Both 10 MWe and 50 MWe versions of 4S are designed to automatically maintain an outlet coolant temperature of 510°C – suitable for power generation with high temperature electrolytic hydrogen production. This is intrinsically proliferation-resistant because it is so hot radiologically, and the curium provides a high level of spontaneous neutrons. The reactor will use metal fuel, and liquid sodium as a coolant, and core temperatures would be about 550ºC. It would have a refuelling interval of 20 years for cartridge changeover. Phase 2 of the study focused on four basic reactor designs: sodium-cooled with MOX and metal fuels, helium-cooled with nitride and MOX fuels, lead-bismuth eutectic-cooled with nitride and metal fuels, and supercritical water-cooled with MOX fuel. A reduced-power model, Guinevere, became operational at Mol in March 2010. In October 2010 SCK-CEN signed two international agreements to collaborate on the Myrrha project. Many core configurations are possible, but for maximum breeding, the conventional core plus blanket arrangement is best. The ARC-100 system comprises a uranium alloy metal core as a cartridge submerged in sodium at ambient pressure in a stainless steel tank. Fast reactors typically use boron carbide control rods. The fast reactor has no moderator and relies on fast neutrons alone to cause fission, which for uranium is less efficient than using slow neutrons. The Molten Salt Fast Neutron Reactor (MSFR) is one of two baseline concepts being pursued. The reactor is fuelled with uranium-plutonium oxide. The initial cores can comprise Pu and spent fuel – hence loaded with fission products, and radiologically 'hot'. In this connection MHI has also set up Mitsubishi FBR Systems (MFBR). Some or all of the uranium, and the transuranics (including plutonium and minor actinides), are recycled. It has three loops containing 910 t sodium in total, outlet primary coolant temperature is 547°C. When a uranium nucleus in a reactor splits, it produces two or more neutrons that can then be absorbed by other nuclei, causing them to undergo fission as well. As the wave would be surrounded by new fuel in most directions, more neutrons would be utilized compared with a traveling wave scheme. Fast Neutron Reactors – historical and current Fission products will be removed at that rate. The Cogéma plant in La Hague (UP2 - 400) reprocessed approximately 10 tonnes of used fuel between 1979 and 1984 (diluted with the fuel from the GCR reactors). In 2009 this was boldly selected by MIT Technology Review as one of ten emerging technologies of note. Here, fast breeder reactors form stage 2 and use plutonium-based fuel in the core to breed both U-233 from thorium and Pu-239 from U-238 in the blanket. It could be of any size from 500 to 1500 MWe. In a bath of molten lithium and potassium chloride, uranium is recovered electrolytically. et al., BN-1200 Reactor Power Unit Design Development, OKBM Afrikantov, presented at the International Conference on Fast Reactors and Related Fuel Cycles: Safe Technologies and Sustainable Scenarios (FR13), organized by the International Atomic Energy Agency, held in Paris on 4-7 March 2013 By the end of 2021 it will have a full MOX core. A significant new Russian design from NIKIET is the BREST fast neutron reactor, of 700 MWt, 300 MWe or more with lead as the primary coolant, at 540°C, and supercritical steam generators. A breeder assembly contains 2 kg of plutonium after irradiation, has a mass of 294 kg and retains the same overall dimensions of those of a fissile fuel sub-assembly. Carlson J, 2009, Introduction to the Concept of Proliferation Resistance, paper for ICNND Theoretically any fast reactor can be operated over a spectrum from burner (with steel reflectors around the core) to breeder (with U-238 blanket around the core). It would be a combined cycle plant, with secondary helium-nitrogen (20-80%) circuit at 820 °C driving a gas turbine and then supplying three steam generators. It would cost about RUR 165 billion ($4.7 billion). The whole unit would be factory-built, transported to site, installed below ground level, and would drive a steam cycle. A 24% Pu fuel may also be used. Its fuel is U+Pu nitride. Metal fuel is envisaged later. Two PRISM units would irradiate fuel made from this plutonium (20% Pu, with DU and zirconium) for 45-90 days, bringing it to 'spent fuel standard' of radioactivity, after which is would be stored in air-cooled silos. Six more such fast reactors are envisaged. Following the decision, Toshiba said that the smaller Astrid would be a step back