Accession Number:

ADA583791

Title:

Isotope Mixes, Corresponding Nuclear Properties and Reactor Design Implications of Naturally Occurring Lead Sources

Descriptive Note:

Master's thesis

Corporate Author:

NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2013-06-01

Pagination or Media Count:

75.0

Abstract:

Lead-cooled Fast Reactors LFRs offer great potential for future compact nuclear power systems. The Small, Secure, Transportable, Autonomous Reactor SSTAR is a concept for an advanced fast reactor cooled by lead. Such reactors could be improved by using lead that is enriched in radiogenic lead e.g., 208Pb in contrast to the average natural isotopic concentration. This improvement is due to the improved neutron reflection and lower neutron absorption cross-sections of the radiogenic isotopes. Artificial isotope separation of lead is cost-prohibitive however, a natural lead source that is high in 208Pb and low in 204Pb could be used to improve the design of the reactor. The natural variation of lead isotopic content is geochemically investigated to determine if there are favorable naturally occurring lead sources. The results of the investigation are then used in Monte-Carlo simulations with the MCNP5 code to determine the potential benefits of using such a lead composition to the design of a simplified SSTAR-type reactor. The results demonstrate that natural lead sources high in 208Pb could lead to a reduction in the required core enrichment of up to 1 percent this benefit could also be applied to make the design smaller, or to increase the power output.

Subject Categories:

  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Isotopes
  • Nuclear Physics and Elementary Particle Physics

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE