An autonomous long-term fast reactor system and the principal design limitations of the concept

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Title: An autonomous long-term fast reactor system and the principal design limitations of the concept
Author: Tsvetkova, Galina Valeryevna
Abstract: The objectives of this dissertation were to find a principal domain of promising and technologically feasible reactor physics characteristics for a multi -purpose , modular -sized , lead -cooled , fast neutron spectrum reactor fueled with an advanced uranium -transuranic -nitride fuel and to determine the principal limitations for the design of an autonomous long -term multi -purpose fast reactor (ALM -FR ) within the principal reactor physics characteristic domain . The objectives were accomplished by producing a conceptual design for an ALM -FR and by analysis of the potential ALM -FR performance characteristics . The ALM -FR design developed in this dissertation is based on the concept of a secure transportable autonomous reactor for hydrogen production (STAR -H2 ) and represents further refinement of the STAR -H2 concept towards an economical , proliferation -resistant , sustainable , multi -purpose nuclear energy system . The development of the ALM -FR design has been performed considering this reactor within the frame of the concept of a self -consistent nuclear energy system (SCNES ) that satisfies virtually all of the requirements for future nuclear energy systems : efficient energy production , safety , self -feeding , non -proliferation , and radionuclide burning . The analysis takes into consideration a wide range of reactor design aspects including selection of technologically feasible fuels and structural materials , core configuration optimization , dynamics and safety of long -term operation on one fuel loading , and nuclear material non -proliferation . Plutonium and higher actinides are considered as essential components of an advanced fuel that maintains long -term operation . Flexibility of the ALM -FR with respect to fuel compositions is demonstrated acknowledging the principal limitations of the long -term burning of plutonium and higher actinides . To ensure consistency and accuracy , the modeling has been performed using state -of -the -art computer codes developed at Argonne National Laboratory . As a result of the computational analysis performed in this work , the ALM -FR design provides for the possibility of continuous operation during about 40 years on one fuel loading containing mixture of depleted uranium with plutonium and higher actinides . All reactor physics characteristics of the ALM -FR are kept within technological limits ensuring safety of ultra -long autonomous operation . The results obtained provide for identification of physical features of the ALM -FR that significantly influence flexibility of the design and its applications . The special emphasis is given to existing limitations on the utilization of higher actinides as a fuel component .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /36
Date: 2004-09-30

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An autonomous long-term fast reactor system and the principal design limitations of the concept. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /36 .

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