for Japan's fast reactor development process, possibly forcing the country to build its own larger demonstration reactor in Japan rather than rely on Astrid. All the time, it generated some 1 TWh of power as well. Nuclear is very, very safe today, but we believe this design will make it dramatically safer. To avoid this pure N-15 is needed, which requires enrichment. Service life is 40 years. The design is based on the EBR-II and the original IFR. The emphasis then shifted to testing materials and fuels (metal and ceramic oxides, carbides and nitrides of uranium and plutonium) for larger fast reactors. Four independent heat exchanger loops are likely, each with two heat exchangers, and it will be designed to reduce the probability and consequences of severe accidents to an extent that is not now done with FNRs. Instead, plutonium production takes place in the core, where burn-up is high and the proportion of plutonium isotopes other than Pu-239 remains high. Fast reactors generally have an excess of neutrons (due to low parasitic absorbtion), the neutrons given off by fission reactions can “breed” more fuel from otherwise non-fissionable isotopes or can be used for another purposes (e.g.transmutation of spent nuclear fuel). * It started up in 1969 and is to be replaced after the end of 2020 with the MBIR, with four times the irradiation capacity. It is a fast neutron modular reactor cooled by lead-bismuth eutectic, with passive safety features. However, it is possible to build a fast reactor that will breed fuel by producing more fissile material than it consumes. The coolant is a liquid metal (normally sodium) to avoid any neutron moderation and provide a very efficient heat transfer medium. Its development is further off. When temperatures rise to limits set by design, molten chloride salt fuels naturally expand slowing the rate of the nuclear reaction. GIF 2014, Technology roadmap update for Gen IV nuclear energy systems. Astrid is called a 'self-generating' fast reactor rather than a breeder in order to demonstrate low net plutonium production. RIAR intends to set up an on-site closed fuel cycle for it, using pyrochemical reprocessing it has developed at pilot scale. The second option was designed to attract more funds apart from the federal budget allocation, was favoured by Rosatom, and was accepted. There are some significant improvements from BN-600 however. The experimental breeder reactor EBR-1 at Idaho was designed to validate the physics of breeding fuel. Three variants are proposed: a 50-150 MWe type with actinides incorporated into a U-Pu metal fuel requiring electrometallurgical processing (pyroprocessing) integrated on site, a 300-1500 MWe pool-type version of this, and a 600-1500 MWe type with conventional MOX fuel and advanced aqueous reprocessing in central facilities elsewhere. This fast reactor proposal was supported by the USA in connection with GNEP/IFNEC and the Korean Prototype Generation IV sodium-cooled fast reactor (PGSFR) is planned for construction by 2028. It is envisaged as a partnership of Belgium, the European Union, the European Investment Bank and other partners, with 70% of the funding from EU countries under ESNII. In December 2016 the government confirmed plans to decommission it, despite the Fukui local government being adamantly opposed to this. See also section on Electrometallurgical 'pyroprocessing' in the information page on Processing of Used Nuclear Fuel. The European Sustainable Nuclear Industrial Initiative (ESNII), brings together industry and research partners in the development of Generation IV Fast Neutron Reactor technology, as part of the EU's Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan). Reactors are conveniently classified according to the typical energies of the neutrons that cause fission. Each PRISM power block consists of two modules of 840 MWt, 311 MWe each, operating at high temperature – over 500°C. Bill Gates is providing leadership and financial backing for TerraPower, and in May 2013 said: “TerraPower’s goal is to develop a new technology that will set an even higher standard that will address legitimate concerns over safety and weapons proliferation. In May 2014 Japan (MEXT & METI) committed to support Astrid development, and in August 2014 JAEA, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Mitsubishi FBR Systems concluded an agreement with the CEA and Areva NP to progress cooperation on Astrid. Core height was 1.2 m with 42 fuel assemblies, 25 internal blankets and 36 radial blankets. The first stage of this employs PHWRs fuelled by natural uranium, and light water reactors, to produce plutonium. Hence FNRs can utilise uranium about 60 times more efficiently than a normal reactor. All these were demonstrated, though the program was aborted in 1994 before the recycle of neptunium and americium was properly evaluated. