Molten-salt reactors for efficient nuclear fuel utilization without plutonium separation
Research and development studies of molten-salt reactors (MSRs) for special purposes have been under way since 1947 and for possible application as possible commercial nuclear electric power generators since 1956. For the latter, the previous emphasis has been on breeding performance and low fissile inventory to help limit the demand on nonrenewable natural resources (uranium) in an expanding nuclear economy; little or no thought has been given to alternative uses of nuclear fuels such as proliferation of nuclear explosives. As a consequence, the conceptual designs that evolved (e.g., the ORNL reference design MSBR) all favored enriched /sup 233/U as fuel with an on-site chemical processing facility from which portions of that fuel could be diverted fairly easily. With the current interest in limiting the proliferation potential of nuclear electric power systems, a redirected study of MSRs was undertaken in an effort to identify conceptual systems that would be attractive in this situation. It appears that practical proliferation-resistant MSRs could be designed and built, and the report describes a particularly attractive break-even breeder that includes an on-site chemical reprocessing facility within the reactor primary containment.
- Publication Date:
- OSTI Identifier:
- Report Number(s):
- DOE Contract Number:
- Resource Type:
- Technical Report
- Research Org:
- Oak Ridge National Lab., TN (USA)
- Country of Publication:
- United States
- 21 SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS; 11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; BREEDER REACTORS; FUEL CYCLE; MOLTEN SALT FUELS; REPROCESSING; MOLTEN SALT REACTORS; DESIGN; PLANNING; URANIUM 233; ACTINIDE ISOTOPES; ACTINIDE NUCLEI; ALPHA DECAY RADIOISOTOPES; ENERGY SOURCES; EVEN-ODD NUCLEI; FUELS; HEAVY NUCLEI; ISOTOPES; LIQUID FUELS; NUCLEAR FUELS; NUCLEI; RADIOISOTOPES; REACTOR MATERIALS; REACTORS; SEPARATION PROCESSES; URANIUM ISOTOPES; YEARS LIVING RADIOISOTOPES 210500* -- Power Reactors, Breeding; 050800 -- Nuclear Fuels-- Spent Fuels Reprocessing
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