Reduction of Plutonium Production in Heavy Water Research Reactor: A Feasibility Study through Neutronic Analysis Using mcnpx2.6 and cinder90 Codes
One of the main characteristics of Heavy Water Moderated Reactors is their high production of plutonium. This article demonstrates the possibility of reduction of plutonium and other actinides in Heavy Water Research Reactor. Among the many ways to do so, we focus on changing the fuel from natural Uranium fuel to Thorium-Uranium mixed fuel. The main fissile nucleus in Thorium-Uranium fuels is U-233 which would be produced after neutron absorption by Th-232, so the Thorium-Uranium fuels have some known advantages compared to the Uranium fuels. Due to this fact we choose four Thorium-Uranium fuels with different compositions in our simulations; a) 10%Uo2-90%Tho2 (enrich=20%); b) 15%Uo2-85%Tho2 (enrich=10%); c) 30%Uo2-70%Tho2 (enrich=5%); d) 35% Uo2-65% Tho2 (enrich=3.7%). Natural Uranium Oxide (Uo2) is considered as the reference fuel, in other word all of the calculated data are compared with the related data from Uranium fuel. Neutronic parameters such as burn up, minor actinides (MA) inventory and Pu-239 isotope production and Xe-135 and Sm-149 concentration variations, axial and radial neutron fluxes were calculated and used as the comparison parameters. All calculations were performed by Monte Carol (MCNPX2.6) steady state reaction rate calculation linked to a deterministic depletion calculation (CINDER90). The obtained computational data showed that Thorium-Uranium fuels with four different fissile compositions can satisfy the safety and operating requirements for Heavy Water Research Reactor. Furthermore, Thorium-Uranium fuels have a very good proliferation resistance and consume less fissile material than uranium fuels at the same reactor operation time. Using mixed Thorium-Uranium fuels reduced the long-lived α emitter, high radiotoxic wastes and the radio toxicity level of spent fuel.
Influence of Thermal Ageing on Microstructural Features and Mechanical Properties of Reduced Activation Ferritic/Martensitic Grades
Reduced Activation Ferritic/Martensitic (FM) steels like EUROFER are of interest for first wall application in the future demonstration (DEMO) fusion reactor. Depending on the final design codes for the DEMO reactor, the first wall material will have to function in low-temperature mode or high-temperature mode, i.e. around 250-300°C of above 550°C respectively. However, the use of RAFM steels is limited up to a temperature of about 550°C.
For the low-temperature application, the material suffers from irradiation embrittlement, due to a shift of ductile-to-brittle transition temperature (DBTT) towards higher temperatures upon irradiation. The high-temperature response of the material is equally insufficient for long-term use in fusion reactors, due to the instability of the matrix phase and coarsening of the precipitates at prolonged high-temperature exposure.
The objective of this study is to investigate the influence of thermal ageing for 1000 hrs and 4000 hrs on microstructural features and mechanical properties of lab-cast EUROFER. Additionally, the ageing behavior of the lab-cast EUROFER is compared with the ageing behavior of standard EUROFER97-2 and T91.
The microstructural features were investigated with light optical microscopy (LOM), electron back-scattered diffraction (EBSD) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Additionally, hardness measurements, tensile tests at elevated temperatures and Charpy V-notch impact testing of KLST-type MCVN specimens were performed to study the microstructural features and mechanical properties of four different F/M grades, i.e. T91, EUROFER97-2 and two lab-casted EUROFER grades.
After ageing for 1000 hrs, the microstructures exhibit similar martensitic block sizes independent on the grain size before ageing. With respect to the initial coarser microstructures, the aged microstructures displayed a dislocation structure which is partially fragmented by polygonization. On the other hand, the initial finer microstructures tend to be more stable up to 1000hrs resulting in similar grain sizes for the four different steels. Increasing the ageing time to 4000 hrs, resulted in an increase of lath thickness and coarsening of M23C6 precipitates leading to a deterioration of tensile properties.
Functional Plasma-Spray Ceramic Coatings for Corrosion Protection of RAFM Steels in Fusion Energy Systems
Nuclear fusion, one of the most promising options for reliably generating large amounts of carbon-free energy in the future, has seen a plethora of ground-breaking technological advances in recent years. An efficient and durable “breeding blanket”, needed to ensure a reactor’s self-sufficiency by maintaining the optimal coolant temperature as well as by minimizing radiation dosage behind the blanket, still remains a technological challenge for the various reactor designs for commercial fusion power plants. A relatively new dual-coolant lead-lithium (DCLL) breeder design has exhibited great potential for high-temperature (>700oC), high-thermal-efficiency (>40%) fusion reactor operation. However, the structural material, namely reduced activation ferritic-martensitic (RAFM) steel, is not chemically stable in contact with molten Pb-17%Li coolant. Thus, to utilize this new promising reactor design, the demand for effective corrosion-resistant coatings on RAFM steels represents a pressing need. Solution Spray Technologies LLC (SST) is developing a double-layer ceramic coating design to address the corrosion protection of RAFM steels, using a novel solution and solution/suspension plasma spray technology through a US Department of Energy-funded project. Plasma spray is a coating deposition method widely used in many energy applications. Novel derivatives of the conventional powder plasma spray process, known as the solution-precursor and solution/suspension-hybrid plasma spray process, are powerful methods to fabricate thin, dense ceramic coatings with complex compositions necessary for the corrosion protection in DCLL breeders. These processes can be used to produce ultra-fine molten splats and to allow fine adjustment of coating chemistry. Thin, dense ceramic coatings with chosen chemistry for superior chemical stability in molten Pb-Li, low activation properties, and good radiation tolerance, is ideal for corrosion-protection of RAFM steels. A key challenge is to accommodate its CTE mismatch with the RAFM substrate through the selection and incorporation of appropriate bond layers, thus allowing for enhanced coating durability and robustness. Systematic process optimization is being used to define the optimal plasma spray conditions for both the topcoat and bond-layer, and X-ray diffraction and SEM-EDS are applied to successfully validate the chemistry and phase composition of the coatings. The plasma-sprayed double-layer corrosion resistant coatings were also deposited onto simulated RAFM steel substrates, which are being tested separately under thermal cycling, high-temperature moist air oxidation as well as molten Pb-Li capsule corrosion conditions. Results from this testing on coated samples, and comparisons with bare RAFM reference samples will be presented and conclusions will be presented assessing the viability of the new ceramic coatings to be viable corrosion prevention systems for DCLL breeders in commercial nuclear fusion reactors.
Degradation of Irradiated UO₂ Fuel Thermal Conductivity Calculated by FRAPCON Model Due to Porosity Evolution at High Burn-Up
The evolution of volume porosity previously obtained by using the existing low temperature high burn-up gaseous swelling model with progressive recrystallization for UO2 fuel is utilized to study the degradation of irradiated UO2 thermal conductivity calculated by the FRAPCON model of thermal conductivity. A porosity correction factor is developed based on the assumption that the fuel morphology is a three-phase type, consisting of the as-fabricated pores and pores due to intergranular bubbles within UO2 matrix and solid fission products. The predicted thermal conductivity demonstrates an additional degradation of 27% due to porosity formation at burn-up levels around 120MWd/kgU which would cause an increase in the fuel temperature accordingly. Results of the calculations are compared with available data.
Determination of Rare Earth Element Patterns in Uranium Matrix for Nuclear Forensics Application: Method Development for Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) Measurements
During the last 50 years, the worldwide permeation of the nuclear techniques induces several new problems in the environmental and in the human life. Nowadays, due to the increasing of the risk of terrorism worldwide, the potential occurrence of terrorist attacks using also weapon of mass destruction containing radioactive or nuclear materials as e.g. dirty bombs, is a real threat. For instance, the uranium pellets are one of the potential nuclear materials which are suitable for making special weapons. The nuclear forensics mainly focuses on the determination of the origin of the confiscated or found nuclear and other radioactive materials, which could be used for making any radioactive dispersive device. One of the most important signatures in nuclear forensics to find the origin of the material is the determination of the rare earth element patterns (REE) in the seized or found radioactive or nuclear samples. The concentration and the normalized pattern of the REE can be used as an evidence of uranium origin. The REE are the fourteen Lanthanides in addition scandium and yttrium what are mostly found together and really low concentration in uranium pellets. The problems of the REE determination using ICP-MS technique are the uranium matrix (high concentration of uranium) and the interferences among Lanthanides. In this work, our aim was to develop an effective chemical sample preparation process using extraction chromatography for separation the uranium matrix and the rare earth elements from each other following some publications can be found in the literature and modified them. Secondly, our purpose was the optimization of the ICP-MS measuring process for REE concentration. During method development, in the first step, a REE model solution was used in two different types of extraction chromatographic resins (LN® and TRU®) and different acidic media for environmental testing the Lanthanides separation. Uranium matrix was added to the model solution and was proved in the same conditions. Methods were tested and validated using REE UOC (uranium ore concentrate) reference materials. Samples were analyzed by sector field mass spectrometer (ICP-SFMS).
Transient Simulation Using SPACE for ATLAS Facility to Investigate the Effect of Heat Loss on Major Parameters
In order to obtain better initial conditions of ATLAS facility’s transient experiments, heat loss was simulated using SPACE code’s convection correlations and dialing factors. As simulating using a heat loss free input was a common practice; the facility was considered to be totally insulated, and the core power was reduced by the experimentally measured values of heat loss for the primary circuit to compensate the loss of heat in actual experiments, this study, however, takes heat loss into account throughout the simulation.
The criterion of spotting the steady state with the newly introduced heat loss input was by having a steady constant water level in the pressurizer; multiple dialing factors were applied to the code’s correlation for the water level to be as prescribed. As it was reached, various other parameters were also to be met, such as the flow rates within the primary circuit, temperatures of various components in the primary and secondary side, and pressurizer pressure and steam generator secondary pressure. In addition to that, the simulated values had to satisfy an enthalpy balance equation of input and output; and so it has.
The initial condition which accounts for heat loss yields more realistic outcome; as heat being leaked out of the system throughout a transient will alter many parameters corresponding to temperature and temperature difference in SPACE code simulation. For that; a Main Steam Line Break accident will be simulated using both the insulated system approach and the newly introduced heat loss input of the steady state. This study will show the significance of heat loss consideration in the processes of prevention and mitigation of various incidents and design basis accidents as it will give a better understanding of the behavior of ATLAS facility during both processes of steady state and major transient.
Mathematical Modelling of a Low Tip Speed Ratio Wind Turbine for System Design Evaluation
Vertical Axis Wind Turbine (VAWT) systems are becoming increasingly popular as they have a number of advantages over traditional wind turbines. The advantages are reliability, ease of transportation and manufacturing. These attributes could make these technologies useful in developing economies. The performance characteristics of a VAWT are different from a horizontal axis wind turbine, which can be attributed to the low tip speed ratio operation. To unlock the potential of these VAWT systems, the operational behaviour in a number of system topologies and environmental conditions needs to be understood. In this study, a non-linear dynamic simulation method was developed in Matlab and validated against in field data of a large scale, 8-meter rotor diameter prototype. This simulation method has been utilised to determine the performance characteristics of a number of control methods and system topologies. The motivation for this research was to develop a simulation method which accurately captures the operating behaviour and is computationally inexpensive. The model was used to evaluate the performance through parametric studies and optimisation techniques. The study gave useful insights into the applications and energy generation potential of this technology.
