[ RadSafe ] " MIT wins $7.5M DoE grant to develop a new generation of advanced reactors "

Jaro Franta jaro_10kbq at videotron.ca
Fri Sep 23 08:13:42 CDT 2011

MIT wins $7.5M DoE grant to develop a new generation of advanced reactors

MIT has been awarded $7.5 million as part of a new initiative by the
Department of Energy (DoE) to support research and development on the next
generation of nuclear technologies. Funded through the DoE’s Nuclear Energy
University Projects (NEUP), the Integrated Research Projects (IRPs) were
established to help ensure that the country maintains a leading role in
nuclear energy research.

The Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering and the MIT Reactor Lab
will work together with their partners at the University of California at
Berkeley (UCB) and the University of Wisconsin at Madison (UW) on the
project over the next three years to develop the path forward to a test
reactor and ultimately a commercial high-temperature salt-cooled reactor,
also called a Fluoride-salt High-Temperature Reactor (FHR).

The FHR is a new reactor concept — about a decade old. It combines
high-temperature graphite-matrix coated particle fuel developed for
high-temperature gas-cooled reactors (fuel failure temperature greater than
1600°C), liquid salt developed for the molten salt reactors (boiling point
greater than 1400°C), and safety systems originate from sodium fast

This new combination of existing technologies creates the possibility of a
large power reactor where catastrophic accidents would not be credible. The
Three Mile Island and the more recent Fukushima accident resulted from
radioactive decay heat generated after the reactors were shut down that
overheated and destroyed fuel. The FHR fuel and coolant combination may
allow decay heat to conduct to the environment without massive fuel failure
even with large-scale structural and system failures.


More on this type of NPP concept here: http://www.nuc.berkeley.edu/pb-ahtr/

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