chapter  3
4 Pages

Description of a Fast Spectrum Reactor

The reactor core with heat transport circuits, balance of plant (BoP), control systems, and fuel handling systems forms a nuclear power plant. The primary heat transport circuit facilitates continuous coolant flow through the core to maintain its temperature and transfer the heat removed from the core to the fluid in the BoP. BoP generates electricity from the heat derived from core. The pumps and heat exchangers in the primary circuit are the important components in the reactor. The primary coolant can be sodium or lead or lead-bismuth in the case of a liquid metal fast breeder reactor (LMFBR).  Helium is normally used in gas-cooled reactors. Generally, water is used in BoP of LMFBR. In the case of a sodium-cooled fast reactor (SFR), gases such as nitrogen or carbon dioxide are being considered as an alternative coolant to water to circumvent the consequences of a large sodium water reaction. A typical fast spectrum reactors (FSR) is schematically shown in Figure 3.1. Its various general systems are described in the following text.