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) is involved with a consortium to build the Japan Sodium-cooled Fast Reactor (JSFR) concept, with breeding ratio less than 1. IAEA Fast Reactors database Russia’s MBIR is to be cooled by lead or lead-bismuth, gas and sodium simultaneously (details below). The state of reactor, when the chain reaction is self-sustained only by prompt neutrons, is known as the prompt critical state. What Is The Diffrence Form Other Reactors? Pilot-scale demonstration of key GFR technologies – validated safety reference framework. Russia’s BREST is the most advanced design. Without allowing the normal shutdown systems to interfere, the reactor power dropped to near zero within about five minutes. It would have 2700 fuel pins of 40-50% enriched uranium nitride with 2600°C melting point integrated into a disposable cartridge or 'integrated fuel assembly'. Its licence has been extended to 2020 and a further five-year extension is envisaged. The BN-1200 fast reactor is being developed by OKBM Afrikantov in Zarechny as a next step towards Generation IV designs, and the design was expected to be complete by 2016. Scientific American is part of Springer Nature, which owns or has commercial relations with thousands of scientific publications (many of them can be found at. It is a pool-type, with heat exchanger for three secondary coolant loops inside a pool of sodium around the reactor vessel and three steam generators outside the pool, supplying three 200 MWe turbine generators. Some early FBRs used mercury. The plutonium and U-233 is needed as a driver fuel in advanced heavy water reactors forming stage 3 of the concept – these get about 75% of their power from the thorium, but need the plutonium and U-233 to do so. Both would have fuel recycling, and in mid-2009 it was recommended that the sodium-cooled model, Astrid (Advanced Sodium Technological Reactor for Industrial Demonstration), should be a high priority in R&D on account of its actinide-burning potential. JAEA said Joyo had irradiated around 100 MOX fuel assemblies during about 71,000 hours of operation, and was significant in Japan’s fuel cycle policy. It will be dry-cooled regarding waste heat, with passive safety. While General Atomics worked on the design in the 1970s (but not as fast reactor), none has so far been built. The refuelling cycle would be nine years, apparently using GA’s proprietary SiGA silicon-carbide composite fuel cladding, though no information about fuel has been announced. Rosenergoatom is ready to involve foreign specialists in its project, with India and China particularly mentioned. At the Research Institute of Atomic Reactors (RIAR or NIIAR) in Dimitrovgrad, Rosatom is replacing the BOR-60 after the end of 2020 with a 100-150 MWt multi-purpose fast neutron research reactor (MBIR), with four times the irradiation capacity. Supercritical water-cooled reactors. However it is a low-density core and needs to be relatively large – one report talks about a cylinder 3m wide and 4m long. The prototype of 392 MWt would produce 150 MWe for the grid, but its main purpose would be to demonstrate its fuel: PGSFR is to use metal fuel pins composed of low-enriched uranium and 10% zirconium, and it can be subsequently reloaded with fuel that also contains transuranic elements recovered from reprocessing used oxide fuels. In 2006 it was rolled into the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP, now IFNEC), but then moved out of it in 2009. In the UK, the Dounreay Fast Reactor started operating in 1959 using sodium-potassium coolant. The production of both nitride and carbide fuels is more complex than MOX or metal fuels. The first focused on a lead-cooled fast reactor such as BREST with its fuel cycle, and assumed concentration of all resources on this project with a total funding of about RUR 140 billion (about $3.1 billion). It is now the demonstration project for the reference gas-cooled fast reactor (GFR), one of the six or seven designs promoted by the Generation IV International Forum. A standing wave design would start the fission reaction in a small section of fuel enriched to 12% at the centre of the reactor core, where the breeding wave stays, and operators would move fresh fuel assemblies from the outer edge of the