So-called dedicated fuels will be utilized to obtain maximum transmutation and incineration rates of minor actinides (MAs) in accelerator-driven systems (ADSs). These fuels are characterized by a high-MA content and the lack of the classical fertile materials such as 238U or 232Th. Dedicated fuels still have to be developed; however, programs are under way for their fabrication, irradiation, and testing. In Europe, mainly the oxide route is investigated and developed. A dedicated core will contain multiple "critical" fuel masses, resulting in a certain recriticality potential under core degradation conditions. The use of dedicated fuels may also lead to strong deterioration of the safety parameters of the reactor core, such as, e.g., the void worth, Doppler or the kinetics quantities, neutron generation time, and βeff. Critical reactors with this kind of fuel might encounter safety problems, especially under severe accident conditions. For ADSs, it is assumed that because of the subcriticality of the system, the poor safety features of such fuels could be coped with. Analyses reveal some safety problems for ADSs with dedicated fuels. Additional inherent and passive safety measures are proposed to achieve the required safety level. A safety strategy along the lines of a defense approach is presented where these measures can be integrated. The ultimate goal of these measures is to eliminate any mechanistic severe accident scenario and the potential for energetics.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics
- Nuclear Energy and Engineering
- Condensed Matter Physics