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Challenges and Innovative Technologies On Fuel Handling Systems for Future Sodium-Cooled Fast Reactors

Abstract : The reactor refuelling system provides the means of transporting, storing, and handling reactor core subassemblies. The system consists of the facilities and equipment needed to accomplish the scheduled refuelling operations. The choice of a FHS impacts directly on the general design of the reactor vessel (primary vessel, storage, and final cooling before going to reprocessing), its construction cost, and its availability factor. Fuel handling design must take into account various items and in particular operating strategies such as core design and management and core configuration. Moreover, the FHS will have to cope with safety assessments: a permanent cooling strategy to prevent fuel clad rupture, plus provisions to handle short-cooled fuel and criteria to ensure safety during handling. In addition, the handling and elimination of residual sodium must be investigated; it implies specific cleaning treatment to prevent chemical risks such as corrosion or excess hydrogen production. The objective of this study is to identify the challenges of a SFR fuel handling system. It will then present the range of technical options incorporating innovative technologies under development to answer the GENERATION IV SFR requirements.
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Mathieu Chassignet, Sebastien Dumas, Christophe Penigot, Gerard Prele, Alain Capitaine, et al.. Challenges and Innovative Technologies On Fuel Handling Systems for Future Sodium-Cooled Fast Reactors. Journal of Nuclear Science and Technology, Nihon Genshiryoku Gakkai, 2011, 48 (4), pp.622-668. ⟨cea-00959388⟩

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