T.V.K. Woddi, W.S. Charlton, P. Nelson, J. Ragusa, “A Technical Study of Nuclear Fuel Cycle and the Three Stage Power Program of India for US-India Nuclear Cooperation”, Annual Meeting of the Institute for Nuclear Materials Management, July 8-12, 2007, Tucson, AZ.
Given the recent steps toward civil nuclear cooperation between the US and the Government of India a necessity for assessing India”s nuclear fuel cycle including nuclear materials, facilities and three stage nuclear power program has arisen. With this possible agreement a policy shift is eminent, thus opening the possibility of nuclear fuel acquisition by India from US and other members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group. This state of affairs drove the desire to model the three stage reactors, PHWR”s, fast reactors and U-233 cores for power production that India plans to pursue for years to come. India”s three stage nuclear power program entities and all the components of civilian and military significance were assembled into a flowsheet analysis to allow for a macroscopic vision of the Indian fuel cycle. Analysis of an alternate fuel for the Indian fuel cycle was made which couples uranium and thorium resources. This fuel would significantly simplify the complex three stage program and the verification methods for IAEA. The cornerstone of any civilian nuclear technological support necessitates the separation of military and civilian facilities. A complete nuclear fuel cycle assessment of India was performed to aid in assessing how entwined the military and civilian facilities in India are as well as to effectively move forward with the separation plan. To estimate the existing uranium reserves in India, a complete historical assessment of ore production, conversion, and processing was performed using open source information and compared to independent reports. Nuclear energy and plutonium production (reactor- and weapons-grade) were simulated using declared capacity factors and modern simulation tools. These assessments included historical analysis and future projection with various possibilities of resources used and technologies ventured.