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Nuclear Fuel Supply Calculator - HELP

(last updated 15 Feb 2016)

Contents:


INTRODUCTION

This calculator performs calculations of nuclear fuel supply from the following primary and secondary sources: The calculator allows to study the following aspects, among others:

The calculator uses the following assumptions:

The calculator makes the following simplifications:

Upon clicking of the "Calculate" button, after a short delay, the Result information is presented in numerical form and as a chart.

The data used for the calculation can be entered in the Input Data tables. The parameters used for the calculation can be set in the Parameters tables. Data and parameters show reasonable initial values which can be modified as needed.

See special instructions for offline use of this calculator.

 


INPUT DATA

Resources and Inventory · Production Capacity · Fuel Recycling · Supply · Demand · Output Selections

All data is for the uranium contained in the respective material!
For conversion to actual amounts of material, see Unit Conversion, and the Unit Converter.

t = metric tonne   ·   $ = US-Dollar

 

Resources and Inventory Data

Total amounts of resources in ore deposits and various stock holdings at the beginning of the base year.
Base Year (Jan. 1)
Base date for all resources and inventories given in this table. Year entry must be in the range 2000 - 2100.

Recoverable Uranium Resources in Ore Deposits [t U]
The Default values are from [NEA Red Book 2010]

Stock Inventories
The assays of the materials are given in the Source Material Parameter table below.

 

Production Capacity Data

Annual production capability of the uranium mines and mills and the nuclear fuel facilities.

Columns must be filled in consecutively from the left, and years must be given in ascending order. Year entries must be in the range 2000 - 2100. The data for the first year stated is also used for earlier years, and the data for the last year stated is also used for later years. For unspecified intermediate years, data is interpolated linearly.

Mining + Milling [t Unat/a]
The default data is from [NEA Red Book 2010]

Conversion [t Unat/a]
Conversion of U3O8 to UF6

Enrichment [M SWU/a] (million Separative Work Units per year)

HEU Downblending [t HEU/a]
Blending of High Enriched Uranium (HEU) with some uranium blendstock material to obtain Low Enriched Uranium (LEU) for Light Water Reactor use.

Fuel Fab. UOX [t LEU/a]
Fuel fabrication of uranium oxide fuel for Light-Water Reactors

Fuel Fab. MOX [t HM/a] (t Heavy Metal per year)
Fuel fabrication of mixed oxide fuel from plutonium and uranium

Fuel Fab. HWR [t Unat/a]
Fuel fabrication of heavy water reactor fuel

 

Recovery Data from Spent Fuel

Material recovered from spent fuel by reprocessing.

Columns must be filled in consecutively from the left, and years must be given in ascending order. Year entries must be in the range 2000 - 2100. The data for the first year stated is also used for earlier years, and the data for the last year stated is also used for later years. For unspecified intermediate years, data is interpolated linearly.

Recovered RepU [t RepU/a]
Uranium recovered by reprocessing of spent fuel

Recovered Pu [t Pu/a]
Plutonium recovered by reprocessing of spent fuel

 

Supply Data

Annual amounts of material intended for reactor use. Actual usage may differ due to depletion of inventories and side effects of some processes.

Columns must be filled in consecutively from the left, and years must be given in ascending order. Year entries must be in the range 2000 - 2100. The data for the first year stated is also used for earlier years, and the data for the last year stated is also used for later years. For unspecified intermediate years, data is interpolated linearly.

Unat from Mining + Milling [t Unat/a]
Unat Inventory Drawdown [t Unat/a]
LEU Inventory Drawdown [t LEU/a]
HEU Downblending [t HEU/a]
Tails Re-Enrichment to Unat [t Unat/a]
Tails Re-Enrichment to LEU [t LEU/a]
RepU [t Unat_eq/a] (t natural uranium equivalent)
Pu for MOX use [t Pu/a]

 

Demand Data

Annual demand, given as natural uranium (equivalent) for reactor use, or as electricity from nuclear generation. Select from Default pick list, or enter own data.

Columns must be filled in consecutively from the left, and years must be given in ascending order. Year entries must be in the range 2000 - 2100. The data for the first year stated is also used for earlier years, and the data for the last year stated is also used for later years. For unspecified intermediate years, data is interpolated linearly.

Default data selection:

Total [t Unat_eq/a · TWhe/a]
Total annual natural uranium equivalent demand, or electricity demand from nuclear power. Select appropriate unit.
1 TWhe (Terawatt-hour electrical) = 1000 GWhe = 109 kWhe.

HWR [%]
Percentage of annual natural uranium equivalent demand, or electricity demand from nuclear power respectively, to be supplied from Heavy Water Reactors.

 

Output Selections

Uranium resources category
Select applicable resource and cost categories to be used for the calculation.

Supply from Mining + Milling: Use Supply Data / Fit Demand
If "Fit Demand" is selected, the supply data from mining is adjusted for the total supply to meet the demand. Otherwise, the supply data from mining is taken from the Supply Data table, as all other supply data.

