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S. Chirayath, W. Charlton, A. Stafford, C. Myers, B. Goddard, J. Alfred, M. Carroll, M. Sternat, and E. Rauch, "Risk Informed Safeguards Integration Studies for a Fast Reactor Fuel Cycle," Proceedings of the 51st Annual Meeting of the Institute of Nuclear Materials and Management, Baltimore, MD, USA, July 11-15, 2010.


Fast reactors with a closed fuel cycle (FRFC) are important for the sustainability, reliability, and security of the world's long-term energy supply because of its potential to extract more energy from the mined uranium than other fuel cycles and also due to its capability to incinerate transuranic elements. Knowing this vast potential, research activities on the FBRFC technology have rejuvenated worldwide. Presence of three such systems among the six proposed by the GEN IV International Forum marks their importance for the future. However, Pu production and its use in large quantities in these systems is a major safeguards concern. Hence, it is prudent to assess the proliferation resistance (PR) of the FRFC facilities for finding weak links, so as to ensure adequate safeguards for Pu. Towards this objective, the Nuclear Security Science and Policy Institute at the Texas A&M University is carrying out pre-conceptual design studies for the integration of modern safeguards directly into the planning and building of FRFC facilities. A broad three step safeguards approach is adopted consisting of; (1) quantitative SNM flow diagram development for the FRFC, (2) PR assessment tool development for analyzing SNM diversion scenarios, and (3) design of a safeguards system based on the risk informed data obtained from the PR assessment. Accordingly, the SNM flow diagram for the FBRFC was developed by employing MCNP/ORIGEN/MONTEBURNS computer codes choosing the Indian Proto-type FBR design details available from the open literature. The PR assessment software, PRAETOR (proliferation resistance analysis and evaluation tool for observed risk) based on the well established multiattribute utility analysis decision methodology is developed and employed. A set of 21 SNM diversion scenarios for the three key FRFC facilities (fuel fabrication, fast breeder reactor and fuel reprocessing) and a PWR spent fuel diversion scenario (as a reference case) are analyzed using the PRAETOR tool. The details of setting up material balance areas (MBA), material balance periods (MBP), key measurement points (KMP), and the containment & surveillance program based on a classical safeguards approach are presented in addition to the risk informed safeguards approach employing the PRAETOR tool.

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Associated Project(s):

  • Safeguards Approaches for Fast Breeder Reactors and Associated Fuel Cycle Facilities
  • Proliferation Resistance Methods Development

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