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The DESAE (Dynamics of Energy System of Atomic Energy) code is a system research model designed for developing the prospective nuclear energy scenarios in a regional as well as global scale. DESAE model is developed in “National research centre “Kurchatov Institute”. The mathematical model of DESAE code, as currently developed, calculates the resources, both financial and material, required for a given combination of reactors to meet a specified supply of nuclear energy as a function of time. Thus, the user can study the practicality of a proposed system and material balances such as uranium demand as function of time, waste arising, plutonium recycling, etc. This model is oriented for the analysis of today’s and future nuclear energy systems in various countries, regional or worldwide level.
The code performs material flow analysis based on a user-defined deployment scenario of reactors and fuel cycle facilities.
For fast reactors the core, top, bottom and side blankets are considered as individual parts of reactor taking into account their isotopic compositions and cooling time before recycling.
The economic analysis within DESAE considers levelized cost of energy calculation based on the capital costs for reactors and nuclear fuel cycle facilities, the operation and maintenance costs and the calculated fuel cycle costs.
The user specifies a given demand for nuclear energy, the combination of reactor types that will be used to supply this energy, the fuel cycles to be used and the costs (overnight construction cost, fuel cost, operating costs, etc.) for each. The code then calculates a variety of parameters such as the consumption of natural uranium as a function of time, quantities of spent fuel and other materials such as actinides and recycled materials; the consumption of critical materials such as zirconium, the investment required, the cost of energy etc, in near real time. The user can then seek to optimize the nuclear energy system by varying the mix of reactor types and fuel cycles. The user can choose from a variety of reactors that are in use and that are under consideration for development, including LWRs, PHWRs, fast reactor, HTGRs, etc. Users can also specify a new reactor type by supplying information on its relevant characteristics.
The code does not perform burn-up or core management calculations but bases the calculations on tabled fresh and spent fuel compositions provided by the user (databases with this characteristics are available). The tabled fuel characteristics include data for equilibrium and start-up core compositions for the various reactors. The fuel composition is followed for 17 isotopes, i.e. 232Th, 232U, 233U, 234U, 235U, 236U, 238U, 238Pu, 239Pu, 240Pu, 241Pu, 242Pu, 237Np, 242mAm, 244Cm, 129I, 99Tc, with one additional group for the other fission products.
DESAE allows modeling for 7 reactor types in parallel in once simulation with all of them having any chain of fuel exchange between the reactors. The back-end of fuel cycle representation in DESAE is done with 4 fuel cycle facilities: NPP storage, long-term storage, reprocessing plant and waste disposal, without tracing losses in these facilities. The quantity of fission products and decay heat in spent fuel is calculated but repository needs are currently only defined by the volume of materials to be stored. Proliferation risk is assumed to be dependent on the volume of so-called relevant materials, i.e. Pu.
The mathematical model of DESAE code calculates the nuclear fuel cycle requirements, material balances and economic parameters in the framework of nuclear energy scenario development with a given combination of nuclear reactors during a specified time period.
DESAE provides the following options for analyzing the perspective nuclear energy development scenarios:
to study the scenarios both in regional and global scale;
to vary the scale and structure of the nuclear energy system, by commissioning different types of reactors at different rates;
to modify the reactor characteristics and to study their influence on variation of nuclear energy system parameters;
to expand the data library with addition of new reactor types;
to study both open and closed fuel cycles;
to alter the spent fuel recycling capacity and external fuel cycle duration;
running the code in interactive mode with typical estimated time of about 1 minute.
It is possible to export calculation results to Microsoft Office Excel (to be installed separately as part of Microsoft Office). It is essential to have Matlab Runtime Compiler installed on PC where DESAE program will be used. It could be obtained either from Mathworks official site or from DESAE package itself as an optional component.
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Guidance for the Evaluation of Innovative Nuclear Reactors and Fuel Cycles. Report of Phase 1A of INPRO. IAEA-TECDOC-1362, Vienna, 2003.
Methodology for the assessment of innovative nuclear reactors and fuel cycles Report of Phase 1B (first part) of the International Project on Innovative Nuclear Reactors and Fuel Cycles (INPRO). IAEA-TECDOC-1434, Vienna, 2004.
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Keywords: comparative evaluations, economic analysis, energy analysis, energy demand, fuel cycle analysis, life-cycle cost.