Defining the Challenges—Identifying the Key Poisoning Elements to Be Separated in a Future Integrated Molten Salt Fast Reactor Clean‐Up System for iMAGINE

Bruno Merk*, Anna Detkina, Dzianis Litskevich, Michael Drury, Omid Noori‐kalkhoran, Gregory Cartland‐glover, Leon Petit, Stefano Rolfo, Justin P. Elliott, Andrew R. Mount

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Nuclear fission technologies have the potential to play a significant role in the energy mix of a net‐zero and sustainable society. However, to achieve the sustainability goal two significant challenges remain: efficient and sustainable fuel usage and the minimization of long‐term nuclear waste. Civil nuclear molten salt systems and technologies offer the opportunity to address both, delivering future reactors at scale for efficient and effective power production and nuclear waste burnup. Potentially, both objectives could be fulfilled in one reactor system, which could significantly improve sustainability indices. The key to this innovation is demand driven development of a significantly reduced fuel cycle with enhanced proliferation resistance which offers further potential for improvement. To achieve these goals, a transformative approach for salt clean‐up during molten salt reactor operation is proposed, by concentrating on the detection and removal of key neutron poisoning elements which prevent the reactor from long‐term operation. To enable this highly innovative development work, a novel analysis of the evolving elementary fuel composition, their concentrations, and their criticality influence is now provided in this work. This, combined with consideration of the oxidation states of each of these elements then provides the basis for the selection of these key poisons and the development of advanced separation processes and process monitoring. This work also discusses the importance of the effective integration of physics and chemistry when systems modelling in achieving these system development goals.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4124
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Volume12
Issue number9
Early online date19 Apr 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Apr 2022

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • modeling and simulation
  • molten salt reactors
  • nuclear
  • nuclear experiments
  • nuclear reactors
  • reactor physics
  • zero‐power reactors

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