To improve both safe operation and high resource utilization in nuclear power, we propose and investigate the concept of an accelerator‐driven ceramic fast reactor (ADCFR). This reactor type has the potential to operate continuously throughout a 40‐year core life, without fuel shuffling or supplementation. The ADCFR consists of a high‐power superconducting linear accelerator, a gravity‐driven dense granular spallation‐target, and a ceramic fast reactor. The performance of the ADCFR was assessed by using a neutron‐physics simulation, thermal calculations, and a characteristic analysis. The results show that the peak position for the neutron spectrum in the ADCFR is at about 0.1 MeV. This means that it falls with the fast neutron spectrum, and it can convert loaded nuclear fertile material into fissile fuel. Using a burnup simulation, the ideal effective multiplication‐factor (Keff) was calculated by using a combination of subcritical (accelerator‐driven) and critical modes. In 40 year of operation, Keff is obtained from the initial 0.98 to the peak ~1.02 and then to ~0.99. Different granular coolant materials were selected to compare neutron performance. In breeding, the differences are relatively small. The thermal calculation indicates that heat transfer performance of granular makes it possible to meet the required specifications in theory. Finally, the corresponding characteristics, with regard to the 2‐phase coolant, ceramic materials, nuclear safety performance, operation modes, economics, and range of applications were analyzed. Accelerator‐driven ceramic fast reactors can achieve very high levels of inherent safety, good breeding performance, high power‐generation efficiency, and high flexibility in wide range of applications.
International Journal of Energy Research – Wiley
Published: Jan 25, 2018
Keywords: ; ; ; ;
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