core progressively to the wave region to catch neutrons, while shuffling spent fuel out of the centre to the periphery. After the initial fuel charge such a reactor can be refueled by reprocessing. See also information page on Small Nuclear Power Reactors. The Westinghouse LFR will incorporate the company’s latest advanced fuel which is accident-tolerant. It is to have active and passive shutdown systems and passive decay heat removal. * In April 1986, two tests were performed on the EBR-II. Thermal efficiency is 43.5% gross, 40.7% net. Fast reactors are a class of advanced nuclear reactors that have some key advantages over traditional reactors in safety, sustainability, and waste. GE envisages that a later application of PRISM in the UK could be recycling of used fuel from PWRs, and requiring the advanced recycling centre. Although these fast neutrons are not as good at causing fission, they are readily captured by an isotope of uranium (U238), which then becomes plutonium (Pu239). In addition, reprocessing the fuel will enable recycling without separating the plutonium. Sodium-cooled fast reactors. France operated its Phenix fast reactor prototype from 1973 to 2009, apart from a few years for refurbishing. ELSY is a flexible fast neutron reactor design to use depleted uranium or thorium fuel matrices, and burn actinides from LWR fuel. It has been superseded by ALFRED, but Ansaldo Nucleare continues work on the concept in China. From the start, the reactor core was reloaded the equivalent of 7 times, with more than 700 fissile sub-assemblies, of which nearly 200 were experimental, or 140,000 fuel pins. Core breeding ratio was intended to be 1.2 initially with MOX fuel, later 1.35, and then 1.45 with nitride fuel, but has been reduced to about 1, with nitride fuel. These reactors are called breeder reactors. Led by the USA, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, France, Japan, South Korea, South Africa, Switzerland, and the UK are members of the GIF, along with the EU. The sizes range from 150 to 1500 MWe (or equivalent thermal) , with the lead-cooled one optionally available as a 50-150 MWe "battery" with long core life (15-20 years without refuelling) as replaceable cassette or entire reactor module. It will be factory-produced, with components readily assembled onsite, and with 'walk-away' passive safety. Alessandro Alemberti, Ansaldo Nucleare, Advanced Lead Fast Reactor European Demonstrator – ALFRED Project, Generation IV International Forum (26 September 2018), © 2016-2020 World Nuclear Association, registered in England and Wales, number 01215741. However, fast reactor concepts being developed for the Generation IV program will simply have a core so that the plutonium production and consumption both occur there. * So far the only electrometallurgical technique that has been licensed for use on a significant scale is the IFR electrolytic process developed by Argonne National Laboratory and used for pyroprocessing the used fuel from the EBR-II experimental fast reactor which ran from 1963-1994. From 1961 to 1994 there was a strong commitment to FBRs, but in 1994 the FBR commercial timeline was pushed out to 2030, and in 2005 commercial FBRs were envisaged by 2050. Monju (Japan Nuclear Cycle Development Institute). It is being researched in USA, Russia and Japan. Its 300-400 MWt size means it can be shipped by rail and cooled by natural circulation. The general principles of this are described above. Today there has been progress on the technical front, but the economics of FNRs still depends on the value of the plutonium fuel which is bred and used, relative to the cost of fresh uranium. Two primary helium circuits connect to secondary circuits with gas or pressurized water. * Several small experimental reactors – CEFR, FBTR, Joyo – fall into the broad category of research reactors in that they are not designed to produce power for the grid, but they do not generally operate as neutron irradiation and research facilities for third parties (although CEFR may do so to some extent). Construction at Sanming is delayed from intended start in 2013 and may happen after 2020. why it has two fuel . Astrid is designed to meet the criteria of the Generation IV International Forum in terms of safety, economy and proliferation resistance. STAR-H2 is an adaptation for hydrogen production, with reactor heat at up to 800°C being conveyed by a helium circuit to drive a separate thermochemical hydrogen production plant, while lower grade heat is harnessed for desalination (multi-stage flash process). (Source: Vattenfall, 2011 & 2012). This expanded previous FNR collaboration towards the joint design and development of reliable world-class FNRs and getting private manufacturers involved. The French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) is well advanced in design of ALLEGRO on behalf of Euratom. CIAE announced first criticality of its Qixing/Venus III zero-power lead-bismuth fast reactor in October 2019, and said that marked the start of core physics R&D on the type as well as a transition from basic research to engineering for them. Alemberti, A,, June 2012, The ALFRED project on Lead-cooled Fast Reactor, ESNII conf. Both NRA and Fukui prefecture approved decommissioning plans in November 2017. An EBR-III of 200-300 MWe was proposed but not developed. Neutrons emanating in fission are very energetic; their average energy is around two million electron volt s (MeV), nearly 80 million times the energy of atoms in ordinary matter at room temperature. In August 2019 the CEA said it no longer planned to build the prototype Astrid reactor in the short or medium term. The SLLIM is a liquid sodium nuclear fast reactor that generates 10 to 100 MW for many years, even decades, without refueling. The timing of this has slipped about four years. In the breeder version fuel stays in the reactor about six years, with one-third removed every two years, and net production of 57 kg/yr of fissile plutonium. Since about 2015 the focus for the BN-1200 has been increased safety and reduced capital costs, resulting in reduced power density in the reactor core, reduced core breeding ratio and a focus on nitride fuel. In all, the equivalent of four-and-a-half cores from the Phénix plant have been reprocessed, which accounts for 25 tonnes of fuel.". It is being researched in Russia, USA, and Japan, and is planned for early use in Russia where it is seen to have the best safety characteristics for lead-cooled reactors. A prototype was envisaged by 2015. A second one will be built at South Urals by 2030. Rosatom's Science and Technology Council has approved the BN-1200 reactor for Beloyarsk, with plant operation from about 2025. It does this by examining issues related to the development and deployment of Innovative Nuclear Energy Systems (INS) for sustainable energy supply. In 2009 two BN-800 reactors were sold to China. By 1955 the reactor had fulfilled its main experimental purposes, and was tested further by restricting coolant flow, which caused a core melt. They operate at around 500-550°C at or near atmospheric pressure. Also it recycles about 95% of the used fuel. VTR, tightly coupled with the rest of our research infrastructure, will be the state-of-the-art science and technology lab for advanced nuclear energy. One of the case studies in phase 1 of INPRO was undertaken by Russia on its BN-800 fast reactor, though the emphasis was on the methodology rather than the technology. Fast neutron reactors have a high power density and are normally cooled by liquid metal such as sodium, lead, or lead-bismuth, with high conductivity and boiling point and no moderating effect. Its FBTR has run on mixed carbide fuel since 1985 (70% PuC, 30% UC). In June 2018 the French government said that Astrid would have its capacity scaled down from the initially planned 600 MWe to between 100 and 200 MWe to reduce construction costs and also due to development of a commercial fast reactor no longer being a high priority. As alluded to in the introduction, the speed of the neutrons in their fission process is what makes a “fast” reactor fast. Terrapower said a 600 MWe demonstration plant – TWR-P – was planned for 2018-22 construction followed by operation of larger commercial plants of about 1150 MWe from the late 2020s. The last has the uranium fuel dissolved in the circulating coolant. Neutrons emanating in fission are very energetic; their average energy is around two million electron volts (MeV), nearly 80 million times the energy of atoms… The cost of the plant would be comparable to a large conventional reactor, according to GEH, which is starting to develop a supply chain in the UK to support the proposal. Then MYRRHA (as a lead-bismuth-cooled fast reactor – LFR) will be used for fuel research, for materials research for Generation IV reactors, and for the production of radioisotopes and doped silicon (an essential component of high-grade electronic circuits). Nevertheless, fast reactor systems will feature in further INPRO work. Later fuel will be metal with burn-up 100-120 GWd/t. Natural Safety. This was developing a fully-integrated system