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Title:An analysis of international nuclear fuel supply options
Author(s):Taylor, J'Tia P.
Director of Research:Uddin, Rizwan
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Uddin, Rizwan
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Singer, Clifford; Stubbins, James F.; Abbas, Ali E.
Department / Program:Nuclear, Plasma, & Rad Engr
Discipline:Nuclear Engineering
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Nuclear fuel cycle
fuel supply
energy security
fuel supply chain
Abstract:As the global demand for energy grows, many nations are considering developing or increasing nuclear capacity as a viable, long-term power source. To assess the possible expansion of nuclear power and the intricate relationships—which cover the range of economics, security, and material supply and demand—between established and aspirant nuclear generating entities requires models and system analysis tools that integrate all aspects of the nuclear enterprise. Computational tools and methods now exist across diverse research areas, such as operations research and nuclear engineering, to develop such a tool. This dissertation aims to develop methodologies and employ and expand on existing sources to develop a multipurpose tool to analyze international nuclear fuel supply options. The dissertation is comprised of two distinct components: the development of the Material, Economics, and Proliferation Assessment Tool (MEPAT), and analysis of fuel cycle scenarios using the tool. Development of MEPAT is aimed for unrestricted distribution and therefore uses publicly available and open-source codes in its development when possible. MEPAT is built using the Powersim Studio platform that is widely used in systems analysis. MEPAT development is divided into three modules focusing on: material movement; nonproliferation; and economics. The material movement module tracks material quantity in each process of the fuel cycle and in each nuclear program with respect to ownership, location and composition. The material movement module builds on techniques employed by fuel cycle models such as the Verifiable Fuel Cycle Simulation (VISION) code developed at the Idaho National Laboratory under the Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative (AFCI) for the analysis of domestic fuel cycle. Material movement parameters such as lending and reactor preference, as well as fuel cycle parameters such as process times and material factors are user-specified through a Microsoft Excel © data spreadsheet. The material movement module is the largest of the three, and the two other modules that assess nonproliferation and economics of the options are dependent on its output. Proliferation resistance measures from literature are modified and incorporated in MEPAT. The module to assess the nonproliferation of the supply options allows the user to specify defining attributes for the fuel cycle processes, and determines significant quantities of materials as well as measures of proliferation resistance. The measure is dependent on user-input and material information. The economics module allows the user to specify costs associated with different processes and other aspects of the fuel cycle. The simulation tool then calculates economic measures that relate the cost of the fuel cycle to electricity production. The second part of this dissertation consists of an examination of four scenarios of fuel supply option using MEPAT. The first is a simple scenario illustrating the modules and basic functions of MEPAT. The second scenario recreates a fuel supply study reported earlier in literature, and compares MEPAT results with those reported earlier for validation. The third, and a rather realistic, scenario includes four nuclear programs with one program entering the nuclear energy market. The fourth scenario assesses the reactor options available to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, which is currently assessing available options to introduce nuclear power in the country. The methodology developed and implemented in MEPAT to analyze the material, proliferation and economics of nuclear fuel supply options is expected to help simplify and assess different reactor and fuel options available to utilities, government agencies and international organizations.
Issue Date:2010-05-19
Rights Information:Copyright 2010 J'Tia Taylor
Date Available in IDEALS:2010-05-19
Date Deposited:May 2010

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