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Science and Technology of Nuclear Installations
Volume 2014, Article ID 405654, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/405654
Research Article

A Simplified Supercritical Fast Reactor with Thorium Fuel

1Department of Engineering Physics, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
2School of Power and Mechanical Engineering, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, China

Received 6 December 2013; Revised 21 January 2014; Accepted 22 January 2014; Published 10 March 2014

Academic Editor: Jiejin Cai

Copyright © 2014 Peng Zhang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Super-Critical water-cooled Fast Reactor (SCFR) is a feasible option for the Gen-IV SCWR designs, in which much less moderator and thus coolant are needed for transferring the fission heat from the core compared with the traditional LWRs. The fast spectrum of SCFR is useful for fuel breeding and thorium utilization, which is then beneficial for enhancing the sustainability of the nuclear fuel cycle. A SCFR core is constructed in this work, with the aim of simplifying the mechanical structure and keeping negative coolant void reactivity during the whole core life. A core burnup simulation scheme based on Monte Carlo lattice homogenization is adopted in this study, and the reactor physics analysis has been performed with DU-MOX and Th-MOX fuel. The main issues discussed include the fuel conversion ratio and the coolant void reactivity. The analysis shows that thorium-based fuel can provide inherent safety for SCFR without use of blanket, which is favorable for the mechanical design of SCFR.