[ RadSafe ] Liquid fuel reactors

Johansen, Kjell Kjell.Johansen at nexteraenergy.com
Wed Mar 30 12:39:50 CDT 2011

Yes, there was a liquid fuel reactor prototype back in the old days, the 1940s at Los Alamos and 50s at Oak Ridge:  the homogeneous reactor.  There also was the homogeneous thorium breeder reactor.  Basically, a homogeneous reactor is one in which the fuel, a uranyl salt, is evenly dispersed in the moderator, light or heavy water or a liquid metal.  Details were reported by S.E. Beall and J. A. Swarthout in their presentation "The Homogeneous Reactor Test" in conference in Geneva in 1955.  Or, if you have access to some old nuclear engineering textbook, see pages 179-187 in Nuclear Science and Reactors, by Jacobs, Kline and Remick, D. Van Nostrand Company, Inc, 1960.

The first homogeneous reactors of this type (Lopo) was built at Los Alamos and went critical in May of 1944 at 0.05 watts.  Further models were called Hypo and Supo (pages 143 - 148, op.cit.)

As always, the opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Kjell Johansen
Two Rivers, WI
kjell.johansen at NextERAEnergy.com

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