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Comparative Analysis of Operation and Safety of Subcritical Nuclear Systems and Innovative Critical Reactors

Abstract : The main goal of this thesis work is to investigate the role of core subcriticality for safety enhancement of advanced nuclear systems, in particular, molten salt reactors, devoted to both energy production and waste incineration/transmutation. The inherent safety is considered as ultimate goal of this safety improvement. An attempt to apply a systematic approach for the analysis of the subcriticality contribution to inherent properties of hybrid system was performed. The results of this research prove that in many cases the subcriticality may improve radically the safety characteristics of nuclear reactors, and in some configurations it helps to reach the “absolute” intrinsic safety. In any case, a proper choice of subcriticality level makes all analyzed transients considerably slower and monotonic. It was shown that the weakest point of the independent-source systems with respect to the intrinsic safety is thermohydraulic unprotected transients, while in the case of the coupled-source systems the excess reactivity/current insertion events remain a matter of concern. To overcome these inherent drawbacks a new principle of realization of a coupled sub-critical system (DENNY concept) is proposed. In addition, the ways to remedy some particular safety-related problems with the help of the core sub-criticality are demonstrated. A preliminary safety analysis of the fast-spectrum molten salt reactor (REBUS concept) is also carried out in this thesis work. Finally, the potential of the alternative (to spallation) neutron sources for application in hybrid systems is examined.
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Contributor : Pavel Bokov <>
Submitted on : Friday, August 5, 2005 - 10:16:57 AM
Last modification on : Monday, October 19, 2020 - 11:06:05 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Friday, April 2, 2010 - 10:27:12 PM


  • HAL Id : tel-00009903, version 1



Pavel M. Bokov. Comparative Analysis of Operation and Safety of Subcritical Nuclear Systems and Innovative Critical Reactors. Electric power. Université Joseph-Fourier - Grenoble I, 2005. English. ⟨tel-00009903⟩



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