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PRISM: A Competitive Small Modular Sodium-Cooled Reactor

Brian S. Triplett, Eric P. Loewen, Brett J. Dooies

Nuclear Technology / Volume 178 / Number 2 / May 2012 / Pages 186-200

Technical Paper / Small Modular Reactors / Fission Reactors /

The Power Reactor Innovative Small Module (PRISM) designed by GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy is a small, modular, sodium-cooled fast reactor. The PRISM core is located in a pool-type containment vessel and is fueled with metallic fuel. Each PRISM produces 311 MW of electricity. The PRISM is inherently safe due to its negative power reactivity feedback, large in-vessel coolant inventory, passive heat removal systems, below-grade siting, and atmospheric reactor vessel operating pressure. In NUREG-1368, "Preapplication Safety Evaluation Report for the Power Reactor Innovative Small Module (PRISM) Liquid-Metal Reactor," the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission stated that "On the basis of the review performed, the staff, with the ACRS [Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards] in agreement, concludes that no obvious impediments to licensing the PRISM design have been identified." PRISM is able to fission electrometallurgically recycled used nuclear fuel (UNF) from light water reactors as well as weapons-grade materials. PRISM, with the associated Nuclear Fuel Recycling Center, represents a safe, diversion resistant, commercially viable technology for recycling UNF with a small modular reactor.

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