Neutronic Calculations for Central Test Loop in Heavy Water Research Reactor
One of the experimental facilities of the heavy water research reactor is the central test loop (C.T.L). It is located along the central axial line of the vessel, and therefore will highly affect the neutronic parameters of the reactor, so from the neutronics point of view, C.T.L is the most important facility. It is mainly designed for fuel testing, thought other applications such as radioisotope production and neutron activation, can be imagine for it. All of the simulations were performed by MCNPX2.6. As a first step towards C.T.L analysis, the effect of D2O-filled, H2O-filled, and He-filled C.T.L on the effective multiplication factor (Keff.), have been evaluated. According to results, H2O-filled C.T.L has a higher thermal neutron, while He-filled C.T.L includes more resonance neutrons. In the next step thermal and total axial neutron fluxes, were calculated and used as the comparison parameters. The core without C.T.L (C.T.L replaced by heavy water) is selected as the reference case, and the effect of all other cases is calculated according to that.
Characterization of Dota-Girentuximab Conjugates for Radioimmunotherapy
Radiopharmaceuticals based in monoclonal anti-body (mAb) via chemical linkers have become a potential tool in nuclear medicine because of their specificity and the large variability and availability of therapeutic radiometals. It is important to identify the conjugation sites and number of attached chelator to mAb to obtain radioimmunoconjugates with required immunoreactivity and radiostability. Girentuximab antibody (G250) is a potential candidate for radioimmunotherapy of clear cell carcinomas (RCCs) because it is reactive with CAIX antigen, a transmembrane glycoprotein overexpressed on the cell surface of most ( > 90%) (RCCs). G250 was conjugated with the bifunctional chelating agent DOTA (1,4,7,10-Tetraazacyclododecane-N,N’,N’’,N’’’-tetraacetic acid) via a benzyl-thiocyano group as a linker (p-SCN-Bn-DOTA). DOTA-G250 conjugates were analyzed by size exclusion chromatography (SE-HPLC) and by electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). The potential site-specific conjugation was identified by liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC/MS-MS) and the number of linkers per molecule of mAb was calculated using the molecular weight (MW) measured by matrix assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS). The average number obtained in the conjugates in non-reduced conditions was between 8-10 molecules of DOTA per molecule of mAb. The average number obtained in the conjugates in reduced conditions was between 1-2 and 3-4 molecules of DOTA per molecule of mAb in the light chain (LC) and heavy chain (HC) respectively. Potential DOTA modification sites of the chelator were identified in lysine residues. The biological activity of the conjugates was evaluated by flow cytometry (FACS) using CAIX negative (SKRC-18) and CAIX positive (SKRC-52). The DOTA-G250 conjugates were labelled with 177Lu with a radiochemical yield > 95% reaching specific activities of 12 MBq/µg. The stability in vitro of different types of radioconstructs was analyzed in human serum albumin (HSA). The radiostability of 177Lu-DOTA-G250 at high specific activity was increased by addition of sodium ascorbate after the labelling. The immunoreactivity was evaluated in vitro and in vivo. Binding to CAIX positive cells (SK-RC-52) at different specific activities was higher for conjugates with less DOTA content. Protein dose was optimized in mice with subcutaneously growing SK-RC-52 tumors using different amounts of 177Lu- DOTA-G250.
Advanced Electron Microscopy Study of Fission Products in a TRISO Coated Particle Neutron Irradiated to 3.6 X 1021 N/cm² Fast Fluence at 1040 ⁰C
Tristructural isotropic (TRISO)-coated fuel particles are designed as nuclear fuel for high-temperature gas reactors. TRISO coating consists of layers of carbon buffer, inner pyrolytic carbon (IPyC), SiC, and outer pyrolytic carbon. The TRISO coating, especially the SiC layer, acts as a containment system for fission products produced in the kernel. However, release of certain metallic fission products across intact TRISO coatings has been observed for decades. Despite numerous studies, mechanisms by which fission products migrate across the coating layers remain poorly understood. In this study, scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM), energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) and electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) were used to examine the distribution, composition and structure of fission products in a TRISO coated particle neutron irradiated to 3.6 x 1021 n/cm² fast fluence at 1040 ⁰C. Precession electron diffraction was used to investigate characters of grain boundaries where specific fission product precipitates are located. The retention fraction of 110mAg in the investigated TRISO particle was estimated to be 0.19. A high density of nanoscale fission product precipitates was observed in the SiC layer close to the SiC-IPyC interface, most of which are rich in Pd, while Ag was not identified. Some Pd-rich precipitates contain U. Precipitates tend to have complex structure and composition. Although a precipitate appears to have uniform contrast in STEM, EDS indicated that there may be composition variations throughout the precipitate, and HRTEM suggested that the precipitate may have several parts different in crystal structure or orientation. Attempts were made to measure charge states of precipitates using EELS and study their possible effect on precipitate transport.
The Application of the Analytic Basis Function Expansion Triangular-z Nodal Method for Neutron Diffusion Calculation
The distributions of homogeneous neutron flux within a node were expanded into a set of analytic basis functions which satisfy the diffusion equation at any point in a triangular-z node for each energy group, and nodes were coupled with each other with both the zero- and first-order partial neutron current moments across all the interfaces of the triangular prism at the same time. Based this method, a code TABFEN has been developed and applied to solve the neutron diffusion equation in a complicated geometry. In addition, after a series of numerical derivation, one can get the neutron adjoint diffusion equations in matrix form which is the same with the neutron diffusion equation; therefore, it can be solved by TABFEN, and the low-high scan strategy is adopted to improve the efficiency. Four benchmark problems are tested by this method to verify its feasibility, the results show good agreement with the references which demonstrates the efficiency and feasibility of this method.
Condensation of Vapor in the Presence of Non-Condensable Gas on a Vertical Tube
The passive containment cooling system (PCCS) is widely used in the advanced nuclear reactor in case of the loss of coolant accident (LOCA) and the main steam line break accident (MSLB). The internal heat exchanger is one of the most important equipment in the PCCS and its heat transfer characteristic determines the performance of the system. In this investigation, a theoretical model is presented for predicting the heat and mass transfer which accompanies condensation. The conduction through the liquid condensate is considered and the interface temperature is defined by iteration. The parameter in the correlation to describe the suction effect should be further determined through experimental data.
Evaluation of Mito-Uncoupler Induced Hyper Metabolic and Aggressive Phenotype in Glioma Cells
One of the most common signatures of highly malignant gliomas is their capacity to metabolize more glucose to lactic acid than normal brain tissues, even under normoxic conditions (Warburg effect), indicating that aerobic glycolysis is constitutively upregulated through stable genetic or epigenetic changes. However, oxidative phosphorylation (OxPhos) is also required to maintain the mitochondrial membrane potential for tumor cell survival. In the process of tumorigenesis, tumor cells during fastest growth rate exhibit both high glycolytic and high OxPhos. Therefore, metabolically reprogrammed cancer cells with combination of both aerobic glycolysis and altered OxPhos develop a robust metabolic phenotype, which confers a selective growth advantage. In our study, we grew the high glycolytic BMG-1 (glioma) cells with continuous exposure of mitochondrial uncoupler 2, 4, dinitro phenol (DNP) for 10 passages to obtain a phenotype of high glycolysis with enhanced altered OxPhos. We found that OxPhos modified BMG (OPMBMG) cells has similar growth rate and cell cycle distribution but high mitochondrial mass and functional enzymatic activity than parental cells. In in-vitro studies, OPMBMG cells showed enhanced invasion, proliferation and migration properties. Moreover, it also showed enhanced angiogenesis in matrigel plug assay. Xenografted tumors from OPMBMG cells showed reduced latent period, faster growth rate and nearly five folds reduction in the tumor take in nude mice compared to BMG-1 cells, suggesting that robust metabolic phenotype facilitates tumor formation and growth. OPMBMG cells which were found radio-resistant, showed enhanced radio-sensitization by 2-DG as compared to the parental BMG-1 cells. This study suggests that metabolic reprogramming in cancer cells enhances the potential of migration, invasion and proliferation. It also strengthens the cancer cells to escape the death processes, conferring resistance to therapeutic modalities. Our data also suggest that combining metabolic inhibitors like 2-DG with conventional therapeutic modalities can sensitize such metabolically aggressive cancer cells more than the therapies alone.
Performance of an Optical Readout Gas Chamber for Charged Particle Track
We develop an optical readout gas chamber based on avalanche-induced scintillation for energetic charged particles track.
The gas chamber is equipped with a Single Anode Wires (SAW) structure to produce intensive electric field when the measured particles are of low yield or even single. In the presence of an intensive electric field around the single anode, primary electrons, resulting from the incident charged particles when depositing the energy along the track, accelerate to the anode effectively and rapidly. For scintillation gasses, this avalanche of electrons induces multiplying photons comparing with the primary scintillation excited directly from particle energy loss. The electric field distribution for different shape of the SAW structure is analyzed, and finally, an optimal one is used to study the optical readout performance. Using CF4 gas and its mixture with the noble gas, the results indicate that the optical readout characteristics of the chamber are attractive for imaging. Moreover, images of particles track including single particle track from 5.485MeV alpha particles are successfully acquired. The track resolution is quite well for the reason that the electrons undergo less diffusion in the intensive electric field. With the simple and ingenious design, the optical readout gas chamber has a high sensitivity. Since neutrons can be converted to charged particles when scattering, this optical readout gas chamber can be applied to neutron measurement for dark matter, fusion research, and others.
Studies on Bioaccumulation of 51Cr by Ulva sp. And Ruppia maritima
This study aims to contribute to the characterization of the process of biological incorporation of chromium by two benthonic species, the macroalgae Ulva sp. and the aquatic macrophyte Ruppia maritima, to subsidize future activities of monitoring the contamination of aquatic biota. This study is based on laboratory experiments to characterize the incorporation kinetics of the radiotracer 51Cr in two oxidation states (III and VI), under different salinities (7, 15, and 21 ‰). Samples of two benthonic species were collected on the margins of Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), acclimated in the laboratory and subsequently subjected to experiments. In tests with 51Cr (III and IV) it was observed that accumulation of the metal in Ulva sp. has inverse relationship with salinity, while for R. maritima, the maximum accumulation occurs in salinity 21 ‰. In experiments with Cr(III) were verified increases in the uptake of ion by both species. The activity of Cr(III) was up to 19 times greater than the Cr(VI). As regards the potential for accumulation of metals, it was verified a better sensitivity of Ulva sp. for any chromium tri or hexavalent forms, while for the Cr(VI) it will require low salinities and longer exposure (>24 h), whilst for R. maritima the results showed the uptake of Cr(VI) increase along with time (> 20h), because this specie is more resistant for the hexavalent form and useful for any salinity as well.
