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A Paradigm Shift in Reactor Safety with the Molten Salt Fast Reactor

A Paradigm Shift in Reactor Safety with the Molten Salt Fast Reactor

Objective

Imagine an inherently safe reactor that produces all electricity world-wide for thousands of years, and recycles all actinides until fission.

The Molten Salt Fast Reactor (MSFR) can reach this goal. The cylindrical reactor core contains actinide-fluorides mixed in lithium-fluoride. The liquid salt is at ambient pressure and can freely expand upon heating, giving a strong negative reactivity feedback. The core is in its most reactive state and any geometrical change lead to lower reactivity. In case of hypothetical accidents, the fuel salt will automatically be drained via freeze plugs into fail-safe tanks. The fuel salt is continuously cleaned and controlled in an integrated chemical plant. The MSFR can operate as a breeder reactor in the thorium fuel cycle or as a burner reactor fuelled with plutonium and minor actinides. In short: the MSFR excels in safety, sustainability and optimal waste management.
Within SAMOFAR we will perform advanced experiments to proof the key safety features:
• The freeze plug and draining of the fuel salt
• Measurement of safety-related data of the fuel salt
• New coatings to structural materials like Ni-based alloys
• The dynamics of natural circulation of (internally heated) fuel salts
• The reductive processes to extract lanthanides and actinides from the fuel salt

Furthermore, we will build a software simulator to demonstrate the operational transients, and we will show the mild responses of the MSFR to transients and accident scenarios, using new leading-edge multi-physics simulation tools including uncertainty quantification. All experimental and numerical results will be incorporated into the new reactor design, which will be subjected to a new integral safety assessment method.

The goal of SAMOFAR is to deliver indisputable evidence of the excellent safety features of the MSFR, and to enable a consortium of important stakeholders like TSO’s and industry, to advance with the MSFR up to the Demonstration phase.
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Coordinator

TECHNISCHE UNIVERSITEIT DELFT

Address

Stevinweg 1
2628 Cn Delft

Netherlands

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 914 041

Participants (11)

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CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE CNRS

France

EU Contribution

€ 1 050 000

JRC -JOINT RESEARCH CENTRE- EUROPEAN COMMISSION

Belgium

EU Contribution

€ 440 913

Consorzio Interuniversitario Nazionale per la Ricerca Tecnologica Nucleare

Italy

EU Contribution

€ 519 111

INSTITUT DE RADIOPROTECTION ET DE SURETE NUCLEAIRE

France

EU Contribution

€ 92 721

CENTRO DE INVESTIGACION Y DE ESTUDIOS AVANZADOS DEL INSTITUTO POLITECNICO NACIONAL

Mexico

AREVA NP SAS

France

COMMISSARIAT A L ENERGIE ATOMIQUE ET AUX ENERGIES ALTERNATIVES

France

EU Contribution

€ 99 922

ELECTRICITE DE FRANCE

France

EU Contribution

€ 148 500

PAUL SCHERRER INSTITUT

Switzerland

EU Contribution

€ 44 652

KARLSRUHER INSTITUT FUER TECHNOLOGIE

Germany

EU Contribution

€ 67 812,50

FRAMATOME

France

EU Contribution

€ 89 224

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 661891

Status

Ongoing project

  • Start date

    1 August 2015

  • End date

    31 July 2019

Funded under:

H2020-Euratom-1.1.

  • Overall budget:

    € 5 235 071,56

  • EU contribution

    € 3 466 896,50

Coordinated by:

TECHNISCHE UNIVERSITEIT DELFT

Netherlands