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Home / Publications / Journals / Nuclear Technology / Volume 129 / Number 3

A Novel Method for Energy Production Using 242mAm as a Nuclear Fuel

Yigal Ronen, Menashe Aboudy, Dror Regev

Nuclear Technology / Volume 129 / Number 3 / March 2000 / Pages 407-417

Technical Note / Fission Reactors /

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.

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