fissile enrichment in the fuel assemblies. For a once-through LWR cycle, a support ratio of 2-3 is estimated. However, with fuel recycling, more attractive support ratios of 4-6 may be attainable for a conversion ratio of 0.55, and of 5-8 for a conversion ratio of 0.70. These estimates are lower than those reported, around 20, for related designs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)285-298
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Fusion Energy
Volume1
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 1981

Keywords

  • Fusion reactors
  • Monte Carlo method
  • breeding blankets
  • breeding ratio
  • hybrid reactors
  • three-dimensional calculations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering

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