skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Progress in reliability of fast reactor operation and new trends to increased inherent safety

Abstract

The reasons for the renewed interest in fast reactors and an overview of the progress in sodium cooled fast reactor operation in the last ten years are given. The excellent operational performance of sodium cooled fast reactors in this period is highlighted as a sound basis for the development of new fast reactors. The operational performance of the BN-600 is compared and evaluated against the performance of German light water reactors to assess the reliability. The relevance of feedback effects for safe reactor design is described, and a new method for the enhancement of feedback effects in fast reactors is proposed. Experimental reactors demonstrating the inherent safety of advanced sodium cooled fast reactor designs are described and the potential safety improvements resulting from the use of fine distributed moderating material are discussed.

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3];  [4]
  1. Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR), (Germany). Inst. for Resource Ecology
  2. Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
  3. Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR), Kalpakkam (India). Nuclear Science and Engineering Group
  4. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
OSTI Identifier:
1188618
Report Number(s):
INL/JOU-15-35650
Journal ID: ISSN 0306-2619; TRN: US1500208
DOE Contract Number:
AC07-05ID14517
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Applied Energy; Journal Volume: 147; Journal Issue: C
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
21 SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS; FAST REACTORS; SODIUM COOLED REACTORS; WATER MODERATED REACTORS; REACTOR SAFETY; BELOYARSK-3 REACTOR; EXPERIMENTAL REACTORS; OPERATION; PERFORMANCE; RELIABILITY; WATER COOLED REACTORS; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; DESIGN; FEEDBACK; MODERATORS; NUCLEAR; NUCLEAR REACTORS; ENHANCED FEEDBACK; INHERENT SAFETY

Citation Formats

Merk, Bruno, Stanculescu, Alexander, Chellapandi, Perumal, and Hill, Robert. Progress in reliability of fast reactor operation and new trends to increased inherent safety. United States: N. p., 2015. Web. doi:10.1016/j.apenergy.2015.02.023.
Merk, Bruno, Stanculescu, Alexander, Chellapandi, Perumal, & Hill, Robert. Progress in reliability of fast reactor operation and new trends to increased inherent safety. United States. doi:10.1016/j.apenergy.2015.02.023.
Merk, Bruno, Stanculescu, Alexander, Chellapandi, Perumal, and Hill, Robert. 2015. "Progress in reliability of fast reactor operation and new trends to increased inherent safety". United States. doi:10.1016/j.apenergy.2015.02.023.
@article{osti_1188618,
title = {Progress in reliability of fast reactor operation and new trends to increased inherent safety},
author = {Merk, Bruno and Stanculescu, Alexander and Chellapandi, Perumal and Hill, Robert},
abstractNote = {The reasons for the renewed interest in fast reactors and an overview of the progress in sodium cooled fast reactor operation in the last ten years are given. The excellent operational performance of sodium cooled fast reactors in this period is highlighted as a sound basis for the development of new fast reactors. The operational performance of the BN-600 is compared and evaluated against the performance of German light water reactors to assess the reliability. The relevance of feedback effects for safe reactor design is described, and a new method for the enhancement of feedback effects in fast reactors is proposed. Experimental reactors demonstrating the inherent safety of advanced sodium cooled fast reactor designs are described and the potential safety improvements resulting from the use of fine distributed moderating material are discussed.},
doi = {10.1016/j.apenergy.2015.02.023},
journal = {Applied Energy},
number = C,
volume = 147,
place = {United States},
year = 2015,
month = 6
}
  • The thermal, mechanical, and neutronic performance of the metal alloy fast reactor fuel design complements the safety advantages of the liquid metal cooling and the pool-type primary system. Together, these features provide large safety margins in both normal operating modes and for a wide range of postulated accidents. In particular, they maximize the measures of safety associated with inherent reactor response to unprotected, double-fault accidents, and to minimize risk to the public and plant investment. High thermal conductivity and high gap conductance play the most significant role in safety advantages of the metallic fuel, resulting in a flatter radial temperaturemore » profile within the pin and much lower normal operation and transient temperatures in comparison to oxide fuel. Despite the big difference in melting point, both oxide and metal fuels have a relatively similar margin to melting during postulated accidents. When the metal fuel cladding fails, it typically occurs below the coolant boiling point and the damaged fuel pins remain coolable. Metal fuel is compatible with sodium coolant, eliminating the potential of energetic fuel--coolant reactions and flow blockages. All these, and the low retained heat leading to a longer grace period for operator action, are significant contributing factors to the inherently benign response of metallic fuel to postulated accidents. This paper summarizes the past analytical and experimental results obtained in past sodium-cooled fast reactor safety programs in the United States, and presents an overview of fuel safety performance as observed in laboratory and in-pile tests.« less
  • The thermal, mechanical, and neutronic performance of the metal alloy fast reactor fuel design complements the safety advantages of the liquid metal cooling and the pool-type primary system. Together, these features provide large safety margins in both normal operating modes and for a wide range of postulated accidents. In particular, they maximize the measures of safety associated with inherent reactor response to unprotected, double-fault accidents, and to minimize risk to the public and plant investment. High thermal conductivity and high gap conductance play the most significant role in safety advantages of the metallic fuel, resulting in a flatter radial temperaturemore » profile within the pin and much lower normal operation and transient temperatures in comparison to oxide fuel. Despite the big difference in melting point, both oxide and metal fuels have a relatively similar margin to melting during postulated accidents. When the metal fuel cladding fails, it typically occurs below the coolant boiling point and the damaged fuel pins remain coolable. Metal fuel is compatible with sodium coolant, eliminating the potential of energetic fuel--coolant reactions and flow blockages. All these, and the low retained heat leading to a longer grace period for operator action, are significant contributing factors to the inherently benign response of metallic fuel to postulated accidents. This paper summarizes the past analytical and experimental results obtained in past sodium-cooled fast reactor safety programs in the United States, and presents an overview of fuel safety performance as observed in laboratory and in-pile tests.« less
    Cited by 7
  • The thermal, mechanical, and neutronic performance of the metal alloy fast reactor fuel design complements the safety advantages of the liquid metal cooling and the pool-type primary system. Together, these features provide large safety margins in both normal operating modes and for a wide range of postulated accidents. In particular, they maximize the measures of safety associated with inherent reactor response to unprotected, double-fault accidents, and to minimize risk to the public and plant investment. High thermal conductivity and high gap conductance play the most significant role in safety advantages of the metallic fuel, resulting in a flatter radial temperaturemore » profile within the pin and much lower normal operation and transient temperatures in comparison to oxide fuel. Despite the big difference in melting point, both oxide and metal fuels have a relatively similar margin to melting during postulated accidents. When the metal fuel cladding fails, it typically occurs below the coolant boiling point and the damaged fuel pins remain cool-able. Metal fuel is compatible with sodium coolant, eliminating the potential of energetic fuel coolant reactions and flow blockages. All these, and the low retained heat leading to a longer grace period for operator action, are significant contributing factors to the inherently benign response of metallic fuel to postulated accidents. This paper summarizes the past analytical and experimental results obtained in past sodium-cooled fast reactor safety programs in the United States, and presents an overview of fuel safety performance as observed in laboratory and in-pile tests.« less