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Special Issue "Sustainable Future of Nuclear Power"

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 August 2015)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Hiroshi Sekimoto

Research Laboratory for Nuclear Reactors, Tokyo Institute of Technology, 2-12-1 0-okayama, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 152, Japan
Website | E-Mail
Interests: nuclear energy in general; reactor engineering in general; fundamentals of reactor engineering; utilization and applications of reactors; reactor types/accessories; reactor safety; nuclear fuels

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Most of the presently utilized energy is produced by fossil fuels. They emit carbon-dioxide and cause global warming. Renewable energies are free from this problem. However, they have other problems, such as low density and unstable power rate.

Nuclear energy is expected to be a sustainable high-density energy source in the future, since it can supply stable energy without emitting large amounts of carbon-dioxide, and its resource amount is much more than fossil fuel, if fuel breeding is employed. However, if we use it for a long period, accumulated radioactive wastes become a severe problem. At present, the number of countries using nuclear energy is increasing, and total nuclear power generation is also increasing. Waste management has already become an issue of growing global concern.

This Special Issue of Energies will discuss the sustainability of nuclear power. The Special Issue will encompass waste management, not only with respect to underground disposal, but also other innovative methods, such as nuclear transmutation and other exotic methods. In this Special Issue, not only nuclear waste management, but also nuclear power generation methods are discussed; these methods utilize nuclear fuels in an efficient way, minimize radioactive waste, and satisfy safety and security requirements.

Prof. Dr. Hiroshi Sekimoto
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Energies is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • nuclear reactor
  • nuclear fuel cycle
  • sustainability
  • spent fuel
  • radioactive waste
  • safety
  • security

