skip to main content

Title: Accelerators for Subcritical Molten-Salt Reactors

Accelerator parameters for subcritical reactors have usually been based on using solid nuclear fuel much like that used in all operating critical reactors as well as the thorium burning accelerator-driven energy amplifier proposed by Rubbia et al. An attractive alternative reactor design that used molten salt fuel was experimentally studied at ORNL in the 1960s, where a critical molten salt reactor was successfully operated using enriched U235 or U233 tetrafluoride fuels. These experiments give confidence that an accelerator-driven subcritical molten salt reactor will work better than conventional reactors, having better efficiency due to their higher operating temperature, having the inherent safety of subcritical operation, and having constant purging of volatile radioactive elements to eliminate their accumulation and potential accidental release in dangerous amounts. Moreover, the requirements to drive a molten salt reactor can be considerably relaxed compared to a solid fuel reactor, especially regarding accelerator reliability and spallation neutron targetry, to the point that much of the required technology exists today. It is proposed that Project-X be developed into a prototype commercial machine to produce energy for the world by, for example, burning thorium in India and nuclear waste from conventional reactors in the USA.
Authors:
 [1]
  1. (Muons, Inc.)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1039042
DOE Contract Number:
AC02-07CH11359
Resource Type:
Multimedia
Resource Relation:
Conference: Fermilab Colloquia, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (FNAL), Batvia, Illinois (United States), presented on August 03, 2011
Research Org:
FNAL (Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (FNAL), Batavia, IL (United States))
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS