Gas-Cooled Fast Reactors
The gas-cooled fast reactor (GFR) represents an alternative to the sodium-cooled fast reactor (SFR) described throughout this book or the lead-cooled fast reactor (LFR) described in Chapter 18. Although many parts of the book are relevant to all fast reactors (e.g., neutronic techniques), the use of a gaseous coolant in the GFR results in certain design and safety considerations that are fundamentally different from other fast reactor systems. This chapter addresses such differences, is focused on historical and modern GFR design features, and provides a review of relevant GFR design considerations, especially as they pertain to safety.
Designs for a gas-cooled fast reactor, originally referred to as the GCFR, were developed in the United States and Europe as an alternative to liquid metal reactors during the 1960s through 1980s. The concept was revisited in 2002 through the Generation IV International Forum (GIF) assessment, and the acronym was changed to GFR. However, some of the design goals and subsequent design choices within the GIF were much different than those pursued for the GCFR.
KeywordsBurning Graphite Convection Carbide Manifold
- 2.C. B. Baxi and M. Dalle Donne, Fluid Flow and Heat Transfer in the Gas Cooled Fast Breeder Reactor, GA-A 15941, General Atomics, San Diego, CA, July 1980.Google Scholar
- 3.L. L. Snead and J. W. Klett, “Ceramic Composites for Structural Applications,” Proc. GLOBAL 2003, American Nuclear Society (2003) 1077–1078.Google Scholar
- 4.See for example B. J. Makenas, J. W. Hales, and A. L. Ward, “Fuels Irradiation Testing for the SP-100 Program,” Proc. 8th Symposium on Space Nuclear Power Systems, American Institute of Physics (1991) 886–891.Google Scholar
- 5.E. A. Hofman and T. A. Taiwo, “Physics Studies of Preliminary Gas-Cooled Fast Reactor Designs,” Proc. GLOBAL 2003, American Nuclear Society (2003) 82–91.Google Scholar
- 6.Gamma Engineering Proposal to DOE for FY-2003 SBIR, Phase 1 Solicitation, “Development of a Hybrid SiC/SiC Ceramic Composite for Gas Cooled Fast Reactor Fuel Cladding and Core Structurals,” Department of Energy, SBIR Program, January 2003.Google Scholar
- 7.D. Smith, P. McIntyre, B. Basaran, and M. Yavuz, “SiC Composite: A New Fuel Cladding for High-Temperature Cores,” Proc. GLOBAL 2003, American Nuclear Society (2003) 1821–1823.Google Scholar
- 8.S. J. Zinkle, “Nonfissile Ceramics for Future Nuclear Systems,” Proc. GLOBAL 2003, American Nuclear Society (2003) 1066–1067.Google Scholar
- 9.A. E. Waltar and A. B. Reynolds, Fast Breeder Reactors, Pergamon Press New York, NY (1981).Google Scholar
- 10.K. D. Weaver et al., Gas-Cooled Fast Reactor: FY03 Annual Report, INEEL/EXT-03-01298, Idaho National Laboratory, September 2003.Google Scholar
- 11.K. D. Weaver et al., Gas-Cooled Fast Reactor: FY04 Annual Report, INEEL/EXT-04-02361, Idaho National Laboratory, September 2004.Google Scholar
- 12.K. D. Weaver et al., Gas-Cooled Fast Reactor: FY05 Annual Report, INL/EXT-05-00799, Idaho National Laboratory, September 2005.Google Scholar
- 13.T. W. C. Wei et al., “System Design Report,” I-NERI Project #2001-002-F, Report GFR 023, Argonne National Laboratory, February 2005.Google Scholar