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Safety of Advanced Fast Reactors


Study on the Physical and Engineering Problems Concerning the Increase in Safety and Actinides Burning Efficiency of Advanced Fast Reactor

Tech Area / Field

  • FIR-NSS/Nuclear Safety and Safeguarding/Fission Reactors

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Tocheny L V

Leading Institute
FEI (IPPE), Russia, Kaluga reg., Obninsk

Supporting institutes

  • Experimental Designing Bureau of Machine Building (OKBM), Russia, N. Novgorod reg., N. Novgorod


  • Power Reactor and Nuclear Fuel Development Corporation (PNC), Japan, Tokyo

Project summary

Further development of nuclear power (NP) depends at least on two problems:
- ensuring maximum attainable safety level of NP, total elimination of accidents of Chernobyl type;
- burning of radioactive wastes of NP, first and foremost high level radiation long-lived actinides accumulated as result of NE activities.

In principle, fast reactors with sodium coolant are able to solve these two the most important for world power development problems due to features of their physics and technology.

Proposed Project "Studies on the Physical %and Engineering Problems Concerning the Increase in Safety and Actinides Burning Efficiency of Advanced Fast Reactor" is a continuation of ISTC Project No 220, which is to be completed by September 1996.

The main goal of the Project Proposal is to develop as a technical proposal the multipurpose power fast reactor design having high protection potential under beyond design accident conditions, and interchangeable cores of different types assuming necessary support studies. All studies have been concentrated upon 1300MWe loop type reactor design with three interchangeable cores using nitride and oxide fuel and that without uranium-238. The reactor should meet up-to-date needs of nuclear power, providing for efficient utilization of its long lived wastes.

The Project Proposal includes the main following areas:

- studies on choice and proving out of physics and arrangement of cores having high level of protection against beyond design accidents and core components (fuel elements, subassemblies, control and safety rods);
- studies and design development on reactor vessel, in-vessel structures and primary components;
- studies on substantiation of in-vessel shielding arrangement and parameters (power rating, neutron fluency upon the stationary structures, etc.) and radiological safety;
- safety of different core designs under beyond design accident conditions;
- studies on various types of fuel cycle of fast reactors-actinide burners using simple models of nuclear power in order to define the main requirements to the burning parameters of these reactors;
- calculation and experimental studies on core model for efficient actinide burning using highly enriched oxide fuel and non-fertile blankets at BFS-2 experimental rig.

Investigations to be performed will permit to choose the most appropriate options of cores in accordance with pointed aims, to substantiate their main parameters and to develop as a technical proposal the multipurpose power fast reactor design having high protection potential under beyond design accident conditions, and interchangeable cores of different types.

ISTC Project realization will allow to develop the design of advanced 1300MWe sodium cooled fast reactor at the stage of technical proposal and carrying out R&D works required for proving out of the main reactor parameters and arrangement with the greatest possible properties of inherent safety and concept of advanced fast reactor cores for effective burning of high-radioactive long-lived nuclear wastes.

The main features of the design are as follows:

- ability to burn efficiently highly radioactive long lived wastes of nuclear power (plutonium, minor actinides) and fission products, and in the future, also providing necessary breeding;
- assurance of maximum attainable inherent safety and self-protection under beyond design accident conditions;
- possibility of application of various interchangeable core designs using different fuel types (oxide, nitride fuel and fuel without uranium-238) and comparative analysis of safety and other characteristics of these core designs in the framework of one project.

Various technological solutions of problems arising from the reactor design development will be found during studies, namely choice of optimum core arrangement, methods of intensifying of the negative reactivity feedbacks to provide reactor safety under beyond design accidents, choice of optimum control system and control rod design, development of in-vessel shielding design, reactor subcritical condition control and power monitoring, creation of optimum fuel cycle, choice of approaches concerning reactor vessel design, its external and internal elements, etc. The development of such reactor and core design is timely corresponding to the urgent problems and needs of nuclear power now developed in many countries.

Calculation and experimental results obtained in the field of reactor physics, thermal hydraulics, safety and design studies are assumed as a basis for the development of conceptual and basic design stages.

The present work is carried out by order and in cooperation with PNC (Japan) which is the collaborator in this Project. The official representative is Mr.Toshihito NODA, General Manager, International Cooperation Office, Power Reactor and Nuclear Fuel Development Corp., 9-13, 1-chome, Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107, JAPAN, Tel. (81-3)3586-3311/ Fax. (81-3) 3583-6386.

Cooperation supposes regular exchange of information and working meetings and seminars held every quarter. Since the work concerns the conceptual design studies, the collaborator should specify and approve input data, analyze the intermediate results and possibly correct further directions of the studies.


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