CONTRIBUTION TO LONG TERM MINOR ACTINIDE MANAGEMENT THROUGH TRANSMUTATION IN ACCELERATOR DRIVEN SYSTEMS (ADS)

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A six months activity has been performed in Studiecentrum voor Kernenergie-Centre d’Etude de l’Energie Nucléaire SCK-CEN in Mol, Belgium.

The question of waste management is a well known problem in nuclear industry for the present century. Reducing the potential radiotoxicity or the time that potential hazard exists is the main challenge and the most effective way is, probably, destroying Minor Actinides (MAs). 
This work focuses on the use of an ADS for minor actinides transmutation. The use of an ADS allows a waste loading without criticality and safety constraints that are normally present in a critical reactor. In this direction, the European Community supports inside 6th Framework Program – EURATOM, lots of R&D projects finalized to an industrial scale transmuter.

The objectives of the present work are:
– to evaluate the capability of burning (using inert matrix fuel) of minor actinides core content in an 600 MeV, 400 MWth ADS and a 150 GWd/tonIHM burn-up;
– to evaluate the best estimation of Reference Level and the qualitative and quantitative evolution of the ICRP Publications, their influence on the potential radiotoxicity of spent fuel, their impact on Partitioning & Transmutation (P&T) solution and on the European and US body of laws.

For these pourposes we used a Monte Carlo evolution code (ALEPH-1.1.2) in development in SCK-CEN inside MYRRHA Project, MCNPX-2.5.0 and ORIGEN-2.2 and we rewiew the state of art of internal dosimetry, since 1959, in ICRP Publications, 10 CFR 20, 96/29/EURATOM and 2001 Belgiam law on Radiological Protection.