with electrometallurgical 'pyroprocessing', fuel fabrication and fast reactor in same complex*. Oxide (UO2-20PuO2) has low thermal conductivity and a low density of fissile atoms but it does not react with lead or sodium. Net thermal efficiency is 39.35% and average fuel burnup is 66 GWd/t with potential increase to 100 GWd/t. To determine the feasibility of the GFR as an alternative to the sodium-cooled fast reactor. A wide range of unit sizes is envisaged, from factory-built "battery" with 15-20 year life for small grids or developing countries, with circulation by convection, to modular 300-400 MWe units and large single plants of 1400 MWe. Although the U235 does most of the fissioning, more than 90 percent of the atoms in the fuel are U238--potential neutron capture targets and future plutonium atoms. The core of a fast reactor is much smaller than that of a normal nuclear reactor, and it has a higher power density, requiring very efficient heat transfer. In some respects a liquid metal coolant is more benign overall than very high pressure water, which requires robust engineering on account of the pressure. Fuel is uranium oxide, enriched in the case of the open fuel cycle option. Fuelled units would be supplied from a factory and operate for 30 years, then be returned. The Integral Fast Reactor (IFR) is a revolutionary reactor design concept developed at Argonne National Laboratory. The main technical challenges lie in the development of a high-temperature, high-power density fuel and in the development of a robust decay heat removal system. However, during the plutonium disposition campaign it is being operated with a breeding ratio of less than one. Burn-up is 150 GWd/t and core breeding ratio is 1.11. A pre-application NRC review is under way with a view to application for design certification in October 2010 (delayed from 2009 by NRC workload), and construction and operating licence (COL) application to follow. Commercial nuclear reactors normally use uranium fuel that has had its U235 content enriched to somewhere between 3 and 8 percent by weight. It provides a technological basis of the future innovative nuclear energy system featuring the Generation IV reactors working in closed fuel cycles by 2020. This is a large unit which will burn actinides with uranium and plutonium in oxide fuel. fission reaction is initiated by thermal neutrons). An agreement between Japan's Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA), France's CEA and the US Department of Energy was signed in October 2010. © 2020 Scientific American, a Division of Springer Nature America, Inc. Support our award-winning coverage of advances in science & technology. Thermal, intermediate, and fast reactors Reactors are conveniently classified according to the typical energies of the neutrons that cause fission. All transuranic elements are removed together in the electrometallurgical reprocessing so that fresh fuel has minor actinides with the plutonium and uranium. DOE: There's a Definite Need for a Fast Test Reactor Having a fast test reactor will drastically speed up the time it takes to test, develop and qualify advanced reactor technologies. It has a blanket with thorium and uranium to breed fissile U-233 and plutonium respectively. Lead-cooled fast reactors. After CEA's Astrid programme was put on hold in August 2019, in January 2020 a second five-year agreement on the development of fast neutron reactors took effect. The commercial-scale plant concept, part of an 'Advanced Recycling Center', uses three power blocks (six reactor modules) to provide 1866 MWe. Core height is 45 cm, and it has 150 kg Pu (98 kg Pu-239). See also American Nuclear Society position statement (November 2005). The VTR project is to be a research facility for testing of advanced nuclear fuels, materials, instrumentation and sensors. Steady power output over the core lifetime is achieved by progressively moving upwards an annular reflector around the slender core (0.68m diameter, 2m high). In any reactor some of the U-238 component is turned into several isotopes of plutonium during its operation. It will incorporate all the architecture and the main materials and components foreseen for the GFR without the power conversion system. The average plutonium content in the MOX fuel will be 22%. Japan's Joyo experimental reactor which has been operating since 1977 with a succession of three cores, was boosted to 140 MWt in 2003, but has been shutdown since 2007 due to damage. Both designs have two cooling loops. 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