New reactor technologies development (Generation III+, IV) and related subjects

Many research institutions are involved in the design of the new generation of reactors based on fast neutron technology including the concept of small modular reactors with dense metal coolants.

Within the European Sustainable Nuclear Industrial Initiative (ESNII) there are 4 projects at an early stage but the general intention is to proceed someday with a prototype construction. Therefore, as we should go beyond the theoretical studies, a demonstration reactor is required to evaluate the effectiveness of technology with practical tests of structural materials, coolants, and fuel.

So, at the design stage, it is enough to use computer modeling, but the transition to the issue of construction requires verification in conditions close to reality. MBIR will be the only fast reactor fully equipped for such an option. For a complex experiment, a good option would be an independent loops inside the reactor – a reactor-inside-a-reactor mini prototype.

Inside the MBIR there is a place for 3 loops with different coolants – the first to come will be the first to define the priority loop (coolant) type.

    Stage I starting from ~2020
  • Structural elements materials research:
    • research of the structural materials for the active zones for the new types of reactors, fuel elements tests under high dose fast neutrons irradiation with different temperature regimes;
    • research & development of the radiation, temperature, and corrosion resistant materials for the fusion and other advanced types of reactors.
  • Fuel and fuel rods research:
    • Testing of different types of fuel, fuel rods, and cladding for the new generation of reactors;
    • Closed fuel cycle technologies design;
    • Long living radioactive elements handling;
    • Testing of the dense fuel containing minor actinides;
    • Radioactive waste and spent fuel management;
    • Development and safety recommendations for fuel fabrication and FA design.
    Stage II starting from ~2025
  • Coolants performance:
    • Research in the independent loops;
    • Simulation of the active zones elements behavior with different coolants.
    Other research
  • Isotope technology & production
    • Experimental validation and development of the radionuclides production technologies
      • Silicon doping technology research;
      • Production of large diameter silicon ingots;
      • New materials research;
      • High dose irradiation & research of new advanced structural materials: high flux = accelerated doze accumulation = reduction of the research timeframe.