Advanced Ceramic Fuels for Sodium-Cooled Fast Reactors

  • Baldev Raj
  • P. R. Vasudeva RaoEmail author
  • P. Puthiyavinayagam
  • K. Ananthasivan
Living reference work entry


Fast-neutron reactors constitute clean energy systems that could provide sustainable nuclear energy for several centuries through efficient utilization of the uranium as well as thorium resources. Ceramic fuels are the current choice for fast reactors. Oxides of uranium and plutonium have been irradiated to levels of burn-up (a measure of energy production per unit mass of fuel) as high as 200,000 MWd/t, and internationally, there has been substantial experience on the fuel cycle of oxides, from fabrication to reprocessing. The irradiation behavior of oxide fuels has been studied extensively and has been well understood. Carbides and nitrides and metallic alloys of uranium and plutonium have been much less studied with respect to power production. However, they possess several advantages such as high thermal conductivity, high metal atom density, and a higher breeding potential, which make them the potential choices for the future fast reactors. At the same time, each fuel form has its challenges and technical issues to be dealt with.

This chapter presents an overview on the advanced ceramic fuels and particularly carbide and nitride fuels for FBRs. Advantages, challenges, and issues of each type of fuel are dealt with relevant details. Basic properties of advanced fuels including the phase diagrams and their behavior under irradiation are highlighted. Further, their irradiation behavior in general and swelling and fission gas release in particular in the context of fuel element design have been brought out. On the fuel cycle aspects, details of different fabrication routes, challenges in each of them, and reprocessing technologies are brought out. Also, a brief section on the international experience is included.


SFR Nuclear fuels (U-Pu) carbides (U-Pu) nitrides Fuel properties Irradiation behavior Fuel reprocessing 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Baldev Raj
    • 1
  • P. R. Vasudeva Rao
    • 2
    Email author
  • P. Puthiyavinayagam
    • 3
  • K. Ananthasivan
    • 3
  1. 1.National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS)BengaluruIndia
  2. 2.Homi Bhabha National Institute (HBNI)MumbaiIndia
  3. 3.Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research [IGCAR]KalpakkamIndia

Section editors and affiliations

  • Tetsuji NODA

There are no affiliations available

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