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Many nuclear reactors of Gen IV will be cooled using liquid sodium. This is a very reactive metal and must be carefully controlled to avoid leaks that can trigger damaging events as fires. Brief challenges outlines facing the Sodium Fast Reactor safety.
The Sodium-cooled Fast Reactor (SFR) system is one of a series of planned nuclear reactor designs currently being researched. The SFR is a fast-neutron spectrum reactor that could be used to produce nuclear and electric energy as part of a new generation of systems from the year 2030 – 2040. The SFR uses liquid sodium as a coolant. This metal, in liquid form, has very good properties from the point of view of fast reactor physics and as a coolant. However, while sodium has good safety properties generally, it is a very reactive metal when mixed with oxygen and water, and it has the potential to pose a significant risk of fire if a leak occurs in the cooling system. As a result, the SFR system presents distinct challenges that the nuclear power industry needs to address as it develops this technology. This paper examines these challenges, outlining current knowledge of liquid sodium safety, past and current research results and real case accidents. Keywords: Nuclear fast reactors, Generation IV, Sodium fire, Aerosol, Sodium oxides, Sodium-water, Sodium-water-air, Sodium-concrete.
31 Dicembre 2012
Sviluppo del Sistema e della Rete Elettrica nazionale (RETE 2012)