End year
Last year for the calculations, must be in the range 2000-2100; affects time span covered by the chart and numerical results.

 

 


RESULTS

Chart · Numerical Output

Chart

The time span covered by the charts is given by the Base Year in the Resources and Inventory Data table and the End Year in the Output Selections table.
For the charts showing results from a single year, the year can be entered directly or modified by the buttons.
A result is calculated when the "Calculate" button is clicked.

Chart options:

Supply and demand
Simple line chart of supply and demand

Supply (detailed w. resource categories)
Stacked chart of supply only, detailing contribution of the various resources and showing resource categories for the uranium resources

Supply (detailed w. cost categories)
Stacked chart of supply only, detailing contribution of the various resources and showing cost categories for the uranium resources

Supply and demand (detailed w. resource categories)
Stacked chart of supply and demand, detailing contribution of the various resources and showing resource categories for the uranium resources

Supply and demand (detailed w. cost categories)
Stacked chart of supply and demand, detailing contribution of the various resources and showing cost categories for the uranium resources

Inventories (Unat equiv.)
Inventories given as natural uranium equivalent, to simplify comparison. The data in original units is available in the Numerical Output selections below.
For the purposes of this chart, it is simplistically assumed that all depleted uranium has the same assay as that specified for enrichment of Unat.

Inventories without U Res. and DU (Unat equiv.)
Same as above, but without the major contributors uranium resources in ore deposits and depleted uranium. This allows to view the other inventories in more detail.

Prod. capacity usage (Unat equiv.) for year selected
Production capacity usage for the uranium mines and mills and the fuel cycle facilities, detailing the usage by the processing for the various resource types. The data is given as natural uranium equivalent, to simplify comparison. The data in original units is available in the Numerical Output selections below.

 

Numerical Output

Calculation results

These selections show the numerical results of the calculation in various forms.
The time span of the results is given by the Base Year in the Resources and Inventory Data table and the End Year in the Output Selections table. For the results from a single year, the year can be entered directly or modified by the buttons.
A result is calculated when the "Calculate" button is clicked.
Supply, production and demand for year selected

Resources use for year selected

Inventory balance for year selected

Total inventory balance and lifespan

Prod. capacity usage (orig. units) for year selected

Prod. capacity usage (Unat equiv.) for year selected

 

Parameter evaluation

These selections show the effects of the current parameter specifications made in the Parameters tables. They immediately reflect any parameter change in these tables - no clicking of the "Calculate" button is required.
Assay summary (Part 1 + 2)

Process balances (Part 1 + 2)

LEU output per unit input material

Input requirements per unit LEU output

Unat equivalent per unit input material

 


PARAMETERS

Source Material Parameters · Process Parameters

Source Material Parameters

Upon entry of any Source Material Parameters, the Parameter Evaluations in the Result Window are updated accordingly.
Unat: Assay [wt-% U-235]
The concentration of the fissile uranium isotope U-235 in natural uranium is 0.711 weight-percent

Re-enriched Unat: Assay [wt-% U-235 equiv.]
The equivalent assay is identical to the assay in natural uranium. The actual U-235 assay, however, is higher than in Unat, to compensate for the presence of the neutron absorber U-236. The actual assay can be viewed in the Assay Summary in the Result Window.

LEU stock, Re-enriched LEU: Assay
Assay given by LWR Power Plant "Burnup Initial Enrichment" selection below. The actual assays can be viewed in the Assay Summary in the Result Window.

HEU: HEU assay: [wt-% U-235] · [wt-% U-236]
Concentrations of U-235 and U-236 in weight-percent in the HEU material.

HEU: Raw Blendstock (RB) assay [wt-% U-235]
Concentration of U-235 in weight-percent in the Raw Blendstock material, before any enrichment.

HEU: Raw Blendstock (RB) supplied as U3O8 / UF6
(in case of Raw Blendstock uranium being supplied as UF6, no conversion is needed)

HEU: Final Blendstock (FB) assay [wt-% U-235]
Concentration of U-235 in weight-percent in the Final Blendstock material, after any enrichment. If an assay higher than the Raw Blendstock is entered, an enrichment step is assumed for the Blendstock. If an assay lower than the Raw Blendstock assay is entered, the latter is used instead for the calculation.

RepU: Assay
Assay given by LWR Power Plant "Burnup Initial Enrichment" selection below, can be viewed in Assay Summary (Result Window)

MOX: Raw U component assay [wt-% U235]
enter appropriate assay in case of use of depleted uranium, or leave initial value of 0.711 unchanged for natural uranium. In case of depleted uranium, it is assumed that it is a by-product from enrichment of natural uranium.