Application of Laser Spectroscopy for Detection of Actinides and Lanthanides in Solutions
This work is devoted to applications of the Time-resolved laser-induced luminescence (TRLIF) spectroscopy and time-resolved laser-induced chemiluminescence spectroscopy for detection of lanthanides and actinides. Results of the experiments on Eu, Sm, U, and Pu detection in solutions are presented. The limit of uranyl detection (LOD) in urine in our TRLIF experiments was up to 5 pg/ml. In blood plasma LOD was 0.1 ng/ml and after mineralization was up to 8pg/ml – 10pg/ml. In pure solution, the limit of detection of europium was 0.005ng/ml and samarium, 0.07ng/ml. After addition urine, the limit of detection of europium was 0.015 ng/ml and samarium, 0.2 ng/ml. Pu, Np, and some U compounds do not produce direct luminescence in solutions, but when excited by laser radiation, they can induce chemiluminescence of some chemiluminogen (luminol in our experiments). It is shown that multi-photon scheme of chemiluminescence excitation makes chemiluminescence not only a highly sensitive but also a highly selective tool for the detection of lanthanides/actinides in solutions.
Further Investigation of α+12C and α+16O Elastic Scattering
The current work aims to study the rainbow like-structure observed in the elastic scattering of alpha particles on both 12C and 16O nuclei. We reanalyzed the experimental elastic scattering angular distributions data for α+12C and α+16O nuclear systems at different energies using both optical model and double folding potential of different interaction models such as: CDM3Y1, DDM3Y1, CDM3Y6 and BDM3Y1. Potential created by BDM3Y1 interaction model has the shallowest depth which reflects the necessity to use higher renormalization factor (Nr). Both optical model and double folding potential of different interaction models fairly reproduce the experimental data.
Assessing Relationships between Glandularity and Gray Level by Using Breast Phantoms
Breast cancer is predominant of malignant tumors in females. The increase in the glandular density increases the risk of breast cancer. BI-RADS is a frequently used density indicator in mammography; however, it significantly overestimates the glandularity. Therefore, it is very important to accurately and quantitatively assess the glandularity by mammography. In this study, 20%, 30%, and 50% glandularity phantoms were exposed using a mammography machine at 28, 30 and 31 kVp, and 30, 55, 80 and 105 mAs, respectively. The regions of interest (ROIs) were drawn to assess the gray level. The relationship between the glandularity and gray level under various compression thicknesses, kVp, and mAs was established by the multivariable linear regression. A phantom verification was performed with automatic exposure control (AEC). The regression equation was obtained with an R-square value of 0.928. The average gray levels of the verification phantom were 8708, 8660 and 8434 for 0.952, 0.963 and 0.985 g/cm3, respectively. The percent differences of glandularity to the regression equation were 3.24%, 2.75%, and 13.7%. We concluded that the proposed method could be clinically applied in mammography to improve the glandularity estimation and further increase the importance of breast cancer screening.
Corrosion Investigation of Superalloys, Molybdenum and TZM in Chloride Molten Salts
Molten salts are of high interest for use as coolants in nuclear reactors due to favourable high temperature and thermodynamic properties. The corrosive behaviour of molten salts however pose a materials integrity challenge. Three Ni / Ni-Fe based and two Mo based alloys have been exposed to molten eutectics (LiCl-KCl at 59.5:40.5 mol% and KCl-MgCl2 at 68:32 mol%) at 600°C and 800°C for durations up to 500hrs. Corrosion was observed to preferentially attack alloy constituents in order of their reactivity, with chromium the most vulnerable and depleted element. Alloy weight-loss per unit area was calculated to give linear corrosion rates, discounting any initial rapid corrosion of impurities. Further analysis was carried out using ICP-MS, SEM and EDX techniques to give a more detailed view of the corrosion mechanisms.
Production Radionuclide Therapy 161-Terbium Using by Talys1.6 and Empire 3.2 Codes in Reactions Cyclotron
In this study, the production of terbium-161 as new therapeutic radionuclide was investigated using TALYS1.6& EMPIRE 3.2 codes. For this purpose, cross section for the reactions reactor to produce 161Tb were extracted by mean of this code In the following step, stopping power of the reactions reactor was calculated by SRIM code. The best reaction in the production of 161Tb is160 Gd(d,n)161Tb Production yield of the 161Tb was obtained by utilization of MATLAB calculation code and based on the charged particle reaction formalism.The results showed that Production yield of the 161Tb was obtained 0.8 (mci/ A*h).
