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

Title: Liquid uranium alloy-helium fission reactor

Abstract

This invention teaches a nuclear fission reactor having a core vessel and at least one tandem heat exchanger vessel coupled therewith across upper and lower passages to define a closed flow loop. Nuclear fuel such as a uranium alloy in its liquid phase fills these vessels and flow passages. Solid control elements in the reactor core vessel are adapted to be adjusted relative to one another to control fission reaction of the liquid fuel therein. Moderator elements in the other vessel and flow passages preclude fission reaction therein. An inert gas such as helium is bubbled upwardly through the heat exchanger vessel operable to move the liquid fuel upwardly therein and unidirectionally around the closed loop and downwardly through the core vessel. This helium gas is further directed to heat conversion means outside of the reactor vessels to utilize the heat from the fission reaction to generate useful output. The nuclear fuel operates in the 1200.degree.-1800.degree. C. range, and even higher to 2500.degree. C., limited only by the thermal effectiveness of the structural materials, increasing the efficiency of power generation from the normal 30-35% with 300.degree.-500.degree. C. upper limit temperature to 50-65%. Irradiation of the circulating liquid fuel, as contrastedmore » to only localized irradiation of a solid fuel, provides improved fuel utilization.« less

Inventors:
 [1]
  1. Skokie, IL
Issue Date:
Research Org.:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
OSTI Identifier:
865733
Patent Number(s):
4563327
Assignee:
United States of America as represented by United States (Washington, DC)
Patent Classifications (CPCs):
Y - NEW / CROSS SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES Y02 - TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE Y02E - REDUCTION OF GREENHOUSE GAS [GHG] EMISSIONS, RELATED TO ENERGY GENERATION, TRANSMISSION OR DISTRIBUTION
G - PHYSICS G21 - NUCLEAR PHYSICS G21C - NUCLEAR REACTORS
DOE Contract Number:  
W-31109-ENG-38
Resource Type:
Patent
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
liquid; uranium; alloy-helium; fission; reactor; teaches; nuclear; core; vessel; tandem; heat; exchanger; coupled; therewith; upper; passages; define; closed; flow; loop; fuel; alloy; phase; fills; vessels; solid; control; elements; adapted; adjusted; relative; reaction; therein; moderator; preclude; inert; gas; helium; bubbled; upwardly; operable; move; unidirectionally; downwardly; directed; conversion; means; outside; utilize; generate; useful; output; operates; 1200; degree; -1800; range; 2500; limited; thermal; effectiveness; structural; materials; increasing; efficiency; power; generation; normal; 30-35; 300; -500; limit; temperature; 50-65; irradiation; circulating; contrasted; localized; provides; improved; utilization; reactor vessels; control elements; structural material; solid fuel; fission reactor; flow passage; uranium alloy; control element; provides improved; closed loop; reactor vessel; nuclear fuel; heat exchange; heat exchanger; liquid phase; reactor core; inert gas; power generation; liquid fuel; helium gas; structural materials; flow passages; improved fuel; nuclear fission; thermal effectiveness; adjusted relative; fuel utilization; closed flow; moderator elements; useful output; liquid uranium; coupled therewith; /376/976/

Citation Formats

Minkov, Vladimir. Liquid uranium alloy-helium fission reactor. United States: N. p., 1986. Web.
Minkov, Vladimir. Liquid uranium alloy-helium fission reactor. United States.
Minkov, Vladimir. Wed . "Liquid uranium alloy-helium fission reactor". United States. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/865733.
@article{osti_865733,
title = {Liquid uranium alloy-helium fission reactor},
author = {Minkov, Vladimir},
abstractNote = {This invention teaches a nuclear fission reactor having a core vessel and at least one tandem heat exchanger vessel coupled therewith across upper and lower passages to define a closed flow loop. Nuclear fuel such as a uranium alloy in its liquid phase fills these vessels and flow passages. Solid control elements in the reactor core vessel are adapted to be adjusted relative to one another to control fission reaction of the liquid fuel therein. Moderator elements in the other vessel and flow passages preclude fission reaction therein. An inert gas such as helium is bubbled upwardly through the heat exchanger vessel operable to move the liquid fuel upwardly therein and unidirectionally around the closed loop and downwardly through the core vessel. This helium gas is further directed to heat conversion means outside of the reactor vessels to utilize the heat from the fission reaction to generate useful output. The nuclear fuel operates in the 1200.degree.-1800.degree. C. range, and even higher to 2500.degree. C., limited only by the thermal effectiveness of the structural materials, increasing the efficiency of power generation from the normal 30-35% with 300.degree.-500.degree. C. upper limit temperature to 50-65%. Irradiation of the circulating liquid fuel, as contrasted to only localized irradiation of a solid fuel, provides improved fuel utilization.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {1986},
month = {1}
}

Patent:

Save / Share: