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A TRU-Zr Metal-Fuel Sodium-Cooled Fast Subcritical Advanced Burner Reactor

W. M. Stacey, W. Van Rooijen, T. Bates, E. Colvin, J. Dion, J. Feener, E. Gayton, D. Gibbs, C. Grennor, J. Head, F. Hope, J. Ireland, A. Johnson, B. Jones, N. Mejias, C. Myers, A. Schmitz, C. Sommer, T. Sumner, L. Tschaepe

Nuclear Technology / Volume 162 / Number 1 / April 2008 / Pages 53-79

Technical Paper / Fuel Cycle and Management /

The design concept of a subcritical advanced burner reactor (SABR) is described. SABR is fueled with transuranics (TRUs) discharged from thermal reactors cast into a TRU-Zr metal fuel pin and is cooled with sodium. The reactor operates subcritical to achieve a deep-burn four-batch fuel cycle that fissions 25% of the TRU in an 8.2-yr residence time, limited by radiation damage accumulation (200 displacements per atom) in the oxygen dispersion strengthened clad and structure. The annual TRU fission rate in SABR [3000 MW(thermal)] is comparable to the annual TRU discharge of three to five 1000-MW(electric) light water reactors, depending on the plant capacity factor of SABR. A tokamak D-T fusion neutron source based on physics and technology that will be demonstrated in ITER supports the subcritical operation.

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