Preliminary report on the promise of accelerator-driven natural-uranium-fueled light-water-moderated breeding power reactors

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A new concept for a power breeder reactor that consists of an accelerator-driven subcritical thermal fission system is proposed. In this system an accelerator provides a high-energy proton beam which interacts with a heavy-element target to produce, via spallation reactions, an intense source of neutrons. This source then drives a natural-uranium-fueled, light-water-moderated and -cooled subcritical blanket which both breeds new fuel and generates heat that can be converted to electrical power. The report given presents a general layout of the resulting Accelerator Driven Light Water Reactor (ADLWR), evaluates its performance, discusses its fuel cycle characteristics, and identifies the potential contributions ... continued below

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Pages: 72

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Greenspan, E. July 1, 1977.

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Description

A new concept for a power breeder reactor that consists of an accelerator-driven subcritical thermal fission system is proposed. In this system an accelerator provides a high-energy proton beam which interacts with a heavy-element target to produce, via spallation reactions, an intense source of neutrons. This source then drives a natural-uranium-fueled, light-water-moderated and -cooled subcritical blanket which both breeds new fuel and generates heat that can be converted to electrical power. The report given presents a general layout of the resulting Accelerator Driven Light Water Reactor (ADLWR), evaluates its performance, discusses its fuel cycle characteristics, and identifies the potential contributions to the nuclear energy economy this type of power reactor might make. A light-water thermal fission system is found to provide an attractive feature when designed to be source-driven. The equilibrium fissile fuel content that gives the highest energy multiplication is approximately equal to the content of /sup 235/U in natural uranium. Consequently, natural-uranium-fueled ADLWRs that are designed to have the highest energy generation per source neutron are also fuel-self-sufficient; that is, their fissile fuel content remains constant with burnup. This feature allows the development of a nuclear energy system that is based on the most highly developed fission technology available (the light water reactor technology) and yet has a simple and safe fuel cycle. ADLWRs will breed on natural uranium, have no doubling time limitation, and be free from the need for uranium enrichment or for the separation of plutonium. It appears that ADLWRs could also be efficiently operated with thorium fuel cycles and with denatured fuel cycles.

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Pages: 72

Notes

Dep. NTIS, PC A04/MF A01.

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  • Report No.: ORNL/TM-6138
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-26
  • DOI: 10.2172/5118376 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 5118376
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc1057094

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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Creation Date

  • July 1, 1977

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Jan. 22, 2018, 7:23 a.m.

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  • Feb. 1, 2018, 6:10 p.m.

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Greenspan, E. Preliminary report on the promise of accelerator-driven natural-uranium-fueled light-water-moderated breeding power reactors, report, July 1, 1977; Tennessee. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1057094/: accessed April 26, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.