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A. Kumar, S.S. Chirayath and P.V. Tsvetkov, "Analysis of a Sustainable Gas Cooled Fast Breeder Reactor Concept," Annals of Nuclear Energy 69 (2014).


Analysis of a thorium fuelled gas cooled fast breeder reactor (TGFBR) concept has been done to demonstrate the self-sustainability, breeding capability, actinide recycling ability, and thorium fuel feasibility. Simultaneous use of 232Th and used fuel from light water reactor in the core has been considered. Results obtained confirm the core neutron spectrum dominates in an intermediate energy range (peak at 100 keV) similar to that seen in a fast breeder reactor. The conceptual design achieves a breeding ratio of 1.034 and an average fuel burnup of 74.5  View the MathML source. TGFBR concept is to address the eventual shortage of 235U and nuclear waste management issues. A mixture of thorium and uranium (232Th + 233U) is used as fuel and light water reactor used fuel is utilized as blanket, for the breeding of 239Pu. Initial feed of 233U has to be obtained from thorium based reactors; even though there are no thorium breeders to breed 233U a theoretical evaluation has been used to derive the data for the source of 233U. Reactor calculations have been performed with Monte Carlo radiation transport code, MCNP/MCNPX. It is determined that this reactor has to be fuelled once every 5 years assuming the design thermal power output as 445 MW. Detailed analysis of control rod worth has been performed and different reactivity coefficients have been evaluated as part of the safety analysis. The TGFBR concept demonstrates the sustainability of thorium, viability of 233U as an alternate to 235U and an alternate use for light water reactor used fuel as a blanket for the production of plutonium.

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