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Potential of Thorium Based Fuel Cycles to Constrain Plutonium and Reduce Long Lived Waste Toxicity

English IAEA-TECDOC-1349 92-0-103203-X
144 15.00 2003

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This publication constitutes the final report of the Coordinated Research Project (CRP) on "Potential of Thorium-based Fuel Cycles to Constrain Plutonium and to Reduce Long-term Waste Toxicity" initiated by the IAEA in 1995. The Member States participating in the CRP were: China, Germany, India, Israel, Japan, Republic of Korea, the Netherlands, Russian Federation, and the United States of America. The CRP examined the different fuel cycle options in which plutonium can be recycled with thorium to incinerate plutonium. The potential of the thorium matrix has been examined through computer simulations. Each participant had chosen their own cycle, and the different cycles are compared through certain predefined parameters (e.g., annual reduction of plutonium stockpiles). The radiotoxicity accumulation and the transmutation potential of thorium based cycles for current, advanced and innovative nuclear power reactors are investigated. The research programme was divided into three stages: (1) Benchmark calculations, (2) Optimization of the incineration of plutonium in various reactor types, (3) Assessment of the resulting impact on the waste radiotoxicity.

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