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Spent Nuclear Fuel Management: Levelized Cost of Electricity Generation and Analysis of Various Production Scenarios
Energies 2016, 9(3), 178; https://doi.org/10.3390/en9030178
Received: 13 November 2015 / Revised: 19 February 2016 / Accepted: 24 February 2016 / Published: 10 March 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (4246 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article aims to analyze the results of an economic study carried out to compare the influence of nuclear production capacity in different countries. The analysis is based on LCOEs (levelized cost of electricity) for three back-end strategies: open cycle, closed cycle and
[...] Read more.
This article aims to analyze the results of an economic study carried out to compare the influence of nuclear production capacity in different countries. The analysis is based on LCOEs (levelized cost of electricity) for three back-end strategies: open cycle, closed cycle and advanced closed cycle. The results show that costs are not a relevant criteria in order to select an energy policy for the spent nuclear fuel management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Future of Nuclear Power)
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Open AccessArticle A Conceptual Study of a Supercritical CO2-Cooled Micro Modular Reactor
Energies 2015, 8(12), 13938-13952; https://doi.org/10.3390/en81212405
Received: 18 October 2015 / Revised: 27 November 2015 / Accepted: 30 November 2015 / Published: 9 December 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (5101 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A neutronics conceptual study of a supercritical CO2-cooled micro modular reactor (MMR) has been performed in this work. The suggested MMR is an extremely compact and truck-transportable nuclear reactor. The thermal power of the MMR is 36.2 MWth and it is
[...] Read more.
A neutronics conceptual study of a supercritical CO2-cooled micro modular reactor (MMR) has been performed in this work. The suggested MMR is an extremely compact and truck-transportable nuclear reactor. The thermal power of the MMR is 36.2 MWth and it is designed to have a 20-year lifetime without refueling. A salient feature of the MMR is that all the components including the generator are integrated in a small reactor vessel. For a minimal volume and long lifetime of the MMR core, a fast neutron spectrum is utilized in this work. To enhance neutron economy and maximize the fuel volume fraction in the core, a high-density uranium mono-nitride U15N fuel is used in the fast-spectrum MMR. Unlike the conventional supercritical CO2-cooled fast reactors, a replaceable fixed absorber (RFA) is introduced in a unique way to minimize the excess reactivity and the power peaking factor of the core. For a compact core design, the drum-type control absorber is adopted as the primary reactivity control mechanism. In this study, the neutronics analyses and depletions have been performed by using the continuous energy Monte Carlo Serpent code with the evaluated nuclear data file ENDF/B-VII.1 Library. The MMR core is characterized in view of several important safety parameters such as control system worth, fuel temperature coefficient (FTC) and coolant void reactivity (CVR), etc. In addition, a preliminary thermal-hydraulic analysis has also been performed for the hottest channel of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) MMR. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Future of Nuclear Power)
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Open AccessArticle Asymptotic Solutions of Serial Radial Fuel Shuffling
Energies 2015, 8(12), 13829-13845; https://doi.org/10.3390/en81212398
Received: 16 October 2015 / Revised: 20 November 2015 / Accepted: 24 November 2015 / Published: 4 December 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1854 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this paper, the mechanism of traveling wave reactors (TWRs) is investigated from the mathematical physics point of view, in which a stationary fission wave is formed by radial fuel drifting. A two dimensional cylindrically symmetric core is considered and the fuel is
[...] Read more.
In this paper, the mechanism of traveling wave reactors (TWRs) is investigated from the mathematical physics point of view, in which a stationary fission wave is formed by radial fuel drifting. A two dimensional cylindrically symmetric core is considered and the fuel is assumed to drift radially according to a continuous fuel shuffling scheme. A one-group diffusion equation with burn-up dependent macroscopic coefficients is set up. The burn-up dependent macroscopic coefficients were assumed to be known as functions of neutron fluence. By introducing the effective multiplication factor keff, a nonlinear eigenvalue problem is formulated. The 1-D stationary cylindrical coordinate problem can be solved successively by analytical and numerical integrations for associated eigenvalues keff. Two representative 1-D examples are shown for inward and outward fuel drifting motions, respectively. The inward fuel drifting has a higher keff than the outward one. The 2-D eigenvalue problem has to be solved by a more complicated method, namely a pseudo time stepping iteration scheme. Its 2-D asymptotic solutions are obtained together with certain eigenvalues keff for several fuel inward drifting speeds. Distributions of the neutron flux, the neutron fluence, the infinity multiplication factor kinf and the normalized power are presented for two different drifting speeds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Future of Nuclear Power)
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Open AccessArticle On the Burning of Plutonium Originating from Light Water Reactor Use in a Fast Molten Salt Reactor—A Neutron Physical Study
Energies 2015, 8(11), 12557-12572; https://doi.org/10.3390/en81112328
Received: 4 September 2015 / Revised: 21 October 2015 / Accepted: 23 October 2015 / Published: 5 November 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1632 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
An efficient burning of the plutonium produced during light water reactor (LWR) operation has the potential to significantly improve the sustainability indices of LWR operations. The work offers a comparison of the efficiency of Pu burning in different reactor configurations—a molten salt fast
