CADOR “Core with Adding DOppleR effect” concept application to sodium fast reactors
CEA Nuclear Energy Division, Cadarache Center, 13108 Saint-Paul-lès-Durance, France
2 CEA Nuclear Energy Division, Saclay Center, 91191 Gif sur Yvette, France
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Received in final form: 9 October 2017
Accepted: 30 November 2018
Published online: 12 February 2019
Generation-IV sodium fast reactors (SFR) will only become acceptable and accepted if they can safely prevent or accommodate reactivity insertion accidents that could lead to the release of large quantities of mechanical energy, in excess of the reactor containment's capacity. The CADOR approach based on reinforced Doppler reactivity feedback is shown to be an attractive means of effectively preventing such reactivity insertion accidents. The accrued Doppler feedback is achieved by combining two effects: (i) introducing a neutron moderator material in the core so as to soften the neutron spectrum; and (ii) lowering the fuel temperature in nominal conditions so as to increase the margin to fuel melting. This study shows that, by applying this CADOR approach to a Generation-IV oxide-fuelled SFR, the resulting core can be made inherently resistant to reactivity insertion accidents, while also having increased resistance to loss-of-coolant accidents. These preliminary results have to be confirmed and completed to meet multiple safety objectives. In particular, some margin gains have to be found to guarantee against the risk of sodium boiling during unprotected loss of supply power accidents. The main drawback of the CADOR concept is a drastically reduced core power density compared to conventional designs. This has a large impact on core size and other parameters.
© A. Zaetta et al., published by EDP Sciences, 2019
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