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Energies 2014, 7(8), 4910-4937; doi:10.3390/en7084910

Optimizing the Design of Small Fast Spectrum Battery-Type Nuclear Reactors

Department of Physics and Astronomy, Uppsala University, Ångström Lab, Lägerhyddsvägen 1, Uppsala 752 37, Sweden
Received: 3 June 2014 / Revised: 7 July 2014 / Accepted: 18 July 2014 / Published: 31 July 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Nuclear Reactor and Fuel Cycle Technologies)
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Abstract

This study is focused on defining and optimizing the design parameters of inherently safe “battery” type sodium-cooled metallic-fueled nuclear reactor cores that operate on a single stationary fuel loading at full power for 30 years. A total of 29 core designs were developed with varying power and flow conditions, including detailed thermal-hydraulic, structural-mechanical and neutronic analysis. Given set constraints for irradiation damage, primary cycle pressure drop and inherent safety considerations, the attainable power range and performance characteristics of the systems are defined. The optimum power level for a core with a coolant pressure drop limit of 100 kPa and an irradiation damage limit of 200 DPA (displacements per atom) is found to be 100 MWt/40 MWe. Raising the power level of an optimized core gives significantly higher attainable power densities and burnup, but severely decreases safety margins and increases the irradiation damage. A fully optimized inherently safe battery-type fast reactor core with an active height and diameter of 150 cm (2.6 m3), a pressure drop limit of 100 kPa and an irradiation damage limit of 300 DPA can be designed to operate at 150 MWt/60 MWe for 30 years, reaching an average discharge burnup of 100 MWd/kg-actinide. View Full-Text
Keywords: fast reactor design; reactivity feedback; inherent safety; LMFBR; SMR fast reactor design; reactivity feedback; inherent safety; LMFBR; SMR
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Qvist, S. Optimizing the Design of Small Fast Spectrum Battery-Type Nuclear Reactors. Energies 2014, 7, 4910-4937.

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