Conceptual design of a fast neutron operated high power energy amplifier

"The EA operates indefinitely in a closed cycle, namely the discharge of a fuel load, with the exception of fission fragments, is re-injected in the sub-critical unit with the addition of natural Thorium to compensate for the burnt fuel. After many cycles an equilibrium is reached, in which the Actinide concentrations are the balance between burning and Ç incineration È. The fuel is used much more efficiently, namely the power obtained from 780 kg of Thorium is roughly the same as the one from 200 tons of native Uranium and a PWR (33 of burn-up). The probablility of a criticality accident is suppressed since the device operates at all times far away from it. Spontaneous convective cooling by the surrounding air makes a Ç melt-down È leak impossible. An EA module consists of a 1500 MWth unit with dedicated 1.0 GeV proton accelerator of 12.5 mA. A compact reliable and modular Cyclotron has been designed. A plant may be made of several such modules. For instance a cluster of three such modular units will produce about 2,000 MWe of primary electrical power. A relevant feature of our design is that it is based on natural convection to remove the heat generated inside the core. The EA is a large, passive device in which a proton beam is dumped and the heat generated by nuclear cascades is extracted without other major elements of variability. The delivered power is controlled exclusively by the current of the accelerator, The fuel needs no access during the whole burn-up and it may be kept sealed up as a non-proliferation safeguard measure. Contrary to Fusion, there are no major technologcal barriers. After = 700 years the radio-toxicity left is about 2000 times smaller than the one of an ordinary Pressurised Water Reactor (PWR) for the same energy. Geological storage (1e+06 years) is virtually eliminated or at least strongly reduced [<= 500 Ci/GWe.y) after 1000 years]. It could be furher reduced (<35 Ci) ""incinerating"" some of the nuclides. Radioactivity dose to individuals truncated to 10,000 years and due to operation is about1/330 of the one of PWR and about 1/33 of Coal burning."


    CERN-AT-95-44 ET


    • LIN-REPORT-1995-002

    Record created on 2007-05-22, modified on 2016-08-08


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