Evaluation of the Breeding Performance of a NaCl-UCl-Based Reactor System

Merk, Bruno, Detkina, Anna, Atkinson, Seddon ORCID: 0000-0001-7434-6686, Litskevich, Dzianis ORCID: 0000-0002-3207-3058 and Cartland-Glover, Gregory
(2019) Evaluation of the Breeding Performance of a NaCl-UCl-Based Reactor System. ENERGIES, 12 (20). p. 3853.

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<jats:p>The energy trilemma forms the key driver for the future of energy research. In nuclear technologies, molten salt reactors are an upcoming option which offers new approaches. However, the key would be closed fuel cycle operation which requires sufficient breeding for a self-sustained long term operation ideally based on spent fuel. To achieve these attractive goals two challenges have been identified: achieving of sufficient breeding and development of a demand driven salt clean up system. The aim is to follow up on previous work to create an initial approach to achieving sufficient breeding. Firstly, identification of a salt system with a high solubility for fertile material and sufficiently low melting point. Secondly, evaluation of the sensitivity of the breeding performance on the sort of fissile material, the fissile material loading, and the core dimension all based on a realistic salt system which provides the solubility for sufficient fertile material to achieve the required breeding in a homogeneous reactor without breeding blanket. Both points are essential to create an innovative solution to harvest the fruits of a closed fuel cycle without the penalty of the prohibitively huge investments. It is demonstrated that the identified and investigated NaCl-UCl based systems are feasible to deliver the requested in-core breeding within the given solubility limits of fertile material in the salt system using either uranium as start-up fissile component or plutonium. This result is enriched by the analysis of the achievable full power days per inserted mass of plutonium. These new insights support reactor optimization and lead to a first conclusion that systems with lower power density could be very attractive in the case of low fuel cost, like it would be given when operating on spent nuclear fuel.</jats:p>

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: nuclear energy, nuclear reactors, molten salt reactors, closed fuel cycle, breeding, homogenous reactor, spent nuclear fuel, sustainability, low carbon technologies
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2019 15:00
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2023 00:22
DOI: 10.3390/en12203853
Open Access URL: https://doi.org/10.3390/en12203853
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URI: https://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/3058393