Effect of Organics on Sr-90 and Cs-137 Partitioning in Nuclear Fuel Storage Ponds
Sellafield has a number of fuel storage ponds, some of which have been open to the air for a number of decades. This has caused corrosion of the fuel resulting in a release of some activity into solution, reduced water clarity, and accumulation of sludge at the bottom of the pond consisting of brucite (Mg(OH)2) and other uranium corrosion products. Both of these phases are also present as colloidal material. 90Sr and 137Cs are known to constitute a small volume of the radionuclides present in the pond, but a large fraction of the activity, thus they are most at risk of challenging effluent discharge limits. Organic molecules are known to be present also, due to the ponds being open to the air, with occasional algal blooms restricting visibility further. The contents of the pond need to be retrieved and safely stored, but dealing with such a complex, undefined inventory poses a unique challenge. This work aims to determine and understand the sorption-desorption interactions of 90Sr and 137Cs to brucite and uranium phases, with and without the presence of organic molecules from chemical degradation and bio-organisms. The influence of organics on these interactions has not been widely studied. Partitioning of these radionuclides and organic molecules has been determined through LSC, ICP-AES/MS, and UV-vis spectrophotometry coupled with ultrafiltration in both binary and ternary systems. Further detailed analysis into the surface and bonding environment of these components is being investigated through XAS techniques and PHREEQC modelling. Experiments were conducted in CO2-free or N2 atmosphere across a high pH range in order to best simulate conditions in the pond. Humic acid used in brucite systems demonstrated strong competition against 90Sr for the brucite surface regardless of the order of addition of components. Variance of pH did have a small effect, however this range (10.5-11.5) is close to the pHpzc of brucite, causing the surface to buffer the solution pH towards that value over the course of the experiment. Sorption of 90Sr to UO2 obeyed Ho’s rate equation and demonstrated a slow second-order reaction with respect to the sharing of valence electrons from the strontium atom, with the initial rate clearly dependent on pH, with the equilibrium concentration calculated at close to 100% sorption. There was no influence of humic acid seen when introduced to these systems. Sorption of 137Cs to UO3 was significant, with more than 95% sorbed in just over 24 hours. Again, humic acid showed no influence when introduced into this system. Both brucite and uranium based systems will be studied with the incorporation of cyanobacterial cultures harvested at different stages of growth. Investigation of these systems provides insight into, and understanding of, the effect of organics on radionuclide partitioning to brucite and uranium phases at high pH. The majority of sorption-desorption work for radionuclides has been conducted at neutral to acidic pH values, and mostly without organics. These studies are particularly important for the characterisation of legacy wastes at Sellafield, with a view to their safe retrieval and storage.
Effect of Irradiation on Nano-Indentation Properties and Microstructure of X-750 Ni-Based Superalloy
The purpose of current study is to make an excellent correlation between mechanical properties and microstructures of ion irradiated X-750 Ni-based superalloy. Towards this end, two different irradiation procedures were carried out, including single Ni ion irradiation and pre-helium implantation with subsequent Ni ion irradiation. Nano-indentation technique was employed to evaluate the mechanical properties of irradiated material. The nano-hardness measurements depict highly different results for two irradiation procedures. Single ion irradiated X-750 shows softening behavior; however, pre-helium implanted specimens present significant hardening compared to the un-irradiated material. Cross-section TEM examination demonstrates that softening is attributed to the γ׳-precipitate instability (disordering/dissolution) which overcomes the hardening effect of irradiation-induced defects. In contrast, the presence of cavities or helium bubbles is probably the main cause for irradiation-induced hardening of helium implanted samples.
Effect of Thermal Treatment on Mechanical Properties of Reduced Activation Ferritic/Martensitic Eurofer Steel Grade
Reduced activation ferritic/martensitic (RAFM) steels like EUROFER97 are primary candidate structural materials for first wall application in the future demonstration (DEMO) fusion reactor. Existing steels of this type obtain their functional properties by a two-stage heat treatment, which consists of an annealing stage at 980°C for thirty minutes followed by quenching and an additional tempering stage at 750°C for two hours. This thermal quench and temper (Q&T) treatment creates a microstructure of tempered martensite with, as main precipitates, M23C6 carbides, with M = Fe, Cr and carbonitrides of MX type, e.g. TaC and VN. The resulting microstructure determines the mechanical properties of the steel. The ductility is largely determined by the tempered martensite matrix, while the resistance to mechanical degradation, determined by the spatial and size distribution of precipitates and the martensite crystals, plays a key role in the high temperature properties of the steel. Unfortunately, the high temperature response of EUROFER97 is currently insufficient for long term use in fusion reactors, due to instability of the matrix phase and coarsening of the precipitates at prolonged high temperature exposure. The objective of this study is to induce grain refinement by appropriate modifications of the processing route in order to increase the high temperature strength of a lab-cast EUROFER RAFM steel grade. The goal of the work is to obtain improved mechanical behavior at elevated temperatures with respect to conventionally heat treated EUROFER97. A dilatometric study was conducted to study the effect of the annealing temperature on the mechanical properties after a Q&T treatment. The microstructural features were investigated with scanning electron microscopy (SEM), electron back-scattered diffraction (EBSD) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Additionally, hardness measurements, tensile tests at elevated temperatures and Charpy V-notch impact testing of KLST-type MCVN specimens were performed to study the mechanical properties of the furnace-heated lab-cast EUROFER RAFM steel grade. A significant prior austenite grain (PAG) refinement was obtained by lowering the annealing temperature of the conventionally used Q&T treatment for EUROFER97. The reduction of the PAG results in finer martensitic constituents upon quenching, which offers more nucleation sites for carbide and carbonitride formation upon tempering. The ductile-to-brittle transition temperature (DBTT) was found to decrease with decreasing martensitic block size. Additionally, an increased resistance against high temperature degradation was accomplished in the fine grained martensitic materials with smallest precipitates obtained by tailoring the annealing temperature of the Q&T treatment. It is concluded that the microstructural refinement has a pronounced effect on the DBTT without significant loss of strength and ductility. Further investigation into the optimization of the processing route is recommended to improve the mechanical behavior of RAFM steels at elevated temperatures.
