Nuclear Technology / Volume 129 / Number 3 / March 2000 / Pages 407-417
Technical Note / Fission Reactors / dx.doi.org/10.13182/NT00-A3071
A novel system for energy production is presented. This system has a modular composition of homogeneous reactors with H2O and 242mAm as a fuel. These reactors are spheres of 0.11-m radius and 1-MW(thermal) power and with a critical mass of 0.0201 kg of 242mAm.
The advantages of homogeneous reactors are constant fuel reprocessing and constant refueling. As a result, there is a reduction of fission products, which improves the ratio of natural cooling to heat production with respect to a loss-of-control accident (LOCA) and other safety aspects. Homogeneous reactors also have a large negative temperature coefficient and small inherent excess reactivity during operation.
The reactor concept we have presented for a very small, homogeneous reactor, further enhances the safety aspects in the case of a LOCA, because of a large surface-to-volume ratio.
The improved safety, the simplicity, and the small volume should compensate for the use of an unconventional nuclear fuel.