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Plutonium Management for More Agility

Project description

Outlining different options for plutonium management in future reactor systems

Current knowledge on how mixed oxide (MOX) fuel behaves in Generation-IV reactors is mainly obtained from feedback on earlier European sodium-cooled fast reactors. However, this knowledge cannot meet future needs regarding reactors, plutonium management or operating regimes. To address this problem, the EU-funded PUMMA project aims to outline various options for plutonium management in Generation-IV systems. It also aims to assess their impact on the full fuel cycle, taking into account safety and performance. In contrast with previous studies involving 15–30 % plutonium concentrations in MOX fuel, this project will provide results relating to 45 % plutonium fuels.


The PUMMA project will define different options for Pu management in Generation-IV systems and evaluate the impact on the whole fuel cycle in addition to safety and performance aspects.
Fast neutron reactors with the associated fuel cycle strategy have been chosen to cope with these options because they are flexible: they offer the possibility of isogeneration, burning or breeding of plutonium.
A wide range of Pu content (20 to 45%) corresponds to the highest concentration that can be encountered for plutonium multirecycling (~30-35% Pu to compensate degraded isotopic composition) and targeted plutonium burning (40-45%).
The fuel cycle scenarios associated with the different strategies will be evaluated at different stages of the cycle in terms of impact on the facilities. These studies will be completed with dissolution tests as there is currently no dissolution data on fuels with very high plutonium contents. Studies to date have been limited to concentrations of less than 30%.
Today, knowledge on MOX fuel behavior in Generation-IV reactors comes mainly from feedback on SFRs that have operated in the past in Europe, with Pu contents varying between 15% to 30% and Linear Heat Rate often in the 300 to 450 W/cm range. This knowledge is insufficient to cover future needs, whether in terms of reactor concepts (GFR, LFR, F-SMR ...) Pu management option or operating regime. PUMMA will provide complementary results on fuel properties and characterisations of 45%Pu-fuels irradiated in HFR and Phénix under nominal conditions and overpower. The safety standards will then be extended to this fuel composition as well as the fuel performance code validation.
PUMMA will make the link between Europe and others international organisations: the fuel cycle studies at IAEA and OECD, the GEN-IV systems at ESNII and GIF, the fuel material studies at OECD.
PUMMA will provide common data in E.U. for Pu management on : fuel cycle, fuel behavior, fuel properties and safety st-


Net EU contribution
€ 907 782,00
Rue leblanc 25
75015 Paris

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Ile-de-France Ile-de-France Paris
Activity type
Research Organisations
Other funding
€ 1 187 298,00

Participants (19)