Development of Scenarios for Sustainable Next Generation Nuclear System
The Republic of Korea has been facing strong storage crisis from nuclear waste generation as At Reactor (AR) temporary storage sites are about to reach saturation. Since the country is densely populated with a rate of 491.78 persons per square kilometer, Construction of High-level waste repository will not be a feasible option. In order to tackle the storage waste generation problem which is increasing at a rate of 350 tHM/Yr. and 380 tHM/Yr. in case of 20 PWRs and 4 PHWRs respectively, the study strongly focuses on the advancement of current nuclear power plants to GEN-IV sustainable and ecological nuclear systems by burning TRUs (Pu, MAs). First, Calculations has made to estimate the generation of SNF including Pu and MA from PWR and PHWR NPPS by using the IAEA code Nuclear Fuel Cycle Simulation System (NFCSS) for the period of 2016, 2030 (including the saturation period of each site from 2024~2028), 2089 and 2109 as the number of NPPS will increase due to high import cost of non-nuclear energy sources. 2ndly, in order to produce environmentally sustainable nuclear energy systems, 4 scenarios to burnout the Plutonium and MAs are analyzed with the concentration on burning of MA only, MA and Pu together by utilizing SFR, LFR and KALIMER-600 burner reactor after recycling the spent oxide fuel from PWR through pyro processing technology developed by Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI) which shows promising and sustainable future benefits by minimizing the HLW generation with regard to waste amount, decay heat, and activity. Finally, With the concentration on front and back end fuel cycles for open and closed fuel cycles of PWR and Pyro-SFR respectively, an overall assessment has been made which evaluates the quantitative as well as economical combativeness of SFR metallic fuel against PWR once through nuclear fuel cycle.
[Keynote Talk]: Analysis of Intelligent Based Fault Tolerant Capability System for Solar Photovoltaic Energy Conversion
Due to the fossil fuel exhaustion and environmental pollution, renewable energy sources especially solar photovoltaic system plays a predominant role in providing energy to the consumers. It has been estimated that by 2050 the renewable energy sources will satisfy 50% of the total energy requirement of the world. In this context, the faults in the conversion process require a special attention which is considered as a major problem. A fault which remains even for a few seconds will cause undesirable effects to the system. The presentation comprises of the analysis, causes, effects and mitigation methods of various faults occurring in the entire solar photovoltaic energy conversion process. In order to overcome the faults in the system, an intelligent based artificial neural networks and fuzzy logic are proposed which can significantly mitigate the faults. Hence the presentation intends to find the problem in renewable energy and provides the possible solution to overcome it with simulation and experimental results. The work performed in a 3kWp solar photovoltaic plant whose results cites the improvement in reliability, availability, power quality and fault tolerant ability.
The Model Establishment and Analysis of TRACE/MELCOR for Kuosheng Nuclear Power Plant Spent Fuel Pool
Kuosheng nuclear power plant (NPP) is a BWR/6 plant in Taiwan. There is more concern for the safety of NPPs in Taiwan after Japan Fukushima NPP disaster occurred. Hence, in order to estimate the safety of Kuosheng NPP spent fuel pool (SFP), by using TRACE, MELCOR, and SNAP codes, the safety analysis of Kuosheng NPP SFP was performed. There were two main steps in this research. First, the Kuosheng NPP SFP models were established. Second, the transient analysis of Kuosheng SFP was done by TRACE and MELCOR under the cooling system failure condition (Fukushima-like condition). The results showed that the calculations of MELCOR and TRACE were very similar in this case, and the fuel uncover happened roughly at 4th day after the failure of cooling system. The above results indicated that Kuosheng NPP SFP may be unsafe in the case of long-term SBO situation. In addition, future calculations were needed to be done by the other codes like FRAPTRAN for the cladding calculations.
A Qualitative Study for Establishing Critical Success Factors for PPPs in Research Reactors
The UAE is currently developing a peaceful nuclear energy program as part of its low Carbon energy strategy to meet future energy demands. Research of nuclear energy technologies is required to support nuclear energy generation projects and maximize their performance. Research of this type will require building an operating a research reactor (RR), a costly undertaking in most circumstances. Collaboration between government and private parties through public, private partnerships (PPP) can maximize the benefits expected from the adoption of an RR project. The aim of this research is to establish the critical success factors (CSF) for developing an RR project for newcomer countries, with the UAE taken as a case study, through the utilization of public, private partnerships (PPP). The results of this study were arrived at through the use of semi-structured interviews conducted with ten experts in the field of research reactors, using grounded theory method. Underutilization was identified as the main stumbling block that impairs the success of research reactors.
Effect of Ion Irradiation on the Microstructure and Properties of Chromium Coatings on Zircaloy-4 Substrate
To enhance the safety of Light Water Reactor, accident tolerant fuel (ATF) claddings materials are under development. In the framework of CEA-AREVA-EDF collaborative program on ATF cladding materials, CEA has engaged specific studies on chromium coated zirconium alloys. Especially for Loss-of-Coolant-Accident situations, chromium coated claddings have shown some additional 'coping' time before achieving full embrittlement of the oxidized cladding, when compared to uncoated references – both tested in steam environment up to 1300°C. Nevertheless, the behavior of chromium coatings and the stability of the Zr-Cr interface under neutron irradiation remain unknown. Two main points are addressed: 1. Bulk Cr behavior under irradiation: Due to its BCC crystallographic structure, Cr is prone to Ductile-to-Brittle-Transition at quite high temperature. Irradiation could be responsible for a significant additional DBTT shift towards higher temperatures. 2. Zircaloy/Cr interface behavior under irradiation: Preliminary TEM examinations of un-irradiated samples revealed a singular Zircaloy-4/Cr interface with nanometric intermetallic phase layers. Such particular interfaces highlight questions of how they would behave under irradiation - intermetallic zirconium phases are known to be more or less stable under irradiations. Another concern is a potential enhancement of chromium diffusion into the zirconium-alpha based substrate. The purpose of this study is then to determine the behavior of such coatings after ion irradiations, as a surrogate to neutron irradiation. Ion irradiations were performed at the Jannus-Saclay facility (France). 20 MeV Kr8+ ions at 400°C with a flux of 2.8x1011 ions.cm-2.s-1 were used to irradiate chromium coatings of 1-2 µm thick on Zircaloy-4 sheets substrate. At the interface, the calculated damage is close to 10 dpa (SRIM, Quick Calculation Damage mode). Thin foil samples were prepared with FIB for both as-received and irradiated coated samples. Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) and in-situ tensile tests in a Scanning Electron Microscope are being used to characterize the un-irradiated and irradiated materials. High Resolution TEM highlights a great complexity of the interface before irradiation since it is formed of an alternation of intermetallic phases – C14 and C15. The interfaces formed by these intermetallic phases with chromium and zirconium show semi-coherency. Chemical analysis performed before irradiation shows some iron enrichment at the interface. The chromium coating bulk microstructures and properties are also studied before and after irradiation. On-going in-situ tensile tests focus on the capacity of chromium coatings to sustain some plastic deformation when tested up to 350°C. The stability of the Cr/Zr interface is shown after ion irradiation up to 10 dpa. This observation constitutes the first result after irradiation on these new coated claddings materials.
Internal Stresses and Structural Evolutions in Zr Alloys during Oxidation at High Temperature and Subsequent Cooling
In some hypothetical accidental situations, such as during a Loss Of Coolant Accident (LOCA) in pressurized water reactors, fuel cladding tubes made of zirconium alloys can be exposed for a few minutes to steam at High Temperature (HT up to 1200°C) before being cooled and then quenched in water. Under LOCA-like conditions, the cladding undergoes a number of metallurgical changes (phase transformations, oxygen diffusion and growth of an oxide layer...) and is consequently submitted to internal stresses whose state evolves during the transient. These stresses can have an effect on the oxide structure and the oxidation kinetics of the material. They evolve during cooling, owing to differences between the thermal expansion coefficients of the various phases and phase transformations of the metal and the oxide. These stresses may result in the failure of the cladding during quenching, once the material is embrittled by oxidation. In order to progress in the evaluation of these internal stresses, X-ray diffraction experiments were performed in-situ under synchrotron radiation during HT oxidation and subsequent cooling on Zircaloy-4 sheet samples. First, structural evolutions, such as phase transformations, have been studied as a function of temperature for both the oxide layer and the metallic substrate. Then, internal stresses generated within the material oxidized at temperatures between 700 and 900°C have been evaluated thanks to the 2θ diffraction peak position shift measured during the in-situ experiments. Electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) analysis was performed on the samples after cooling in order to characterize their crystallographic texture. Furthermore, macroscopic strains induced by oxidation in the conditions investigated during the in-situ X-ray diffraction experiments were measured in-situ in a dilatometer.
A Study of The Factors Predicting Radiation Exposure to Contacts of Saudi Patients Treated With Low-Dose Radioactive Iodine (I-131)
Aim: To measure exposure levels to family members and caregivers of Saudi patients treated with low dose I131 therapy, and household radiation exposure rate to predict different factors that can affect radiation exposure. Patients and methods: All adult self dependent patients with hyperthyroidism or cancer thyroid referred for low dose radioactive I131 therapy on outpatient basis are included. Radiation protection procedures are given to the participant and family members in details. TLD’s were dispensed to each participant in sufficient quantity for his/her family members living in the household. TLD’s are collected at fifth days post-dispense from patients who agreed to have a home visit during which the household is inspected and level of radiation contamination of surfaces was measured. Results: Thirty-two patients were enrolled in the current study, with a mean age of 43.1± 17.1 years Out of them 25 patients (78%) are females. I131 therapy was given in twenty patients (63%) for cancer thyroid of and for toxic goiter in the remaining twelve patients (37%), with an overall mean I131 dose of 24.1 ± 7.5mCi that is relatively higher in the former. The overall number of household family members and helpers of patients are 139, out of them77 are females (55.4%) & 62 are males (44.6%) with a mean age of 29.8± 17.6. The mean period of contact with the patient is 7.6 ±5.6hours. The cumulative radiation exposure shows that radiation exposure to all family members is below the exposure constraint (1mSv), with a range of 109 to 503uSv, and a mean value of 220.9±91 uSv. Numerical data shows a little higher exposure rate for family members of those who receive higher dose of I131 (patients with thyroid cancer) and household members who spent longer time with the patient, yet, the difference is statistically insignificant (P>0.05). Besides, no significant correlation was found between the degree of cumulative exposure of the family members to their gender, age, socioeconomic standard, educational level and residential factors. In the 21 home visits all data from bedrooms, reception areas and kitchens are below hazardous limits (0.5uSv/h) apart from bathrooms that give a slightly higher reading of 0.57±0.39 uSv/h in those with cancer thyroid who receive a higher radiation dose. A statistically significant difference was found between radiation exposure rate in bathrooms used by the patient versus those used by family members only, with a mean value of exposure rate of 0.701±0.21 uSv/h and 0.17±0.82 uSv/h respectively, with a p-value of 0.018 (< 0.05). Conclusion: Family members of patients treated with low dose I131 on outpatient basis have a good compliance to radiation protection instruction if given properly with a cumulative radiation exposure rate evidently beyond the radiation exposure constraints of 1 mSv. Given I131 dose, hours spent with the patient, age, gender, socioeconomic standard, educational level and residential factors have no significant correlation with the cumulative radiation exposure. The patient bathroom exhibits more radiation exposure rate, needing more strict instructions for patient bathroom use and health hygiene.