2007 NSTI Nanotechnology Conference and Trade Show - Nanotech 2007 - 10th Annual

Micro and nano flow usage in future nuclear reactors

L. Popa-Simil

micro-hetero-structure, nuclear fuel, micro-flow, micro-bead

In nuclear reactors to mitigate the need for safety and the request for space of the fission products a new concept of micro-hetero nuclear fuel-structure has been developed. The new fuel design is based on micro-fuel beads with the dimensions smaller than the fission product range immersed into a drain liquid getting better thermal conductivity and less fission product damage. The drain liquid will interact with the fission products giving molecules with different buoyancy. The drain fluid it will transport outside the hot area of the nuclear reactor the fission products. To enhance the fuel-fluid interface and the micro-flow a nano-coating is applied over the fuel structure. The fluids are liquid metals like Lead Bismuth Eutectic, NaK salts operating up to 2000 K. The new microstructure resembles the biologic structures, in plants. The micro-heterostructure improves the thermal field distribution in the fuel eliminating the thermal stress damage and. the micro flow remove the fission products that “poisons” the reactor. The gains consist in the initial reactor mass reduction by 40%, fuel life increase up to 10 times, lower nuclear waste and unburned fuel immobilization reduction due to ultra high burnup factor.

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