MOX: Raw U component supplied as U3O8 / UF6
(in case of depleted uranium being used for MOX production, no conversion is needed, since this is available as UF6 already)

MOX: Final U component assay [wt-% U235]
Concentration of U-235 in weight-percent in the Final uranium component material, after any enrichment. If an assay higher than the Raw uranium component is entered, an enrichment step is assumed for the uranium component. If an assay lower than the Raw uranium component assay is entered, the latter is used instead for the calculation.

MOX: Puf concentration in total Pu [wt-%]
concentration of fissile plutonium (Pu-239 and Pu-241) in the plutonium used for MOX fuel.

MOX: Puf equivalent of U-235 [g Puf per g U-235]
amount of fissile plutonium (Pu-239 and Pu-241) which produces the same energy in the reactor as 1 g of uranium-235.

General: Factor for U-236 effect [excess wt-% U-235 per wt-% U-236]
Excess concentration of U-235 needed to compensate for the effect of U-236 present in the LEU product.
Typical values are in the 0.2 - 0.3 range, depending on reactor and fuel type.


Process Parameters

Upon entry of any Process Parameters, the Parameter Evaluations in the Result Window are updated accordingly.
Conversion to UF6: Losses [%]
Production losses during the conversion process.

Enrichment (Unat, RepU to LEU): Tails Assay [wt-% U-235]
Weight-percent of the isotope uranium-235 in the uranium contained in the waste stream (depleted uranium hexafluoride) of the enrichment plant. Typical values range between 0.25% and 0.30%. The tails assay can be selected according to economic feasibility.
> See graphs: Cost balance of uranium enrichment · Optimal tails assay
> See also: Uranium Enrichment Cost Optimizer

HEU Blendstock Enrichment: Tails Assay [wt-% U-235]
Weight-percent of the isotope uranium-235 in the uranium contained in the waste stream (depleted uranium hexafluoride) of the enrichment plant producing the blendstock for HEU downblending.

MOX U Component Enrichment: Tails Assay [wt-% U-235]
Weight-percent of the isotope uranium-235 in the uranium contained in the waste stream (depleted uranium hexafluoride) of the enrichment plant producing the uranium component for the MOX fuel.

Re-enrichment of Tails (to Unat, LEU): Tails Assay [wt-% U-235]
Weight-percent of the isotope uranium-235 in the uranium contained in the waste stream (depleted uranium hexafluoride) of the enrichment plant.

Fuel Fabrication (UOX, MOX, HWR): Losses [%]
Production losses during the fuel fabrication process.

LWR Power Plant: Burnup and initial enrichment
The burnup is the thermal energy produced in the nuclear power plant from 1 t of enriched uranium / heavy metal contained in the nuclear fuel. It ranges between 40 and 43.4 GWd/t for pressurized water reators (PWR), and 33 and 40 GWd/t for boiling water reactors (BWR). GWd stands for Gigawatt-days, 1 GWd = 24 million kilowatt-hours. The burnup has impacts on the isotope composition of the spent fuel, and thus also on the uranium isotope composition in uranium recycled from this spent fuel.
The initial enrichment figure is identical to the enrichment for fuel from enriched natural uranium. For fuel from recycled uranium, it describes the enrichment of natural uranium that would produce the same amount of energy. Actual enrichment figures for recycled uranium are higher to compensate for the presence of U-236, a neutron absorber. The composition of the uranium isotopes is determined according to the selection from the "burnup / initial enrichment" pick list, based on [Neghabian1991]. The actual figures for the current selection are shown in the Assay Summary in the Result window for reference. The figures are based on a 5 year storage time after reactor unload. For MOX fuel, the initial enrichment figure describes the enrichment of natural uranium that would produce the same amount of energy.

LWR Power Plant: Efficiency [%]
Efficiency of converting thermal energy into net electricity, ranges between 32% and 34.5%.

HWR Power Plant: Burnup [GWd/tHM]
The burnup is the thermal energy produced in the nuclear power plant from 1 t of natural uranium contained in the nuclear fuel.

HWR Power Plant: Efficiency [%]
Efficiency of converting thermal energy into net electricity

 


CALCULATION DETAILS

The formulae used by the calculator for the enrichment process can be found under Separative Work Unit (SWU) in the "Enriched uranium" article of Wikipedia.

 


BIBLIOGRAPHY

[NEA Red Book 2010] Uranium 2009: Resources, Production and Demand, OECD Nuclear Energy Agency / International Atomic Energy Agency, Paris 2010

[IAEA 2001] Analysis of Uranium Supply to 2050, International Atomic Energy Agency, STI/PUB/1104, ISBN 92-0-100401-X, Vienna, May 2001, 103 pp.

[Neghabian1991] Verwendung von wiederaufgearbeitetem Uran und von abgereichertem Uran, von A.R. Neghabian, H.J. Becker, A. Baran, H.-W. Binzel, Der Bundesminister für Umwelt, Naturschutz und Reaktorsicherheit (Hg.), Schriftenreihe Reaktorsicherheit und Strahlenschutz, BMU-1992-332, November 1991, 186 S.

 

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