Measurements of independent fission yields for next generation nuclear power

Andreas Solders
Andreas Solders. Photo: Camilla Thulin.

The Swedish Research Council has reached a decision on Research Project Grants and Starting Grants within New Nuclear Technology for the period 2017-2021.

Project Description

Project title: Measurements of independent fission yields for next generation nuclear power
Main applicant: Andreas Solders, Division of Applied Nuclear Physics
Grant amount: 3 700 000 SEK for the period 2017-2020
Funder: Starting Grant within New Nuclear Technology from the Swedish Research Council

Project description

The purpose of the project is to provide high quality data on Independent Fission Yields (IFY), defined as the relative amounts of specific nuclides produced in fission. With Generation IV, the change in composition of the fuel, in combination with a different neutron spectrum, will alter the yields of fission products, which in turn will affect the inventory of the fuel during burn-up. This will affect the reactor criticality, through beta delayed neutrons and reactor poisons, and the decay heat as well as burn-up monitoring. Accurate knowledge of the fuel inventory is also important for the safe handling, reprocessing and final storage of the waste.

The measurements will be carried out in a collaboration between Uppsala University and the University of Jyväskylä and will make use of the IGISOL/JYFLTRAP facility. A neutron field of variable energy is irradiated on a fission target and the fission products are collected and separated by mass at a resolution of 105, which makes it possible to separate the different elements of an isobaric chain. Hence, the IFY can be measured through direct ion counting.

The applicant for this grant has extended experience in research with Penning traps and will be the Principle Investigator. The project also involves other researchers and a doctoral student. The plan is to start measurements in 2018 using the existing neutron converter and targets. Development of other neutron sources and targets will progress in parallel.