Accelerator-reactor coupling for energy production in advanced nuclear fuel cycles

Florent Heidet, Nicholas R. Brown, Malek Haj Tahar

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    16 Scopus citations


    This article is a review of several accelerator-reactor interface issues and nuclear fuel cycle applications of accelerator-driven subcritical systems. The systems considered here have the primary goal of energy production, but that goal is accomplished via a specific application in various proposed nuclear fuel cycles, such as breed-and-burn of fertile material or burning of transuranic material. Several basic principles are reviewed, starting from the proton beam window including the target, blanket, reactor core, and up to the fuel cycle. We focus on issues of interest, such as the impact of the energy required to run the accelerator and associated systems on the potential electricity delivered to the grid. Accelerator-driven systems feature many of the constraints and issues associated with critical reactors, with the added challenges of subcritical operation and coupling to an accelerator. Reliable accelerator operation and avoidance of beam trips are critically important. One interesting challenge is measurement of blanket subcriticality level during operation. We also review the potential benefits of accelerator-driven systems in various nuclear fuel cycle applications. Ultimately, accelerator-driven subcritical systems with the goal of transmutation of transuranic material have lower 100,000-year radioactivity than a critical fast reactor with recycling of uranium and plutonium.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationReviews of Accelerator Science and Technology
    Subtitle of host publicationVolume 8: Accelerator Applications in Energy and Security
    PublisherWorld Scientific Publishing Co.
    Number of pages16
    ISBN (Electronic)9789813108905
    ISBN (Print)9789813108899
    StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • General Physics and Astronomy


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