Transmutation missions for fusion neutron sources
Stacey, Weston M.
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There are a number of potential neutron transmutation missions (destruction of long-lived radioisotopes in spent nuclear fuel, ‘disposal’ of surplus weapons grade plutonium, ‘breeding’ of fissile nuclear fuel) that perhaps best can be performed in sub-critical nuclear reactors driven by a neutron source. The requirements on a tokamak fusion neutron source for such transmutation missions are significantly less demanding than for commercial electrical power production. A tokamak fusion neutron source based on the current physics and technology database (ITER design base) would meet the needs of the spent nuclear fuel transmutation mission; the technical issue would be achieving ≥ 50% availability, which would require advances in component reliability and in steady-state physics operation.