D. Mulyana, S. Chirayath, “Proliferation resistance of light water reactor versus pebble bed reactor”, Annals of Nuclear Energy, 188 (2023).
ntrinsic proliferation resistance (PR) against the weaponization of U and Pu in used nuclear fuel discharged from a 500 MWt pebble bed reactor (PBR) and an integral pressurized water reactor (iPWR) was assessed. Four inherent characteristics (spontaneous fission neutron emission, heat load, radiation exposure, and Rossi-α) of U and Pu in the used fuel were the basis for the PR evaluation. These four characteristics for a significant quantity of U (75 kg of 235U) and Pu (8 kg) metallic sphere made from used fuel were quantified by performing reactor neutronics simulations. The intrinsic PR values for PBR used fuel were found to be lower compared to the iPWR for all the cases analyzed due to the higher quantity and better quality of nuclear material. Online refueling with an effective safeguards approach and a better choice of PBR fuel composition are needed to increase the PR of its used fuel.