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Apr 19 – 22, 2022
Vienna, Austria
Europe/Vienna timezone
FR22 starts in Vienna 19 - 22 April 2022 Online Stream:

Investigation of characteristics of fast power reactor with an additional function of large-scale production of plutonium-238

Apr 19, 2022, 1:00 PM
Vienna, Austria

Vienna, Austria

POSTER Track 1. Innovative Fast Reactor Designs Poster Session


Dr Evgeny Kulikov (National Research Nuclear University MEPhI)


A dual-purpose fast reactor with a light / heavy liquid metal coolant and a large-scale production of Pu-238 is considered. A universal target complex for large-scale production of Pu-238 is located inside the reactor. Np-237 is considered as a starting material for the production of Pu-238. The target complex has a heterogeneous structure, including Np-237 and a moderator with a high atomic weight. In the target complex, an area is formed with favorable conditions for the production of plutonium-238 of the required isotopic purity:
- High neutron flux density for intensive irradiation of the starting material;
- Resonance spectrum of neutrons, to intensify the radiative capture on Np-237 and avoid its useless fission, as well as reduce the radiative capture / fission of plutonium-238;
- Use of a moderator with a high atomic weight and low absorption of neutrons around the Np-237 target: Pb, Bi, Pb-Bi eutectic, radiogenic lead, Pb-208. Computational studies have shown that when using such moderators, it becomes possible to form a vast region with the required resonance neutron spectrum. This circumstance determines the large scale of the production of Pu-238;
- Slow neutron absorbers in the area of Pu-238 production, such as cadmium-113 and gadolinium-157. This will make it possible to weaken the radiative capture of neutrons and fission of plutonium-238, i.e. increase its isotopic purity and reduce burnup;
- High temperature of the target material. This increases the width of the resonances of radiative capture of neutrons by neptunium-237, i.e. increases the rate of plutonium-238 production.
Placing the target complex in a fast reactor opens up the possibility of increasing the nuclear safety of the reactor:
- in the center of the core - the positive void effect of reactivity decreases;
- above the core - the ability to remotely change the reactivity of the reactor without inserting the rods into the core.
The use of Np-237 for the production of Pu-238 serves also to reduce the risk of its unauthorized use, because it is a well-fissionable isotope in the fast neutron spectrum with practically no spontaneous fission.

Country/Int. organization Russian Federation
Affiliation/Organization National Research Nuclear University MEPhI
Speaker's title Mr
Speaker's email address

Primary authors

Prof. Anatoly Shmelev (National Research Nuclear University MEPhI) Dr Nikolay Geraskin (National Research Nuclear University MEPhI) Dr Gennady Kulikov (National Research Nuclear University MEPhI) Dr Evgeny Kulikov (National Research Nuclear University MEPhI) Dr Vladimir Apse (National Research Nuclear University MEPhI) Dr Vasily Glebov (National Research Nuclear University MEPhI)

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