Fuel is an essential part of our lives. However, the limited sources of fuel highlight the need for using these fuels wisely. A research team from Tomsk Polytechnic University revealed the results of their latest study. The key intention of this research was to improve fuel lifetime.
Novel Technique to Improve Fuel Lifetime
Researchers have discovered a technique to improve the lifetimes of fuel by about 75%. They stated that the latest system helps in controlling the operating cost of nuclear power plants in critical-to-reach regions. At the same time, the technique will also aid in safety improvement. The outcomes of this study are open to access in the journal Nuclear Engineering and Design.
The key reason for the underdevelopment of various regions such as far North is the lack of sufficient and constant energy supply. The researchers at Tomsk underline that the only solution to tackle this situation is using low-power nuclear plants. Moreover, they added that the reactor fueling is a critical part of the process. It is one of the most tedious and unsafe procedures in nuclear energy. According to the Associate Professor of the TPU Division for Nuclear-Fuel Cycle, Vladimir Nesterov, “The reduction of refuel frequency can radically advance operational safety. In addition, it decreases transportation costs of fresh fuel or a nuclear power plant to a transshipment site.”
Furthermore, the experts stated, “The outcomes of the latest research are noteworthy. This research will help the scientists group to understand the proficiency of the thorium nuclear fuel cycle. The research showed that if this cycle is implemented in a low-power reactor installation, there is an increase in fuel lifetime by almost 75%.” The research team intends to carry forward this research in substantiated software during the upcoming period. Moreover, they also intend to perform thermophysical calculations of low-power reactors that work in the thorium-uranium fuel cycle.