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A Liquid-Metal Fast Breeder Reactor Fueling Concept for Thorium Utilization and Improved Inherent Safety

Yuji Ishiguro

Nuclear Technology

Volume 61 / Number 1 / April 1983 / Pages 121-126


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A new concept of fueling a liquid-metal fast breeder reactor (LMFBR) is proposed with the aims of increasing the resource base of nuclear energy for the generation of electricity and of resolving the safety question of current LMFBRs. The basic feature of the concept is the use of 233U/Th fuel in a central part of the LMFBR core and Pu/U fuel in the outer core. The reactor is flexible in its utilization of nuclear fuels and can be an efficient breeder reactor with either the uranium or the thorium cycle. The safety characteristics of the reactor are superior to those of plutonium-fueled LMFBRs of current designs with the sodium-void reactivities being negative almost everywhere in the core. The design and thermal characteristics of the proposed pins indicate that in the 233U/Th-fueled inner core, thick soft-spectrum pins can be advantageous over solid pins of a more conventional type.

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