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An efficient burning of the plutonium produced during light water reactor (LWR) operation has the potential to significantly improve the sustainability indices of LWR operations. The work offers a comparison of the efficiency of Pu burning in different reactor configurations—a molten salt fast reactor, a LWR with mixed oxide (MOX) fuel, and a sodium cooled fast reactor. The calculations are performed using the HELIOS 2 code. All results are evaluated against the plutonium burning efficiency determined in the Consommation Accrue de Plutonium dans les Réacteurs à Neutrons RApides (CAPRA) project. The results are discussed with special view on the increased sustainability of LWR use in the case of successful avoidance of an accumulation of Pu which otherwise would have to be forwarded to a final disposal. A strategic discussion is given about the unavoidable plutonium production, the possibility to burn the plutonium to avoid a burden for the future generations which would have to be controlled. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Future of Nuclear Power)
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Open AccessArticle Design of an Extractive Distillation Column for the Environmentally Benign Separation of Zirconium and Hafnium Tetrachloride for Nuclear Power Reactor Applications
Energies 2015, 8(9), 10354-10369; https://doi.org/10.3390/en80910354
Received: 24 July 2015 / Revised: 8 September 2015 / Accepted: 12 September 2015 / Published: 21 September 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1288 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Nuclear power with strengthened safety regulations continues to be used as an important resource in the world for managing atmospheric greenhouse gases and associated climate change. This study examined the environmentally benign separation of zirconium tetrachloride (ZrCl4) and hafnium tetrachloride (HfCl
[...] Read more.
Nuclear power with strengthened safety regulations continues to be used as an important resource in the world for managing atmospheric greenhouse gases and associated climate change. This study examined the environmentally benign separation of zirconium tetrachloride (ZrCl4) and hafnium tetrachloride (HfCl4) for nuclear power reactor applications through extractive distillation using a NaCl-KCl molten salt mixture. The vapor–liquid equilibrium behavior of ZrCl4 and HfCl4 over the molten salt system was correlated with Raoult’s law. The molten salt-based extractive distillation column was designed optimally using a rigorous commercial simulator for the feasible separation of ZrCl4 and HfCl4. The molten salt-based extractive distillation approach has many potential advantages for the commercial separation of ZrCl4 and HfCl4 compared to the conventional distillation because of its milder temperatures and pressure conditions, smaller number of required separation trays in the column, and lower energy requirement for separation, while still taking the advantage of environmentally benign feature by distillation. A heat-pump-assisted configuration was also explored to improve the energy efficiency of the extractive distillation process. The proposed enhanced configuration reduced the energy requirement drastically. Extractive distillation can be a promising option competing with the existing extraction-based separation process for zirconium purification for nuclear power reactor applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Future of Nuclear Power)
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Open AccessArticle Analysis of Unit Process Cost for an Engineering-Scale Pyroprocess Facility Using a Process Costing Method in Korea
Energies 2015, 8(8), 8775-8797; https://doi.org/10.3390/en8088775
Received: 31 March 2015 / Revised: 3 August 2015 / Accepted: 14 August 2015 / Published: 18 August 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (4984 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Pyroprocessing, which is a dry recycling method, converts spent nuclear fuel into U (Uranium)/TRU (TRansUranium) metal ingots in a high-temperature molten salt phase. This paper provides the unit process cost of a pyroprocess facility that can process up to 10 tons of pyroprocessing
[...] Read more.
Pyroprocessing, which is a dry recycling method, converts spent nuclear fuel into U (Uranium)/TRU (TRansUranium) metal ingots in a high-temperature molten salt phase. This paper provides the unit process cost of a pyroprocess facility that can process up to 10 tons of pyroprocessing product per year by utilizing the process costing method. Toward this end, the pyroprocess was classified into four kinds of unit processes: pretreatment, electrochemical reduction, electrorefining and electrowinning. The unit process cost was calculated by classifying the cost consumed at each process into raw material and conversion costs. The unit process costs of the pretreatment, electrochemical reduction, electrorefining and electrowinning were calculated as 195 US$/kgU-TRU, 310 US$/kgU-TRU, 215 US$/kgU-TRU and 231 US$/kgU-TRU, respectively. Finally the total pyroprocess cost was calculated as 951 US$/kgU-TRU. In addition, the cost driver for the raw material cost was identified as the cost for Li3PO4, needed for the LiCl-KCl purification process, and platinum as an anode electrode in the electrochemical reduction process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Future of Nuclear Power)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Recent Advances in Ocean Nuclear Power Plants
Energies 2015, 8(10), 11470-11492; https://doi.org/10.3390/en81011470
Received: 30 August 2015 / Revised: 28 September 2015 / Accepted: 1 October 2015 / Published: 14 October 2015
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (5284 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this paper, recent advances in Ocean Nuclear Power Plants (ONPPs) are reviewed, including their general arrangement, design parameters, and safety features. The development of ONPP concepts have continued due to initiatives taking place in France, Russia, South Korea, and the United States.
[...] Read more.
In this paper, recent advances in Ocean Nuclear Power Plants (ONPPs) are reviewed, including their general arrangement, design parameters, and safety features. The development of ONPP concepts have continued due to initiatives taking place in France, Russia, South Korea, and the United States. Russia’s first floating nuclear power stations utilizing the PWR technology (KLT-40S) and the spar-type offshore floating nuclear power plant designed by a research group in United States are considered herein. The APR1400 and SMART mounted Gravity Based Structure (GBS)-type ONPPs proposed by a research group in South Korea are also considered. In addition, a submerged-type ONPP designed by DCNS of France is taken into account. Last, issues and challenges related to ONPPs are discussed and summarized. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Future of Nuclear Power)
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