Nuclear Science and Techniques

《核技术》(英文版) ISSN 1001-8042 CN 31-1559/TL     2019 Impact factor 1.556

Nuclear Science and Techniques ›› 2018, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (8): 121 doi: 10.1007/s41365-018-0448-3


Analysis of Th-U breeding capability for an accelerator-driven subcritical molten salt reactor

Xue-Chao Zhao 1,2,3 • De-Yang Cui 1,2,3 • Xiang-Zhou Cai 1,2,3 • Jin-Gen Chen 1,2,3   

  1. 1 Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 201800, China
    2 CAS Innovative Academies in TMSR Energy System, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 201800, China
    3 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Contact: Xiang-Zhou Cai
  • Supported by:

    This work was supported by the Chinese TMSR Strategic Pioneer Science and Technology Project (No. XDA02010000) and the Frontier Science Key Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (No. QYZDY-SSW-JSC016).

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Xue-Chao Zhao, De-Yang Cui, Xiang-Zhou Cai, Jin-Gen Chen. Analysis of Th-U breeding capability for an accelerator-driven subcritical molten salt reactor.Nuclear Science and Techniques, 2018, 29(8): 121     doi: 10.1007/s41365-018-0448-3


Accelerator-driven systems based on molten salt fuel have several unique advantages and features for advanced nuclear fuel utilization. The aim of this work was to study the Th-U breeding capability in such systems, known as ‘‘accelerator-driven subcritical molten salt reactors’’ (ADS–MSRs). Breeding capacities including conversion ratio and net 233U production for various subcriticalities and different minor actinides (MA) loadings were analyzed for an ADS–MSR. The results show that the subcriticality of the core has a considerable effect on the Th-U breeding. A high subcriticality is favorable to improving the conversion ratio, increasing the net 233U production, and reducing the doubling time. Specifically, the doubling time for keff of 0.99 is larger than 80 years, while the counterpart for keff of 0.93 is only approximately 22 years. Nevertheless, in an ADS–MSR with a high initial MA loading, MA results in a non-negligible 233U depletion in the first two decades, while increasing the net 233U production compared to reactors without MA loading. During the 50 years of operation, for the subcritical reactor (keff = 0.97) with MA fraction increasing from 1 to 14% , the net 233U production increases from 3.94 to 8.24 t.

Key words: Subcritical, Molten salt fuel, Conversion ratio, Net 233U production