Description: Achieving economic competitiveness as compared to LWRs and other Generation IV (Gen-IV) reactors is one of the major requirements for large-scale investment in commercial sodium cooled fast reactor (SFR) power plants. Advances in R&D for advanced SFR fuel and structural materials provide key long-term opportunities to improve SFR economics. In addition, other new opportunities are emerging to further improve SFR economics. This paper provides an overview on potential ideas from the perspective of thermal hydraulics to improve SFR economics. These include a new hybrid loop-pool reactor design to further optimize economics, safety, and reliability of SFRs with more flexibility, a multiple reheat and intercooling helium Brayton cycle to improve plant thermal efficiency and reduce safety related overnight and operation costs, and modern multi-physics thermal analysis methods to reduce analysis uncertainties and associated requirements for over-conservatism in reactor design. This paper reviews advances in all three of these areas and their potential beneficial impacts on SFR economics.
Date: June 1, 2008
Creator: Zhao, Haihua; Zhang, Hongbin; Mousseau, Vincent & Peterson, Per F.
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