Photo-transmutation of long-lived nuclear waste 135Cs by intense Compton γ-ray source

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Abstract

MeV-range Compton γ-ray beam via Compton scattering of a laser pulse against a high-current relativistic electron beam can be used to induce photo-transmutation reactions. In this work, we investigate through Monte Carlo simulations the possibility of transmutation of radioactive nuclear waste, by high-intensity Compton γ-ray source, for the long-lived 135Cs with a half-life of 2.3 × 106 years into short-lived 134Cs with a half-life of 2.07 years, or into stable nuclide 133Cs. Our simulation results show that the transmutation reaction yield is in the order of 6 × 109 per hour for a given γ-flux of 2 × 108 phs/s that can be obtained from the Shanghai Laser Electron Gamma-ray Source which is under construction. The transmutation capability of worldwide Compton γ-ray facilities is also evaluated, showing that the photo-transmutation induced by brilliant Compton γ-ray source, such as ELI-NP could be an efficient approach to transmute long-lived radioactive nuclear waste.

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Zhu, Z. C., Luo, W., Li, Z. C., Song, Y. M., Wang, X. D., Wang, X. L., & Fan, G. T. (2016). Photo-transmutation of long-lived nuclear waste 135Cs by intense Compton γ-ray source. Annals of Nuclear Energy, 89, 109–114. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anucene.2015.11.017

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