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Does it really make sense to use fission gas plenums in a lead-bismuth-cooled fast reactor?

Arias, FJ and Parks, GT (2015) Does it really make sense to use fission gas plenums in a lead-bismuth-cooled fast reactor? Progress in Nuclear Energy, 85. pp. 491-497. ISSN 0149-1970

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Abstract

© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. In this paper the utility of using fission gas plenums in a lead-bismuth-cooled fast reactor (LBR) is called into question. It is shown that the primary coolant radiological activity levels due to the generation of < sup > 210 < /sup > Po from the neutronic activation of bismuth clearly overshadow the total radiological impact from the fission gas products even if only a tiny fraction of available unbound elementary polonium is considered, and then it does not make any difference if fission gases are collected in a gas plenum or if they are vented directly into the coolant. Moreover, the use of fission gas plenums in a LBR is not only futile from a radiological viewpoint but can neutralize the passive safety mechanism of capture and retention of the majority of polonium captured as lead-polonide (PbPo): the outrush of highly pressurized fission gases during a cladding rupture can act as a spray-like mechanism, and then could vaporize and disperse the retained PbPo in the form of a superfine dust or aerosol. The elimination of fission gas plenums will also result in direct mechanical benefits such as a reduction in pumping power requirements, potentially a smaller reactor vessel and related vessel internal components, deep burnups, a reduction in cladding failures, as well as an important reduction in the amount of high-level waste generated. All these benefits will translate into better reactor management and both social and economic benefits.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: UNSPECIFIED
Divisions: Div A > Energy
Depositing User: Cron Job
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2017 19:43
Last Modified: 26 Oct 2017 01:49
DOI: