Next Article in Journal
Experimental Study of Crack Propagation in Cracked Concrete
Previous Article in Journal
Impact on Drained Rock Volume (DRV) of Storativity and Enhanced Permeability in Naturally Fractured Reservoirs: Upscaled Field Case from Hydraulic Fracturing Test Site (HFTS), Wolfcamp Formation, Midland Basin, West Texas
Open AccessArticle

Evaluation of the Breeding Performance of a NaCl-UCl-Based Reactor System

1
School of Engineering, University of Liverpool, Liverpool L69 3GH, UK
2
National Nuclear Laboratory, Chadwick House, Warrington WA3 6AE, UK
3
Scientific Computing Department, Science and Technology Facilities Council, Daresbury Laboratory, SciTech Daresbury, Cheshire WA4 4AD, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Energies 2019, 12(20), 3853; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12203853
Received: 13 August 2019 / Revised: 1 October 2019 / Accepted: 2 October 2019 / Published: 12 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Energy)
The energy trilemma forms the key driver for the future of energy research. In nuclear technologies, molten salt reactors are an upcoming option which offers new approaches. However, the key would be closed fuel cycle operation which requires sufficient breeding for a self-sustained long term operation ideally based on spent fuel. To achieve these attractive goals two challenges have been identified: achieving of sufficient breeding and development of a demand driven salt clean up system. The aim is to follow up on previous work to create an initial approach to achieving sufficient breeding. Firstly, identification of a salt system with a high solubility for fertile material and sufficiently low melting point. Secondly, evaluation of the sensitivity of the breeding performance on the sort of fissile material, the fissile material loading, and the core dimension all based on a realistic salt system which provides the solubility for sufficient fertile material to achieve the required breeding in a homogeneous reactor without breeding blanket. Both points are essential to create an innovative solution to harvest the fruits of a closed fuel cycle without the penalty of the prohibitively huge investments. It is demonstrated that the identified and investigated NaCl-UCl based systems are feasible to deliver the requested in-core breeding within the given solubility limits of fertile material in the salt system using either uranium as start-up fissile component or plutonium. This result is enriched by the analysis of the achievable full power days per inserted mass of plutonium. These new insights support reactor optimization and lead to a first conclusion that systems with lower power density could be very attractive in the case of low fuel cost, like it would be given when operating on spent nuclear fuel. View Full-Text
Keywords: nuclear energy; nuclear reactors; molten salt reactors; closed fuel cycle; breeding; homogenous reactor; spent nuclear fuel; sustainability; low carbon technologies nuclear energy; nuclear reactors; molten salt reactors; closed fuel cycle; breeding; homogenous reactor; spent nuclear fuel; sustainability; low carbon technologies
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

MDPI and ACS Style

Merk, B.; Detkina, A.; Atkinson, S.; Litskevich, D.; Cartland-Glover, G. Evaluation of the Breeding Performance of a NaCl-UCl-Based Reactor System. Energies 2019, 12, 3853.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop